Fresh, ripe tomatoes are a special delight for apartment dwellers. Unfortunately, sometimes they just don’t grow the way we wish they would. Before you reach for fertilizers or other chemicals, check out these eco-friendly tips to help your struggling tomatoes:
Give them the nutrients they need most:
One thing that can help your tomatoes live is to give them a couple of doses of Epsom salt. These natural salts are high in magnesium – a mineral tomatoes need in order to flourish.
Dissolve a teaspoon of Epsom salt in a quart of hot water. Once it’s cool, pour it into a spray bottle and spritz all of the leaves on your tomato plants. If you have several plants, you might want to invest in a one gallon pump sprayer. It will definitely save wear and tear on your hands!
Tomato plants need a balanced diet of magnesium and calcium to produce good quality tomatoes. Too much magnesium and not enough calcium can cause the blossom end rot. One way to ensure your tomatoes get the calcium they need is to boil some eggs. Seriously! Watering your tomato plants with water in which you boiled eggs will provide them with the calcium they need. Adding a splash of vinegar to the pan serves two purposes – it keeps egg whites from leaking through the shells if they crack and it leaches more calcium from the shell into the water.
Let the water cool and spray your plants with it. This is one of the most efficient ways to give your plants the nutrients it needs. Just try to spray the whole plant evenly.
Suckers are the branches that grow in the notch where a side stem meets the main stem. They are basically a whole other tomato plant with their own flowers, fruit, and even their own suckers. That might sound like a good deal. After all, it means more fruit – doesn’t it?
Well…no. Actually, suckers drain energy and nutrients from your original plant. Instead of having a nice crop of beautifully ripe tomatoes, you’re likely to end the season with hundreds of flowers and baby tomatoes but few, if any, ripe tomatoes!
It’s important to remove those suckers as soon as you see them. Just pinch them out and toss them in the compost pile.
Help with pollination
If your tomatoes are blooming, but not growing, they might need a little pollination help. Bumblebees are the main pollinators of tomatoes. They accomplish this through a process called ‘buzz pollination’. If you haven’t seen many bumblebees buzzing around your tomatoes, you can help the plants produce fruit. Just give the stems with flowers a few gentle taps or a shake and you’ll accomplish the same job that the bumblebees do.
If you enjoy living a green lifestyle, contact us. Our properties let you take green living to a whole new level!