3 Tips to Get the Highest Yielding Tomatoes

by on August 3, 2012



A good layer of mulch under and around your tomato plants will go a long way toward increasing your tomato yield. Apply your mulch 2-3” deep and you will not only help the ground to retain water, you will also avoid diseases that can be caused when heavy rains splash fungus onto the leaves from the soil below.

The Pot Method

This method was created by Dr. Sam Contner at Texas A&M. Before you plant tomatoes, soak your transplants for one hour in a solution of water-soluble fertilizer mixed to half strength. Plant tomatoes as usual, setting them 3 feet apart, adding a cup of the solution into each hole.

In between each plant, bury a 1 gallon nursery pot (it will have several holes in the bottom) up to the rim. As the tomatoes begin to bloom and set, add a tablespoon of high nitrogen fertilizer to each pot and fill with water. Allow it to drain and then fill it again.

Repeat this process every 10 days during the growing season to add nutrients directly to the root zone of the plants when they need it most.


This is the most controversial gardening topic I have ever written about. I mentioned it in my 5 Most Bizarre Tricks post back in June and have talked about it at speaking engagements for years, but people always have something to say about using human urine as a tomato fertilizer.  Whatever you say, there is scientific research and data that verifies the validity of the claim. I talk about it because I have used this method for years and it works.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Pitcher August 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Do you have any tips on pruning tomatoes. The photo you have attached to this post shows quite bushy plants, and I’ve always been taught to cut off ‘suckers’ that won’t bear fruit anyways. Any tips on that?


Carol August 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Hi Ken. There are many many opinions in the world regarding pruning tomatoes. I personally do not prune any suckers. Once the tomato plant starts growing very large, you’ll notice odd looking leaves or stems that begin to turn yellow or brown. This is point in which I prune. I remove any part of the tomato plant that looks weak. My philosophy is to let the tomato plant decide which stems will flower and fruit and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll see. So far, this method has worked for me. But I’m always open to new ideas. Let me know what you do and how it goes. Thanks for writing!


Cathy Smith February 18, 2013 at 8:39 AM

We too have used human urine as a nitrogen booster as well as a pest repellent around the garden. Agree, don’t bother to prune tomatoes, do remove weakened areas. If the plants have plenty of blossom but won’t set fruit, we spray with epsom salts water (1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water, mix well) also works well with green peppers.


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