It’s one of the pleasures of summer, picking tomatoes straight off the plant to add to meals. Here are six routine tasks to keep your tomato plants in top shape while they are busy producing fruit.
- In dry times, water plants well at the base every 2–3 days, and maintain a good layer of mulch over the roots.
- On extra hot days, rig up temporary shade to protect the plants and fruit from sunburn.
- Fertilise plants with a dose of organic-based, high-potash tomato food once every six weeks.
- Pluck off and bin any damaged or discoloured foliage.
- Leave tomatoes on the bush until their bases are pinkish-red, then bring them indoors to ripen.
- In fruit fly areas, cover individual trusses of fruit with protective bags – the bags also help to control fruit-burrowing caterpillars.
For more tips on keeping your crops fruiting through summer, get hold of the January 2022 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.