Growing Tomatoes

Category Growing Food
Tomatoes are a very rewarding addition to any garden. They are relatively easy to grow and you won't have any trouble finding ways to use them at the dinner table. This is a page about growing tomatoes.
Advertisement

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

Botanical Name:

Lycopersicon esculentum

Description:

Tomatoes are members of the nightshade family. Originally from South and Central America, today the tomato is grown worldwide for its brightly colored, edible fruits. Red tomatoes contain the pigment lycopene, a well-known antioxidant thought to help prevent some cancers.

Planting Time:

Sow seeds outdoors when air and soil temperatures reach 60F. Set transplants out when nighttime temperatures stay above 50F. Sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting.

Exposure:

full sun

Soil:

loose, well-drained, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.8.

Planting:

Plant seedlings in large holes supplemented with kelp and bone meal to provide plants with the extra potassium and phosphorus they need. Allow at least 2 to 3 feet between staked plants in rows spaced 3 feet apart. Sow seeds directly 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart.To plant tomatoes in trenches, strip all but the top sets of leaves from plants and place them on their sides in a 2 to 3 inch trench. Firm the soil around the plants and as they grow, the plants will turn upward while the buried stems produce roots. Use this method if transplants are tall and leggy at planting time.
Advertisement

Containers:

Tomatoes are also well suited to growing in containers. Look for cultivars that are specifically bred to be patio' plants.

Watering:

Keep soil evenly moist (not wet). Water from the ground and early in the day to help prevent disease. Keep plants watered well during dry periods.

Maintenance:

Support plants with stakes or cages if necessary. Snap off any suckers (off-shoots) that appear between the main stem and the stems of the leaves to focus the plant's energy on producing fruit. If your soil is poor in nutrients, feed plants a solution containing fish emulsion once per week until the plants flower. If plants are growing vigorously with dark green leaves, they do not need nitrogen. Too much will increase leaf production and decrease fruit production. On the other hand, yellowing leaves may indicate a need to add nitrogen. Areas with extremely warm summer temperatures may need to protect fruit from sun scald and prevent blossom drop.
Advertisement

Harvesting & Storage:

Tomatoes are ready to harvest when they have developed their full, mature color. Harvest them ripe or while still slightly green and let them ripen at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Cold causes flavor loss so do not refrigerate them. Harvest all remaining tomatoes before the first hard frost. Freeze extras, or if still green, store them in a box filled with newspaper in a dark room (at 55 to 60F) and they will continue to ripen over several weeks.

Diseases and Pests:

Unfortunately, tomatoes are susceptible to damage from a wide variety of insects and diseases. Purchase seeds or plants that are resistant to common tomato diseases and don't plant in areas that have had tomato troubles in the past. Keep soil moisture consistent to help prevent fruit from cracking and water plants early in the day (from the ground) so leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Check for worms and caterpillars that can be picked off by hand and for signs of aphid infestations that can be sprayed off with a hose.
Advertisement

Tips to Success:

Tomatoes cultivars are either determinate (grow to a specific height, flower and produce in short time) or indeterminate (grow, flower and fruit over a long period of time). Determinant tomatoes are good for large crops used for canning. Indeterminate varieties are best if you want to pick tomatoes to eat fresh.

Many of today's tomatoes are hybrids and won't breed true if seeds are saved and planted the following season. If growing plants with the intention of saving seed, choose heirloom varieties for offspring that reproduce true to their mother plant. Mixing some lime into the soil adds calcium that will help balance soil minerals, helping prevent some types of fruit deformities as well as blossom end rot.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
Read More Comments

Tomato growing secrets submitted from the ThriftyFun community. The number 1 secret for growing great tomatoes is water control.

Advertisement

A tomato is 90% water. It needs a constant supply of water measured out on a consistent basis.

Photo of three tomatoes.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

If you live in an apartment with only a small balcony, have super-rocky soil, or are just down-right lazy like me, you can grow tomatoes, flowers and other plants in the same bag the potting soil comes in!

Comment Was this helpful? 5
Read More...

I stirred in a slow release organic veggie fertilizer, crushed egg shells (and/or oyster shells), along with peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and a bit of potting soil. The shells will slowly release calcium which prevents blossom end rot.

tomato plant on its side 2

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
Read More...

Locals in my area recommend planting tomatoes on their sides rather than vertically for better developed roots systems and healthier, stronger plants. I dug individual trenches for each plant, added fertilizer, compost and a few tablespoons of sugar.

Comment Was this helpful? 7
Read More...

Instead of spending $12 on a roll of red plastic to put around our tomato plants (to speed up growth) we purchased 2 red plastic tablecloths from a Dollar Store. They worked great!

Red tablecloths over soil.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2
Read More...

If you like big ripe tomatoes, stick your tomato or tie it to a garden fence to keep it off the ground. Then when it gets growing good, take all the small branches off, leaving the 4 biggest branches.

Advertisement

When more suckers start to grow, pinch them off of the plant.

Comment Was this helpful? 6
Read More...

Powdered milk can also be a fertilizer for your tomato plants. When you're ready to put your tomato plants in the ground, put a handful of powdered milk in the bottom of each hole first.

Comment Was this helpful? 5

Place about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt around your tomato plants! Your plants will be full of tomatoes.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

April 7, 2005

Cover your tomato plants with newspaper in the fall and they will survive the frosty nights. You will be able to pick tomatoes until December!

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

If your tomatoes grow up and over the tomato cage, sometimes the stem can get so heavy that it cuts the vine where it hits the top of the cage. A good solution to that is to cut lengths of pipe insulation to go around it.

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

When planting tomatoes add some dry milk into the planting hole to add calcium and prevent blossom end rot.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

Tomatoes are touchy about getting too much rain or water overhead. First of all, plant the tomatoes as deeply as you can but not with the leaves touching the ground.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

April 26, 2005

Before transplanting your tomato plant seedlings outside, make your planting hole a bit deeper than usual, and drop 2 teaspoons of epsom salts in each planting hole. Sprinkle some dirt in the hole, and then add your seedling.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

My tomato plants are not flowering much. What am I doing wrong? I usually have no problem. I planted Big Boy using Osmocote and water as needed plenty of sun. Help?

Answers

July 23, 20170 found this helpful

Make sure you fertilize each week. You may have to hand pollinate if you don't have a lot of bees

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

August 19, 2005

Tips for planting and growing tomatoes. Post your ideas.

Answers

July 7, 20050 found this helpful

When planting tomatoes, save rainwater in a bucket until time to plant them. Before you plant them, pour the rainwater in the hole. This way, the plants get the water they need without the chlorine of tap water which often dries the tomato plant out. Do not start watering the plants with tap water the rain will be enough, because if you start watering a tomato plant you have to do it every day.

By Michelle

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 7, 20050 found this helpful

I think this tip may work in areas with lots of rain, but in the arid west, if you don't water your tomatoes, they will die.

Tomatoes only need to be watered once or twice a week, regardless of how you water them. If they are watered too much, you'll get lots of leaves and not many tomatoes.

I've never found that tap water dries out my plants. I'm not sure of your basis for suggesting that it does.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By sandy (Guest Post)
July 8, 20050 found this helpful

i have my tomatos on my porch in a planter. i need to water it most every day because it dries out. i have never heard of not watering and not using tap water just sounds not usable for most folks.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

I am just wondering who had good luck with certain kinds of tomato plants? I tried a few new varieties last year, but was not impressed. I did best with Early Girl and Celebrity. I also like the Husky Cherry reds.

Read More Answers
Load More
Advertisement

Categories
Home and Garden Gardening Growing Growing FoodJuly 19, 2011
Pages
More
🌻
Gardening
📓
Back to School Ideas!
😷
Coronavirus Tips
🐛
Pest Control
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-08-17 12:13:15 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
https://www.thriftyfun.com/tf21927316.tip.html

Add to PageAsk a Question