Three reasons your tomato plant may be ‘leggy’ and slow-growing

Gardening: Homebase shares tips to help grow tomatoes

Nothing beats fresh, homegrown tomatoes, but they are one of the more challenging plants to grow, especially for new gardeners.

They are susceptible to a range of different issues and it is important to feed them more than other plants.

1. Low temperatures

Tomatoes thrive in rich, free-draining but moisture-retentive soil, which helps to keep the tomatoes hydrated.

Gardeners should make sure their tomatoes are placed in the “warmest, sunniest spot, sheltered from wind”, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

They should have access to full sun for most of the day as this will help them to grow more fruit.

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Tomatoes are susceptible to chilling injury at temperatures too low, which can cause stunted growth, although this shouldn’t be an issue at this time of year.

2. Inadequate nutrition

A nutrient deficiency in tomatoes can result in stunted plants, ones with yellow leaves or even ones which turn purple.

Making sure they have the correct mix is an important part of tomato care and it is different compared to a lot of other plants.

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The RHS said: “To boost fruiting, especially with plants in containers, feed every 10 to 14 days with a high potassium liquid fertiliser once the first fruits start to swell.”

Gardeners should use a specific tomato fertiliser to feed their plants which can also be used around the garden.

Avoid over-feeding them as this can also cause problems so make sure to refer to the bottle or packet first.

3. Over-watering

If Britons provide their plants with too much water, they may suffer root rot which can result in total yield loss if done repeatedly.

Make sure to check the soil before watering, but they do like to stay consistently moist, which means watering up to twice a day during the summer months.

As well as preventing over-watering, gardeners should also be wary of not watering too much which can cause a “leggy” plant and dry fruit.

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