Question: How can a get a good crop from my tomato plants?

August 11, 2010
I had planted tomatoes in spring. But I've got only 6 tomatoes till now. My neighbour seems to have a great crop. How can I get a good crop?


Chris Paulk's picture

Not sure where you're located, they like sun and heat. I've read several blogs this year and everyone is lamenting the lack of tomatoes. It's August here in Western Washington and I have yet to see even one tomato fresh from the vine at the farmers market. Maybe the question should be- what is your neighbor doing different from you? The local hot house is having a difficult time with tomatoes as well- which isn't a good sign.

Dave Down Under's picture

As Chris said, direct sun and lots of heat. Pruning is also a big factor. Not all varieties are pruned the same, so find out specifically how each variety you have should be pruned.

I top-dress my tomatoes with both dried cow manure and Blood n Bone and then water it in well. That's the first thing I'd recommend. I do that about every 2 weeks. I'd prune about half of the large branches off near the base too, but I'd need to have a look at them to really tell what type of pruning (if any) they need. Next, check for signs of caterpillar or aphid damage. If you've got caterpillars, then try using Dipel (I have no idea what it's called outside of Australia). Dipel is a natural bacteria that only kills caterpillars. No other insects, nor birds or mammals. Very safe to use. For aphids you can mix up an emulsion of biodegradable dish soap and olive oil. It basically suffocates the aphids --lemme know if you need directions for the mix.

Ladybugs and praying mantis are good to have around for insect control too, you can even buy them in bulk.

Basil is a wonderful companion plant for tomatoes. Plant some basil in with your tomatoes and they will be happier and healthier.

I know this next bit won't help this season, but next season mix half cow manure with half potting mix when planting; it'll get them off to a good start.

Hope this helped.

David's picture

Prepare your soil in the off season and add chicken manure. Leech it well and do not ever use miracle grow with tomatoes.

This year, a nice person told me that I should not use miracle grow and I used Armstrong nursery fertilizer and chicken manure.
I got tomatoes in bunches of 5 or 6 and weighing between 12oz and 2 lbs for celebs and brandywines.
I never have had this much growth before. you can click on my name above and then on my profile click on the photo and it enlarge so you can see what I am talking about.. One is 1 lb 10 oz and the other is 1 lb 6.5 oz and they keep on coming like this, three tomatoes in one it seems.