How to Grow Tomatoes
Tomatoes can be found in nearly every vegetable garden across the country, and with good reason, as little else compares to the flavor of a home-grown tomato. See how easy they are to grow!
Tomatoes can be found in nearly every vegetable garden across the country, and with good reason, as little else compares to the flavor of a home-grown tomato. There is a multitude of varieties, filling out the entire spectrum of color, size, and flavor.
Grow the tomato variety that best matches your cravings!
How To Plant Tomatoes
Start: Start tomatoes indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. Use a quality seed starting mix and grow under grow lights or in a very sunny, warm window. Plant seeds ¼” deep and keep soil moist. Harden off seedlings in a sheltered outdoor place for one week. Transplant after danger of frost. Seedlings should be planted 30-48” apart in rows 3-4’ apart.
Transplant: Plant outdoors when nighttime lows reach 60°F or higher.
Water: Tomatoes require plenty of water, 1-2” per week. Ensure watering is steady as tomatoes can crack and split if they receive a lot of water after a dry stretch.
Light: Full sun.
Soil: Plant in rich organic soil. pH 6.0-6.8
Fertilize: An all-purpose, balanced fertilizer will do well for tomatoes. Use according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you find your tomatoes have very lush, green vegetation but are not setting fruit, switch to a fertilizer with little or no nitrogen.
Harvest: Harvest tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible, fully colored and firm. Make sure to pick regularly to avoid overloading the plant. At the end of the season when a frost is imminent, all remaining tomatoes can be picked and ripened in a paper bag or on a sunny window sill.
Notes: Place stakes or cages at the time of planting to avoid damaging the plants’ roots.
Check Farmers’ Almanac Gardening by the Moon calendar here.
Helpful Tomato Links
- Hybrid vs Heirloom: What’s The Difference?
- 10 Common Tomato Plant Problems and How To Fix Them
- How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors
- Companion Planting: 10 Veggies That Should Grow Together
- Too Many Tomatoes? Preserve Them!
This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!
I planted my tomatoes in containers using Miracle Grow potting soil. They’ve grown healthy leaves and buds that look like the beginning of tomatoes at the tops, but they never flowered. I’ve been told the soil had too much nitrogen and salt. They are a determinate breed. Is it too late to transplant them in better soil now or have I missed the opportunity because they already have “flowerless buds”?
Hi Cindy, this sounds like what they call “blossom drop.” We have some remedies here that will help: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/common-tomato-plant-problems-28544
After the tomatoes are done for the season how can we ammend the soil to grow other vegetables? What other vegetables can we grow in the same soil?
As a farmer it would benifit lot and also please send the new technique of tomato plantation
When is the best planting dates for June 2020 for tomatos ?
Have tomatoes plants in greenhouse under light til it warms up in estacada Oregon but a couple of my plants have white spots on leaves what does this mean bought plants from bi-mart
Best planting days
Hi Barbara, at the end of the article, we shared the Gardening by the Moon calendar, which lists best days to plant.