Tomato farming is the most popular activity in most parts of the country. And most new farmers get lured into getting into the fray. But after some time in practice, they come to realize that tomatoes are quite demanding and far from easy plants to grow.
Before trying to get in tomato farming you must make sure to completely avoid these mistakes for successful farming.
When I first tried growing tomatoes in my garden everything was a mess. It was disheartening that most of my fruits were full of black spots and unpleasant holes.
I knew I had to search for all possible common mistakes that I could have been making.
It turned out that I made several mistakes some I ignored and others, I didn’t have any idea about.
Below you will find some common mistakes that you must avoid when growing tomato plants.
Table of Contents
15 mistakes in tomato farming
The process of growing healthy and palatable tomatoes starts when you purchase the right tomato seeds or variety and ends when reaping the last tomato fruit.
Purchasing the wrong tomato type
There are different types of tomatoes to grow. One must be careful to purchase the correct type for various gardens.
Apparently, there are two main types of tomatoes to grow.
- Determinate tomatoes
- Indeterminate tomatoes
They grow at a set height and do not grow further. Some varieties are so strong that you do not need to prune.
They possess particular characteristic of producing all their fruits at one time and dying at the same time.
So you can be sure to have tomatoes in a short period of time.
These tomatoes are the opposite of determinate. They can grow up to 9 feet if no pruning is done. Due to their weak stems staking is important for their support.
Unlike determinate tomatoes, they can produce fruits all season without failure as long as they are grown in favourable conditions.
This is helpful since it helps to spread harvest for a long time.
Too late in planting
Waiting for too long to plant tomatoes could have adverse effects on tomato plants. Since tomatoes are warm-weather crops it’s always wise to plant early enough to avoid running into the frosty season.
Failure to seedling hardening
After spending time caring for your seeding the next session which most gardeners ignore is hardening seedlings.
Please note: Seedling hardening is not an option to avoid.
If you fail to harden your seedlings they might die or they will take too long to mature.
Hardening helps the plants to easily acclimatize to outdoor and harsh weather conditions.
Transplanting without hardening might cause plants to suffer from the shock that causes a stunt in growth and occasionally, poor harvests.
Transplanting too early in the day
Whatever practice timing is essential. I know the eagerness to start planting when the sun starts to set up.
The perfect time to plant is in the evening when the sun is not too strong or on cloudy days.
Planting tomatoes under unfavorable conditions
For optimum growth, tomatoes are best grown in areas where there are well-drained soils and minimum temperatures of about 15 to 25°c.
Unfortunately, most farmers, tend to start planting on any farm or area they deem fit.
Tomatoes along with other plants require favourable conditions to flourish.
As earlier stated, some tomato plants can grow to 9 feet tall and thus require strong and healthy roots to sustain them.
Digging shallow holes is not wise for these types of tomatoes.
It’s recommended to dig holes about 8 – 10 inches deep.
Failure to water your plants regularly
Irregular watering is detrimental to plants since it can cause fruits splitting and blossom end rot.
If you discover the above problems and yellowing of leaves, irregular watering is the source.
Splashing water on tomato leaves
The best method of watering your plants is at the base of the plant. Splashing water on their leaves can lead to increased risks of tomato diseases and fungal infections.
Taking too long to stake tomato plants
Supporting your plants should be done one week after transplanting. Staking too late will injure root systems which leads to stunted growth and poor fruit production.
Failure to prune
Pruning is the process of removing suckers from the plant which in turn allows the plant to put more energy in fruit production.
Failure to apply fertilizer
Most new gardeners ignore the application of fertilizer thinking the plants will grow by themselves and expect high yields.
Zero fertilizer application leads to low harvest since tomatoes are heavy feeders of nutrients, especially at the flowering and fruiting stage.
Too much nitrogen application
Nitrogen is essential in good optimum growth of tomato plants but too much of it is the problem.
Before applying nitrogen fertilizer to soil it’s advisable to first mix it with compost manure to minimize the effects.
Most farmers have a tendency of not mulching their plants. Mulching is important since it helps to keep good soil structure and unreasonable water splashing during watering.
After all the excruciating work of caring and growing your tomatoes, harvesting too late in the day is like wasting your energy.
Fruits ripen on the vine and fall off to the ground, don’t let this mistake happen.