I am a newbie, amateur, fresh-faced tomato grower.
I have three planters that I take out on my deck in the morning, and bring inside my house at night. (I live in the mountains of Colorado, so leaving them outside at night — even in July! — would mean death, dysfunction, or dormancy for them).
Since I’m a newbie at growing tomatoes, I of course googled how to help them grow.
Here’s some of what I learned: If you want to grow tomatoes, grow tomatoes. Not leaves.
Apparently, there’s a bit of an either/or there. If you have a lot of leaves, you’ll get fewer tomatoes. Fewer leaves, more tomatoes. (Obviously, you have to have some leaves!)
It’s a matter of resource allocation. The tomato plant will channel more resources — growth — into the fruit if there are fewer leaves on the plant.
Now, I like the leaves. I like healthy, bushy plants. Even tomato plants! I went to the nursery last weekend and saw some tremendously robust looking, leafy tomato plants. You could have used them as ornamentals if nothing else. They looked great! But I wondered if all that leafiness was gardener eye candy, and if the plants would have produced more tomatoes if the nursery had pruned them down some. Hmm.
So I made a decision: I wanted tomatoes more than anything else in my plants. So I cut back a lot of leaf-only branches. My tomato plants weren’t as nice looking then. A bit sparse. But they recovered and are producing more tomatoes now.
My yellow pear tomato plant had, at last count, 73 tomatoes on it.
In business, we make similar choices. We only have so many resources (especially in this economy). We have to make the resources pay off in concrete ways — to produce tomatoes, so to speak.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Steven R. Covey
What’s the main thing for your business? What are the tomatoes? What are leaves?
p.s. Anybody out there successfully growing tomatoes in planters, at altitude? I’d welcome your advice!