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Tips To Growing Plump Tomatoes

These tried-and-true tips will help make your harvest juicy and delicious.

Choose A Bright, Airy Spot
Plant tomatoes—leaving room between plants for air to circulate—where they will get at least 10 hours of light per day during the summer season.

Rotate The Crop
The key to keeping a rich vegetable patch is to alternate your tomato bed between a few spots in the garden to diminish the risk of soil-borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight.

Pass Up Overgrown Transplants
When deciding which tomato varieties grow best, beware of tomato seedlings with lush green starts but poor root systems. They will languish for weeks before growing.

Bury The Stems
Plant your tomato seedlings up to the first true leaves. New roots will quickly sprout on the stems and more roots mean more fruits.

Water Deeply By Infrequently
Soak your tomato bed once a week, or every five days at the height of summer. Water directly on the soil, not on the leaves.

Pinch The Runts
Prune off the non-fruiting branches and it will direct the tomato plant's energy into growing bigger, better fruit.

Stake Them High
When growing tomatoes, use 6-foot stakes for indeterminate varieties like Brandywine. Put in the stakes when transplanting to avoid damaging roots.

Add Compost And Trim
While the first fruit is ripening, encourage new growth and continued fruit by scratching compost around the stem and trimming some of the upper leaves.

Plant Again
Three weeks after you plant tomatoes in your garden, put in another set so all of your harvest doesn't come at once.

Pick Ripe
Harvest and enjoy your growing tomatoes once they've reached full size and are fully colored.

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