Uncover straightforward techniques that will empower you to not only maximize your tomato yield, but also extend the growing season deep into late autumn. Tomatoes, the crown jewels of the garden, need not be relinquished to the approaching fall chill.
Reduce watering as fall nears, which promotes quicker ripening. Prune older leaves and encourage new blossoms to redirect energy for faster maturation.
Continue to train your plants vertically to save space, enhance airflow, expose foliage to sunlight, and direct energy toward fruiting. Pinch off growing tips a month before frost to redirect energy to ripening existing fruits.
Pruning roots, just like trimming leaves, encourages ripening. In midsummer, gently chop a circle in the ground around the plant’s base, about 12 inches (30 cm) from the stem. This prompts the roots to focus on the area close to the stem, resulting in more vigorous growth and larger yields.
Use organic mulch to maintain soil moisture and temperature. Black landscape fabric also captures heat and warms the soil, extending growth.
Not all tomato varieties can yield for an extended period. Determinate types produce a burst of fruit within a limited window, while indeterminate types, with good care, can keep yielding until frost. Next Spring opt for indeterminate varieties of tomatoes for an extended harvest.
With these simple tips, your garden will thrive beyond summer and you can celebrate the luscious taste of tomatoes all the way until the frost’s first kiss.
World Tomato Society Tomato Database Manager