One might think a “How to Grow Tomato Plants” page is a little silly…after all, how difficult can it be?
The truth is, it isn’t difficult if there weren’t outside factors that affected how your tomato plant can grow. In other words, if squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks didn’t exist and if the weather was always perfect, growing tomatoes would be a piece of cake, however that isn’t always the case!
The nice thing about tomato plants is that with enough patience, water and sunlight, you will be well rewarded with hearty fruit in a couple of months!
If you have how to grow tomato plants tips, please share them.
Step 1 – How To Grow Tomato Plants
Buy a tomato plant from your local nursery or hardware store. You can also buy tomato plants online or you can buy seeds online. You’ll want to decide whether or not to grow Heirloom Tomatoes (which have a wonderful flavor, but are also very tasty) or the more successful first time varieties, such as:
- Better Boy
- Big Boy
- Cherry Tomato Variety
- Early Girl
- Grape Tomato Variety
- Lemon Boy
Usually, you’ll want to grow at least two plants per person in your household. If you’re the salsa making kind, then you’ll want about four plants per person. Plants usually cost about $4.00. Sometimes nurseries or hardware stores will have different sized tomato plants, charging more, of course, for the larger plants. Usually, you can get a smaller plant and will have the same outcome.
If you’re looking to grow tomatoes from seed or in a green house, be sure to check out these articles:
Step 2 – How To Grow Tomato Plants:
Find a sunny spot in your yard. You’ll need a spot that gets sunlight for 7-8 hours a day. The warm sunlight helps with the flavor of the tomato and of course, helps the plant itself grow faster.
Step 3 – How To Grow Tomato Plants:
If you didn’t add compost to your garden in the fall, you’ll want to add it now. You’ll need 5 to 8 pounds per square foot/25 to 40 kilograms per square meter. Tomatoes thrive in rich organic matter.
Step 4 – How To Grow Tomato Plants:
Dig holes for your plant and make them deep. You’ll want to bury about 75% of the plant because it needs to establish a firm root system. Those tomatoes are heavy when they are finally on the plant and will need a support structure. Space your plants 2 to 3 feet apart. Upon planting, give each plant about 1 gallon of water to help it in the transition period, then in the next 7-10 days give each plant about 16 oz of water/day.
Step 5 – How To Grow Tomato Plants:
Pine needles and mulch should be laid down around each plant about 2 weeks after initial growth. Pine needles have a lot of acidity, which tomatoes thrive on, so pine needles are best.
Step 6 – How To Grow Tomato Plants:
Be sure to stay on top of the watering. Since tomatoes sit in direct sunlight for 7-8 hours/day, they need extra water. You’ll want to make sure the soil around the tomato is always moist.
Cage time! Put a cage around your tomato plant about two weeks after planting. You can buy cages at your local hardware store or nursery.
Fertilizer – if you are using the chemical variety, cut the recommended dose in half. Otherwise, tomatoes thrive on organic matter, so they say, “Keep it comin’!”
Once the little yellow flowers appear, you’ll want to shake your tomato plants 1-2 times a week, as shaking helps to evenly distribute the pollen and increases fruit production.
Fruit comes in about 2 to 3 months after planting the plants. Most of the little yellow flowers turn into little green tomatoes that grow into the red variety. When the tomato becomes the right size and color, it is time to pick. If you are having problems with rodents eating your fruit before it is time for you to harvest, you can always pick the tomatoes early and set them in a sunny window sill. They will ripen in the window sill and be protected from rodents that way!
Learn more about How To Grow Tomato Plants.
Limited Ground Space?
If you have limited ground space or have a bad rodent problem (for example, they gnaw off your plant’s stem from the base of the plant—killing everything), you might want to try growing the plant upside down from a hanger. Please see photos of a Topsy Turvy upside down tomato planter, below.
June 2009, Plants are Growing!