Growing Tomatoes

Our Gardener's Top 10 Tomato Growing Tips ...

... When growing tomatoes he says these ten tomato growing tips cover all the bases.

Although he also says the growing tomatoes are the best gardening instructors there are.

Lessons taught by the Noble Tomato can be very humbling !

How to Grow Tomatoes

  1.     Where to grow tomatoes ? ...  Most important.

    The best location for planting tomatoes is the sunniest spot in the backyard garden.

   Where the Garden soil that has been built with lots of organic compost ...

   ... and is well drained ...

   ... raised garden beds work well for growing tomatoes.

The tomato plants in our backyard garden grow against a south facing wall and fence.

Lots of sunshine ...

... Perfect garden soil in the raised garden bed ...

The existing garden structures provide shelter for the growing tomatoes and ...

... Support for the tomato plants too.

  • When to plant tomatoes ? ... Gardening Zones dictate when to plant tomatoes outdoors.

Tomato plants and seedlings are delicate so ...

... Planting tomatoes outdoors happens after the last expected frost.

Starting tomato seeds indoors mid march through April ...

... The timing depends on the date set for moving the tomato transplans outdoors.

The package of tomato seeds will give ... Matures in how many days information ... A good timing guideline.


When started tomato plants from the local gardening supply shop or garden nursery are available ...

... this may indicate the time to plant outdoors ...

... If in doubt ask ! ... These folks know the timing for their locale.

Growing Tomatoes ... What to Plant ?

  •    How to choose tomato types and varieties of tomatoes ?

The best type and variety of tomato is the one that suits the gardener's taste buds best.

Growing time and garden space available for growing tomatoes is also a deciding factor.

There are two Tomato Types

Determinate Tomatoes are smaller compact bush tomatoes.

... Ready for harvest in a short two week period

... Bush tomatoes do not need support

... Small size makes them great for small space gardens and growing tomatoes in containers.

... Patio tomatoes, tumblers and cherry tomatoes can be grown in hanging baskets.

Indeterminate Tomato plants are Vine Tomatoes.

...These guys need more garden space the taller they grow

... Garden structures are used give support ...

        ... staking, tomato cages or a garden trellis work well.

... Tomato plants that vine need to be pruned.

... Vining tomato plants flower and set their fruit until the first frost.. a steady supply .

The abundant varieties of tomatoes available include ...

... Heirloom tomato plants as well as hybrids ....  of both tomato types.

First effort to start a vegetable garden ?

Experiment !  Choose a variety, see what tastes best and grows well !

  •      How to plant tomatoes ?

  Be sure to harden off the tomato plans before planting them outdoors ...

... Hardening off ... is to slowly acclimatize the tomato plant to outdoor conditions ...

Planting tomatoes outdoors in the garden soil as seedlings or transplants has a little twist to it !

  Our gardener learned how to plant tomatoes this way from an old tomato growing gardener years ago.

  ... Gently remove the seedling from the starter pot

  ... Give the root ball a little squeeze  ..  just enough to loosen the roots a little bit

  ... Dig a trench longer than the tomato plants are high

  ... Lay the tomato plant in the trench on is's side

  ... Cover the stalk past the first two leaves

  ... Carefully bend the top of the plant so the rest of the leaves reach upward.

  ... Cover all the root ball and around the stem with garden soil and pack slightly to support the tomato plant

  •    Staking tomato plants ... When is it necessary? ... Or is it ?

... Staking tomatoes are vine tomatoes

... Tomato stakes need to be tall and strong enough to support a fully loaded tomato plant.

...The pole should go into the ground before the tomato plant ... root damage from the stake is avoided

... Tomato cages provide good support to growing tomatoes ... need to be large enough for matuer tomato plants

... Planting time is when tomato cages should be placed over the tomato transplants

    this allows the tomato plant to grow into and fill the wire cage

... A tomato trellis may be a permanent garden structure in that prime tomato growing spot.

Tie the tomato plants to the stake or tomato trellis as the plant grows and needs the support.

  •      Pruning tomato plants ... Is this required ?

Bush Tomatoes need not be pruned.

Vine tomatoes ... some say no pruning is needed ...

       ... Our gardener says tomato plants gone wild is not pretty or manageable !

Vine tomatoes need to be pruned.

...  Suckers are removed from the notch of growing branches.

... The lower non flower producing branches are trimmed away.

... When the tomato plants reach the desired height .. the tops get pruned ... eary August or so.

... Other non flower or fruit bearing branches are removed

      allowing the sun to reach the ... air circulation too.

Pruning Tomatoes ...

... remove the sucker from the notch

  •     Watering tomato Plants

    Watering tomato plants in our garden happens regularly in the evening ... 

... more often during hot dry spells

... Watering tomato plants means only the roots get watered .. he is careful not to water the leaves.

... Growing tomatoes in containers ...  water often

  •     Fertilizing tomatoes ...

... Organic compost is the best tomato fertilizer there is !

... When growing tomatoes in an organic compost rich garden soil

     the tomato plants may not need a mid season fertilizer application.

... Our gardener does apply a side dressing of ocean compost mid July.


... A spot of compost tea occasionally is a treat for the tomato plants.

... Growing tomatoes in containers

   require s a regular treatment of compost tea or a liquid tomato fertilizer.

If amending the garden soil ... be careful ... growing tomatoes dislike excessive nitrogen.

  •    Tomato pests and disease ...

    Garden slugs have been a problem in our garden ...

... These common garden pests are dealt with by

     hand picking them or use an organic slug bait.

    Late blight is a problem or gardener has experienced a number of times.

    Potatoes and Tomatoes share this airborne menace ...

 ... Our gardener keeps these vegetable apart

     although in a small space vegetable garden it is difficult.

... Keep the tomato leaves dry .. do not water the leaves.

... Cover protection from late summer rain and heavy dew also helps.

Once late blight strikes the tomato plants need to be gotten rid of.

We vegetables have seen our gardener pull the plants and put them out with the yard waste.

He is always sad doing this.

  •    Harvesting and storing tomatoes

Picking tomatoes ... Ahh !  this what growing tomatoes is all about .

Bush tomatoes are picked in a two week period ...

... this year ours were ready the second week of July.

Vine tomatoes are pick as they grow !

If the varieties of tomatoes are for canning ...

... plant more of these varieties so one picking provides enough to can.

If signs of the first frost appear ...

... Tomato plants can be pulled from the ground and hung by the root end in a dark cool spot ...

... the tomatoes can be picked from the vine as they ripen.


   Like our gardener does ... all tomatoes are picked and layered between newspaper in vegetable flats ...

... as they ripen they are removed and taken to that place of tomato recipes and cookery.

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