Things You'll Need:

  • Gardening Gloves
  • Hanging Baskets
  • Potting Soil
  • Garden Trowels
  • Garden Hoses
  • Shovels
  • Fertilizer Analyzer
  • Tomato Seeds
  • Eggshells
  • Compost Makers
  • Garden Stakes
  • Tomato Plants
  • Fertilizers
  • Cloches
  1. Step 1

    Buy tomato plants at the nursery for planting after all danger of frost has passed. Otherwise, start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last expected frost.

  2. Step 2

    Choose a site that gets full sun and has soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Tomatoes need plenty of warmth to taste their best, so provide shelter from chilly breezes, whether with a windbreak of trees, a garden wall, or a vine-covered trellis.

  3. Step 3

    Amend the soil with plenty of compost; tomatoes need soil rich in organic matter.

  4. Step 4

    Harden off seedlings, whether store-bought or homegrown, and move them to the garden when nighttime temperatures remain above 50 degrees F.

  5. Step 5

    Dig a hole the size of a basketball for each plant. Add a shovelful of compost and a handful of crushed eggshells (for needed calcium) to each hole.

  6. Step 6

    Set the plants 12 to 18 inches apart depending on variety (see the seed packet or plant label). Plant them deeply - up to the fourth branch from the top - to encourage new root development.

  7. Step 7

    Place a paper collar around each plant to deter cutworms, and cover the plants with cloches or floating row covers to protect them from insects and cool temperatures.

  8. Step 8

    Remove the covers when the weather has warmed, mulch the soil and install any supports the plants will need as they grow.

  9. Step 9

    Make sure plants get between one and two inches of water every week, and to ensure a bumper crop, spray them with compost tea or seaweed extract four times: two weeks after transplanting, after the first flowers appear, when the fruits reach the size of golf balls, and when you spot the first ripe tomato.

  10. Step 10

    Pick tomatoes when their color is glossy and even, and their texture midway between soft and firm.

  11. Growing tomatoes in pots....9-tomato-growing-tips

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