Whether you’ve grown tomatoes before or you are just getting started with a small vegetable garden, many people will tell you that growing tomatoes is easy. While this is true, growing large tomatoes takes a little more care than usual. For the biggest slicing tomatoes in town, you’ll need to take a few steps to make tomatoes grow big as you tend to your plants through feeding and keeping them focused on tomato growth.
Mix large amounts of compost or well-rotted chicken manure in with your soil to add nutrients deep down. Spreading 4 inches of material over the soil and mixing it in should be enough to improve the soil and increase moisture retention.
Remove the leaves from your seedlings along the bottom 60 percent of the stem by pinching them off with your fingernail at their base. Using Beefsteak, Beefy Boy, or Black Russian seedlings will help you start with a variety intended to grow large.
Plant your tomato seedlings deep to bury the root ball, as well as the lower 60 percent of the plant, so roots can form along the stem. Place a tomato cage or garden stake at each of your plants. As the plants grow, be sure to tie the main stem to the cage or stake, as well as use ties to help support growing tomatoes, which can weigh up to 2 pounds when mature.
Water your seedlings well for the first two to three weeks, keeping the soil consistently moist. After the first month, as new growth appears, water your plants deeply but less often to encourage deep roots. Supply at least an inch of water a week.
Give your tomatoes a low-nitrogen fertilizer just after planting and every month after that until fruits begin to form. If you use a liquid feed, be sure to avoid wetting the leaves to keep the chance of disease down.
Look for suckers, which look like miniature branches, to form between the main stem of your tomatoes and branches. Remove the suckers as you see them by pinching them off with your fingernail at their base. If left to grow, these suckers will add foliage to the plant, but rob energy which could be used for growing the tomatoes.