7 Ways To Improve Your Tomato Harvest - Backyard Boss
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7 Ways To Improve Your Tomato Harvest

Tomatoes are a popular fruit (yes, technically they’re a fruit!) that are used in all sorts of dishes. They can be eaten fresh, made into sauces, or even canned for later use. No matter how you enjoy them, tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.

And there’s no better way to maximize your tomato harvest than by taking great care of your crop and using some of these seven tips!

Whether you have a big garden or just a small pot on your balcony, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how to make the most of your tomato bounty!

1. Start With Healthy Plants

Tomatoes on a vine
Image credits: Kathas_Fotos via Pixabay

One of the most important things to remember when growing tomatoes is to start with healthy plants. This means choosing the right variety for your climate, making sure they’re well-watered, giving them plenty of sunlight and making sure your plant is disease and pest free.

2. Make Sure They Have Enough Space To Grow

Plump sungold tomatoes climbing up a red trellis, ripe for the picking with a blurred background
Image credit: Molly Shannon via Shutterstock

If you want to improve your tomato harvest, make sure your plants have enough space to grow. Tomato plants need room to spread out their roots and foliage, so they can absorb the nutrients they need to produce bountiful fruit.

When tomato plants are crowded, they compete for resources and produce smaller, less flavorful fruit. So, give your tomato plants plenty of elbow room by planting them in amended soil with a spacing of at least twenty-four inches between each plant. Also, make sure to keep the area around your tomato plants free from weeds, which can steal away vital nutrients.

3. Water Them Regularly And Deeply

Orange Garden Hose With Green Spray Nozzle Spraying Water
Image credits: Image Credits: 9436196 via Pixabay

This will encourage deep root growth and help the plants withstand stress. Hot, dry conditions can cause tomatoes to drop their flowers, so make sure to keep the soil moist (but not soggy).

Mulching can also help retain moisture. Apply a layer of compost or other organic matter around the base of the plant to help hold in moisture and deter weeds. Water early in the day so that the leaves have time to dry off before nightfall. This will help prevent fungal diseases.

4. Fertilize Them Regularly

Image credits: Zummolo via Canva

Fertilizing will ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients they need to produce plenty of delicious fruit.

There are a few different ways to fertilize tomatoes, but one of the simplest is to use compost. You can either make your own compost at home or purchase it from a garden center. Spread a layer of compost around the base of each tomato plant, and then water it in well.

Another option is to use a fertilizer specifically designed for tomatoes. These products usually come in granular form, and you simply sprinkle them around the base of the plant and then water them in.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to fertilize your tomato plants every two weeks or so during the growing season, giving them the well deserved boost they need.

5. Prune Them Properly

้Woman's hand pruning tomato plant branches in her farm, selective focus
Image credits: chomplearn via Shutterstock

Tomato plants typically produce fruit on new growth, so it’s important to remove any dead or diseased leaves and stems. This will encourage the plant to produce more new foliage, stems, and more tomatoes!

When pruning your tomato plants, be sure to cut away any leaves that are low on the stem or that are touching the ground. These leaves are more likely to harbor diseases or pests.

Also, remove any suckers that are growing from the base of the plant. These are small, branching stems that compete with the main stem for nutrients and can reduce tomato production.

6. Keep An Eye Out For Pests And Diseases

Fungal diseases and pests can wreak havoc on your plants and reduce your yield significantly. Here are a few tips to help you keep an eye out for these problems:


Image credits: hamikus via Canva

Tomato plants are particularly susceptible to attack from aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms. Aphids can cause stunted growth and deformities in new leaves, while whiteflies can weaken plants and spread disease. Tomato hornworms are voracious eaters and can strip a plant of its leaves in no time.

To combat these pests, it’s important to inspect your tomato plants regularly. Look for signs of damage, such as chewed leaves or damaged fruit. If you see any pests, remove them by hand or treat the plants with an appropriate insecticide. You can also use baking soda to deter them.


Tomatoes infected with late blight - Phytophtora infestans. Late blight is a potentially devastating disease of tomato and potato, infecting leaves, stems and fruits of tomato plants. Selective focus.
Image credit: Dan Gabriel Atanasie via Shutterstock

Tomato plants are also susceptible to a number of diseases, including late blight, early blossom end rot, and fusarium wilt. Late blight is a fungal disease that can cause leaves to turn brown and curl up. Early blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency that causes the fruit to rot from the bottom up. Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne fungus that can damage the roots and foliage of tomato plants.

To prevent these diseases, it’s important to water your tomato plants regularly and evenly. Avoid wetting the leaves, as this can promote fungal growth. If you see any signs of disease, treat the plants with a fungicide.

7. Harvest Them At The Right Time

Young woman lift a full basket of juicy ripe tomatoes standing in the beds. Close- up.
Image credit: A Kisel via Shutterstock

In order to get the most out of your tomato harvest, it is important to harvest them at the right time. If you pick your tomatoes too early, they may not be ripe enough to eat or use in recipes. If you wait too long to harvest them, they may become overripe and start to rot.

The best time to harvest your tomatoes will depend on the variety of tomato that you are growing. Some varieties mature sooner than others. In general, most are ready to be harvested when they turn red. However, there are some varieties that are best harvested while they are still yellow or green.

When harvesting your tomatoes, be sure to handle them carefully. Avoid bruising or crushing the fruit as this can shorten their shelf life. Tomatoes can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks. If you plan on using them within a few days, you can store them at room temperature. If you need to store your tomatoes for a longer period of time, you can place them in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that refrigeration can cause the tomato skins to wrinkle.

To prevent your tomatoes from bruising, place them in a single layer on a tray or plate when storing them. Once they are ready to be used, you can gently wash them with warm water and soap.

Happy Harvesting!

Well, there you have it! Seven tips to make the most of your tomato crop. Do you have any tips or tricks that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to share this post with your friends and family – they’ll thank you for it later when their tomatoes are bursting with flavor. Enjoy your summer bounty!