If you search the internet and you ask the internet to tell you how many tomatoes you can expect to get from one tomato plant, you're going to get a wide variety of opinions. Most times when you Google that, you are going to find numbers for large tomatoes rather than the cherry and grape varieties. One of the reasons why I love growing grape and cherry varieties is because I get more. They are smaller, but I get to harvest them more often. Plus, I can come in here for snacks! If you've been following my story, you know that I prefer to be in the garden rather than the kitchen. So, I'm not one to be making tons of tomato sauces or salsas and I’m not much into jarring and canning. While that may not really be my thing, it may be yours! For that reason though, I love snacking type foods from the garden. One article I read said that you could get over 200 tomatoes from one tomato plant. When they tell you things like that, they often have a method to get more tomatoes. Another article I read said you could get 10 to 20 tomatoes per plant. So we're talking about a ten times difference between these two articles.From a large tomato plant, depending on the growth and the way the tomatoes form on the plant, you could get up to 20 or 30 large tomatoes off of a really strong healthy indeterminate tomato plant when growing the larger varieties. For smaller tomato varieties, you could definitely get several hundred cherry tomatoes off of one vine in a given season.
Tips for Tons of Tomatoes
So, how can you get more tomatoes from the plants that you're growing?
- Raised beds + Great Soil The first thing you want to do is have a really healthy setup for your plants. So growing them in raised beds is going to make a huge difference because you're going to get to have them be in the healthiest situation possible and they're going to have room for the roots to grow down. A general thing to understand about your plants is however much growth you see above the ground, that kind of growth is happening below the ground as well. So when you have a plant that needs a ton of space above the dirt, then that means it needs a lot of space below the dirt, too. That's why we use raised beds with tomato plants because they have such large root systems and they love to spread out and grow underneath as well. So, the first tip to get more tomatoes from your plant is to grow them in raised beds with great soil.
- Feed Them Often The second thing that I recommend doing for your tomato plants is feeding them. Most Nightshade plants, including tomatoes, are known as heavy feeders, which means the plants take up a lot of nutrients often. I learned from another gardener that every time your plant is doing something new, you should feed it. “Doing something new” would be things like: starting to flower, starting to fruit, or growing new vines. So each time I see my tomato plant “doing something new,” then it's time for me to come in and give it a little bit of extra food. So you can do that based on what's growing on your plant at that moment. If it's fruiting or flowering, you want to be giving it a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to make these fruit form even better and faster. You could also add more compost to the base of the plant.
- Prune The third thing to do to get more tomatoes from your plants is to prune. So pruning, I like to say, is a way of talking to your plants. It's a way to tell your plants, “I want less of this and more of that, please.” So, when you prune your plants, especially when you're pruning non-fruiting branches, you tell your plants, “Hey, I don't want any more non-fruiting branches, I want fruit.” Oftentimes, your plants will really listen. I try to prune once a week during the growing period of my tomato plants.