How NOT to Kill Your Tomato Plants

Photography by  Sean O'brien

Photography by Sean O'brien

First off, shout out to the experts on tomato growing French Lake Farmer. These guys were just recently certified organic and are dedicated to growing the most beautiful, best tasting tomatoes in the Midwest. Just ask Cooks of Crocus hill who routinely feature their tomatoes in their seasonal crop shares. If you don't have the growing space to produce the ton of tomatoes you need for canning (seriously it's like 10 lb.), consider picking up a canners bulk case worth of Romas from these guys. Contact them directly over on


1. When the plant is about two feet tall, cut (or snap off) all the leaves below the lowest flowers.
2. Keep a consistent moisture level. Mulching with grass clippings or last years leaves (if you saved them) is a good way to keep even moisture levels in the soil. This will help prevent blossom end rot, one of the most common causes of tomato plant loss.
3. Avoid overwatering and don’t use grass clippings if you’ve sprayed your lawn with a dandelion killer.
4. Keep the leaves dry! Water tomato plants around the stem and again avoid overhead watering.
Most tomato problems in MN have to do with moisture and Tomato Blight loves moisture. 
5. Keep the tomatoes off of the ground! These plants benefit in a number of ways from support, staking, trellising etc.

For more information on detecting and troubleshooting your Tomato growing problems check out post, Speaking Tomato: What is Your Plant Trying to Tell you.