Intro: Get a Bigger, Sweeter, Earlier Crop of Tomatos
This is a simple and cheap way to produce a better harvest of any vine type frut bearing plant.
I use this method for my tomatos but it works equally well on other garden plants as well.
Step 1: Increase Your Sunshine and Get Rid of Pests
First lay down strips of aluminum foil with the shiney side up between your rows of plants and weigh them down (rocks work well) along the edges to reflect sunlight up under the plants and aid in ripening from the bottom to top.
The shine of the foil will also discourage birds from destroying your plants and give an inceased amount of sunshine on overcast days.
Step 2: Sweeten Your Tomatos
Second when tomatos begin to appear and are about 1 inch in diameter lightly sprinkle baking soda around each plant to make them sweeter. Repeat this process again when tomatoes are about half grown.
I used a lot of baking soda in his picture so it would show up but about 1/4 cup per plant is plenty.
Note: I have not used this on other plants and have no idea what effect it would have other than with tomatos.
Step 3: Reap the Early Harvest
If your plants become weighed down pick the larger, green ones and place them in a brown paper grocery or lunch bag and store at room temperature to finish ripening.
It is too early for me to pick my tomatos yet so I had to use red ones for the picture instead of green.
Step 4: UPDATE -
This tomato was grown in my garden using these instructions.
I wear a small glove and this tomato is a handful, about 10 inches around.
Just a little bigger than a baseball.