Bigger tomatoes aren’t just attractive, but delicious and nutritious at the same time.
Its heart wrenching to see smaller tomatoes, after all the hard work you went through.
Fledgling gardeners learn to grow quality yield from their mistakes that are done in the course of years of gardening.
To increase tomato fruit size, gardeners must consider various things like soil, consistent watering, adequate amount of sunlight, regular fertilizing, mulching, pruning and a stake to support the plant.
Pruning and mulching might seem not so important for new gardeners. Though it demands time to trim unwanted tomato suckers, every small bit contributes to produce quality fruit.
Before dwelling tips on growing bigger tomatoes, it is very must important that you diagnose your plant to identify the reason behind smaller tomatoes.
Else, you can jump to the core topic here.
It is surprising to note how several people still treat tomato as a vegetable, while its actual orientation is that of a fruit.
The plant of Solanum lycopersicum produces an edible berry that we commonly refer to as a tomato fruit. Rich in vitamins and minerals, tomato is widely consumed as parts of salads, vegetable curry, and so on.
It is a widely and easy to grow plant that resists itself from falling prey to any of the diseases and pests.
It is popular in the Spanish culture as the yearly celebrated Tomatina festival. Besides this, provinces of Canada, Ohio, and New Jersey include tomatoes in their cultural festivities as well.
Also Read: How Many Tomato Seeds Per Hole?
Why are My Tomatoes so Small?
Even after indulging yourself in every necessary practice to increase the size of your tomato yield, but still facing issues?
When a tomato plant has to undergo stress it produces undersized fruits.
Stress can be caused due to lack of water, insufficient sunlight, excess fertilizing, rising temperature, root damage while transplanting, wrong selection of tomato variety and poor pollination.
Yes, there are certain possibilities that contribute to the presence of this condition. We will have a look at all of these possibilities, followed by classic strategies to enhance the tomato fruit size.
Remember that it is not just you, even seasonal and most experienced gardeners can sometimes face issues with the appropriate size of the yield.
Presence of Pests
The most common reason for a small tomato plant is definitely the perpetuation of blight diseases and insects.
While a tomato can safely protect itself and resist the breeding grounds for diseases, checking the plant for constant signs of malfunctioning is important.
Also Read: How Long Can a Tomato Plant Go Without Water?
Another commonly available reason for small tomato growth is stressed plants. The stressing of plants can occur due to many underlying reasons, some known and others unknown.
Some common reasons for stressing of plants include sudden changes in temperature, presence of an insect, or incurring of a disease.
When the plant is stressed, the energy of the plant is diverted to take greater care of the roots, instead of the flowering fruits, resulting in the stunted growth of plants.
Check this: How Long After Flowering Do Tomatoes Appear?
Lack of Water
When the water does not receive adequate water and improper care, the fruits might drop off from the leaves.
For this reason, the soil should not be left to dry and should be wilted consistently. Avoid making it too soggy or wet.
Take proper measures to ensure that the soil gets regular flow of water in not more than the required quantities.
Improper light means either too much light or too little light. Exposing tomato plants to excess sunlight might cause the drooping and discoloration of leaves, leading to a short growth of plants.
On the other hand, if the plant is kept in shade for a long time, it becomes devoid of the goodness of direct sunlight, stunting the fruit’s growth.
Also Read: Do Tomato Plants Self Pollinate
Fertilizer quantity and quality
If you use a fertilizer that is less than supreme, then you are compromising the quality of your tomato fruit size. Fertilizer that is excessively rich in nitrogen can be harmful to the growth of fruits.
If you are using nitrogen rich fertilizer, then make sure to not overuse it. It will definitely lead to small tomatoes.
How to Increase Tomato Fruit Size?
Beefsteak is preferred tomato variety to produce biggest possible fruit. If you selected cherry tomato seeds and trying hard to increase fruit size, then I must say you’re banging your head to wall.
Soil, water and sunlight are most important factors to grow any plant.
Those who’re growing tomatoes in containers must choose potting mix soil that is rich in organic matter and drains well.
In a nut shell, what do you need to grow bigger tomatoes at your home?
Well-drained soil, consistent watering, 7-8 hours of sunlight, stake to support growing tomato plant, mulch to avoid weeds and to retain moisture, fertilizers to boost the yield, good pollinators, pruning regularly, avoiding pests and diseases.
Essential elements listed above combine together to help you increase tomato fruit size.
Paying attention at the beginning
If we intend to produce tomatoes that go long and strong, then it is important to pay specific attention, when the plant is at its foundational stage.
Keeping away errors from the beginning can eliminate further damages to the crop. Let us see how we can do that.
Also Read: Will Spinach Grow Back After Cutting?
Starting from the seeds might not be a very surprising trick to begin, but it is definitely worth reminding time and again.
It is wise to buy new tomato seeds yourself and start from square one. It is also better than buying already grown tomato plants from vendors.
It will cost you less, and you would be familiarized with the nature of your tomato plant from the beginning. It saves your immense time, energy, and money.
In order to save your plant from excess damage, you have two options dispensed at your hand.
One of them is to cover the top soil with plants or mulching of your choice, as you desire. The other alternative is to give things into the hands of nature and let it put the plant covering of its choice.
Either way, your tomato fruits would not be harmed and would be saved from further damage.
Stem and Roots
This is a trick that not many people are familiar with. Tomatoes have fuzzy stems, and while some might make an attempt to remove that part, it is important to consider that this should not be done.
The height of stems is directly proportional to the height of roots. That means, if you bury the stems of the tomato as they are, deep into the soil, the resulting roots would be long enough to hold nutrition and water.
If the roots are strong enough to absorb nutrients and retain moisture, then there would be less need to spray fertilizers or other nutrition supplements. This way, the plant can go long on its own, without any additional support.
Also Read: When Is It Too Late to Plant Tomatoes?
Choosing the right technique
Now that you have brought your own seedlings and have decided to plant them all by yourself, you need the right technique to do it. One way to do it is to use the stick trick.
This trick involves supporting your plant stem with a stick, so that it does not droop and fall time and again.
However, a hindrance to this technique is presented by cutworms. Nevertheless, you can prohibit cutworms by entering in your garden by using numerous organic and inorganic ways.
Throw away the suckers
A sucker can best be understood as an unwanted branch or stem that grows in the tomato plant.
Suckers reduce the aeration between the plants and their flowering fruits, giving them less space and atmosphere to bloom.
Removing the suckers is the best thing that you can do in order to promote a good and large sized tomato fruit.
Soil and transplantation
After you have brought seeds and started off good with your tomato plants, transplanting them right is the first thing you should be doing next.
In order to implement the right transplanting method, one needs to dig a planting hole in the soil, while burying the plant at a depth of about ⅔ of the plant.
The soil requirements for tomatoes are not too stringent, but are very important for them to thrive.
They do not prefer too much acid or alkalinity in their soil, instead they are more inclined towards maintaining a pH of about 6-7 level, making the soil very slightly acidic.
Again, loamy soil is by far the best soil consideration for growing quality tomatoes.
If you aim to increase the size of your tomato plants, it would be best to test the soil for an adequate nutrient proportion beforehand.
Nitrogen and calcium are the most vital necessities in the soil you need to use for growing tomatoes.
Also Read: Growing Tomatoes in Clay Soil
Do not forget adding water
It won’t go right if you do not supplement your plant with plenty of water.
In order to improve the pace of growth and size of your tomato fruits, you need to provide water to it in generous quantities.
Tomato is a juicy and watery fruit, and since it likes growing in warm temperature, one can expect it to transpire water excessively. That is where your watering provision enters.
As we have seen earlier, in cases of plant stress, the size of the flowering fruit is stunted.
Too soggy or water clogged soil is not preferable. It is significant to not let the soil dry under any circumstances whatsoever.
One should take special attention to keep the soil moist and nutritive throughout.
Try watering your tomato plants twice a day and see the magic that results soon after.
Sunlight provides the tomato plant with half of the food. That is right, the seedlings and the fruit thrive to get sunlight from any region possible.
It is important for them to make progress to their complete potential and accentuate the growth of fruits.
Make sure to plant your seedlings or plants at an area where there is abundant sunlight present, with also a little provision for shade, as and when required.
Once the plant reaches its height of 12 inches, it will no longer need shade to protect itself from the sunrays.
Nevertheless, sunlight provides nutrition and energy to the tomato fruits and aid them in pacing up their growth.
Fertilizer to increase tomato fruit size
No plant can be expected to show the right signs and symptoms without the use of appropriate fertilizers.
Appropriate here means, that with rising awareness among the technological and agricultural sector, companies are now manufacturing fruit, vegetable, or plant specific fertilizer that have been made in special considerations to the targeted plant.
One can use any such tomato specific fertilizer that has listed several directions, ingredients, and benefits of use.
Fertilizers are important nutrient sources since you cannot always rely on the plant roots to keep absorbing nutrients from the soil.
They promote the size of the fruit in as organic a manner as possible while also boosting the fertility and health of your soil.
What can I feed my tomatoes to get more fruit?
Steps to grow a healthy tomato plant starts from choosing seeds or seedlings. Adequate amount of water, sufficient sunlight and fertilizing the plant after 3 to 4 weeks of transplanting all helps to get bountiful yield.
Note: Give enough phosphorus rich fertilizer to increase tomato fruit size.
You might be surprised to know that there are not one or two, but just so many ways through which you can elevate the size of your backyard tomato yield.
While some of these methods dispense an easy way out to your problems, others might demand more hard work.
Following each and every measure rightly is a choice, but if for some reasons you miss out on one or two of those points, then do not worry.
The crop of tomato is not stubborn; it will respond to your efforts in time and would increase itself in size, height, shape, and length.