Tomato Planting Guide

Tomato Planting Guideimage preview

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.

Check out all our Planting Guides here!

How To Grow 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

Tomato Recipes

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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1 month ago

As a farmer it would benifit lot and also please send the new technique of tomato plantation

Grandma B
Grandma B
7 months ago

When is the best planting dates for June 2020 for tomatos ?

Lori savoy
Lori savoy
9 months ago

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

10 months ago

Best planting days

Susan Higgins
Susan Higgins
10 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

Hi Barbara, at the end of the article, we shared the Gardening by the Moon calendar, which lists best days to plant.