tomato plant careWe have just started to harvest our first tomatoes of the season and realised this is actually the time that you should remember to be extra vigilant.

Having taken the trouble to select the right plants, popped them into the ground in the right location, maybe done a bit of pruning to top them out and prevent them contacting the ground; where they can pick up contamination. The watering program is clearly working and the fruit is coming and ripening nicely.

So what can go wrong? Well actually, as suggested,  now is the time to be extra vigilant against pests, blight and blossom end rot; to name a few of the potential problems you could possibly encounter. That would be a real shame at this stage of proceedings just when you are starting to reap the rewards of your toils.

All is not lost however, a few simple precautions and everything will be fine. Here are a few suggestions to ensure you can continue harvesting  tomatoes for the rest of the tomato season:

  • Pollination, when there are flowers on the plant, just give them a gentle shake to help them pollinate. This is especially important in greenhouses where there is no natural breeze.
  • Watering, make sure you keep up a consistent and regular watering regime of moist soil, not dry or water logged. Also try and water at the base of the plants so that blight is not encouraged through the foliage being damp.
  • Pests, check under the leaves to make sure there are no hidden pests which need to be dealt with and take action as necessary and dependent on what you find.
  • Feeding, don’t over feed, if the plant looks healthy and vibrant then you don’t need to feed at this stage. Just keep an eye on things and if it changes then just provide a light feed to perk them up again. Go by the instructions on the feed you choose.
  • Harvesting, once your fruit has ripened then harvest it. This helps the rest of the plant by redirecting much needed energy to the other fruit to help it ripen. As a secondary benefit bird attack is less likely, birds only really like the fruit when it is ripe.

By taking these few simple precautions you will ensure that you benefit from a plentiful crop of lovely, ripe juicy tomatoes right through the season.