Strange Things That Will Make Your Tomatoes Grow Big and Tasty

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There is nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown fresh tomato. They are so delicious when you pick them right off the vine. In fact, the flavor is unmatchable. The thick and juicy garden tomato pairs so well with so many dishes, it makes one of the best garden vegetables to grow in your home garden. If you want the biggest and the best tomatoes ever, here are 8 things you can easily add to your tomato planting holes for success.

Baking soda

Using baking soda when growing tomatoes in containers will help you have sweet and delicious tomatoes. Simply sprinkle a little amount of baking soda around the base of the tomato plants. The baking soda is absorbed into the soil and will lower acidity levels making your tomatoes taste sweeter than tart.

Fish heads

Yes, it sounds gross, but it works! Fish heads have been used for hundreds of years as a natural fertilizer for garden plants. As they decay, the heads release nitrogen, potassium, and many other trace elements, including calcium and phosphorus. The only thing you need to watch for is critters digging up your fish heads. Be sure to bury them at least one foot deep. Use the whole head or groundfish scraps, which can be mixed with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk for a superpowered solution.


Eggshells do wonders for boosting the calcium content in soil. This is a good thing because calcium is one of the most important nutrients that plants need for growth. In addition, eggshells can also help to prevent blossom end rot, a condition that tomatoes are susceptible to. Crush up a few eggshells for each plant and put them into your planting hole.


Aspirin can help keep your tomatoes healthy and robust. For best results, grind three aspirin tablets and place them in your tomato planting hole. They will help to ward off diseases, including blight, and help increase yield. The reason why this works so well is because the salicylic acid in aspirin creates a systemically acquired resistance, which protects plants from microbial or insect attack, according to a study published in the Annals of Applied Biology. A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture found that aspirin spray – which you can make at home, effectively reduced blight by 47%.

Coffee grounds

Wait…don’t throw those coffee grounds away. Well-composted grounds can do wonders for tomato plants. Add a few tablespoons of grounds to your planting hole to help improve the richness and composition of the soil. Coffee grounds are also an excellent, slow-release fertilizer for plants and can even be used as mulch. 

Epsom salt

Tomato plants often suffer from magnesium deficiency, and Epsom salt seems to offer a fix for that. Add one to two tablespoons of Epsom salt when transplanting seedlings in the planting hole – this works for container tomatoes as well. Cover with a thin layer of soil before planting so that the roots are not directly touching the Epsom salt. Also, dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salt in one gallon of water. Water container tomatoes with this solution until it drains out of the pot, every 3 to 4 weeks. You can also put this same solution into a spray bottle and spray plants in your garden once a month.

Bone meal

Bone meal provides an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. The combination is important for maintaining a sound root system and the production of healthy tomatoes. For best results, add one full cup of bone meal to each planting hole.

Don’t forget to plant your tomatoes deep, the deeper, the better the root system that will develop. 

-Susan Patterson

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