The Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

If you’re anything like me, tomatoes are the first thing that comes to mind when you plan to have a summer garden. Of course, there are tons of varieties of veggies, fruits, herbs and edible flowers that might adorn your backyard garden throughout the year. However, most American gardeners put growing tomatoes at the very top of their gardening must-do lists thanks to the incomparable flavors of this delicious fruit and the piles of fruit that a tomato plant can produce in a relatively short period of time. In fact, just a handful of healthy tomatoes can produce a bounty of showy, delicious fruits within six to nine weeks.

Since these plants are easy-to-grow crops, you can grow them in the ground, in containers or even enjoy tomatoes grown in a hanging basket.

The essential ingredients for growing tomatoes are plenty of sun and sufficient regular watering. Since tomatoes are heat-loving plants, the best time to plant them is when daytime temperatures are consistently above 65 °F (18 °C). Tomatoes will not grow in temperature below 50 °F (10 °C).

Generally, tomato plants are fairly fuss-free that they don’t require any special conditions to sprout and grow. But once they start producing more foliage, they require a lot of nutrients to perform their best. Which is why they are called heavy feeders in the gardening parlance. That said, before you even think about growing your own tomato garden, you should think about “growing” your garden soil first. For the best flavor, provide fertile, organically enriched soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Both clay soil and sandy soil can become tomato-friendly soil by adding organic matter such as compost into the soil 2-3 weeks before planting.

Although growing tomatoes isn’t hard, producing perfectly juicy, tender-fleshed fruit from a vine in the soil to an accompaniment on your dinner plate takes a little practice and a lot of knowledge. But, as most consumers know, reaping the reward of an amazing abundance of homegrown tomatoes is worth the effort, take a bite out of a delicious, fresh tomato and compare it to the bagged produce from the grocery store, and you too will want to learn.

In this resources guide, you will find a ton of articles with tomato growing information and tips, everything from choosing tomato varieties to the best way to plant tomatoes. If you’re strapped for time you can bookmark this page to read the routines later.

Let’s get started….

The Basics

tomatoes

This basics section is as good a place to start as any. This section includes resources that detail the history of tomato, teach you how to choose the variety that’s best for your garden and much more.

From Poison to Passion: The Secret History of the Tomato – Americans may be in love with tomatoes today, but history shows us that the relationship got off to a rocky start. Click the link to learn more.

Tomato Selector Guide –  With such a huge range of tomato varieties available, from tiny cherry tomatoes to big beefsteak tomatoes they are ideal for gardens of any size, including window boxes, patios, balconies. Take a look at Thompson & Morgan’s tomato selector guide to help you decide which tomato varieties to grow.

The Easiest Tomatoes to Grow – With more than 700 different varieties in cultivation today, it can be difficult to choose the varieties best suited to your intended use and method of culture. This article provides some easy-to-grow tomatoes to make tomatoes gardening easier.

What is an heirloom tomato? – “Heirloom” is a popular buzzword in the gardening community these days. If you’re also wondering “what is an heirloom tomato?” or “what did the term “Heirlooms” plants begin?”, check the link to find your best answers.

Where to grow tomato Plants

How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots – Growing tomatoes in a post is a great way to enjoy your favorite crops in areas with limited space. As with many of life’s accomplishments, growing tomatoes in pots successfully has a lot to do with preparation and making great choices ahead of time. In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to grow tomatoes in pots.

10 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots – To successfully grow tomatoes in pots, you need to match the eventual size of your tomato plants to the overall size of your container and provide the proper care. Follow this article for more tips on growing tomatoes in pots. Just a little bit of useful information before your slip on the garden gloves that help you get started well.

How to Grow Tomatoes in a Growing Bag – Click the link to find out how to grow tomatoes in a growing bag or multipurpose compost.

Growing Tomatoes Indoors – Learning to grow tomatoes indoor can take a lot of time, patience, skills, and experience but it can be rewarding as you can produce fresh, flavorful tomatoes throughout the winter months. Learn, adapt and master some techniques you can grow the most delicious, juicy all year long.

Caring for Tomatoes

Caring for Tomatoes

Caring for Tomatoes (Video) – In this video guide, Alan Titchmarsh will show you how to support and tie cordon tomatoes in, how and why to remove side shoots. He also gives some useful tips on correct feeding and watering to encourage successful and abundant fruiting.

Caring for tomatoes after transplanting – Follow these easy guideline on caring for tomatoes to help your transplanted tomatoes reach their greatest performance.

Watering Tomatoes: When & How – 5 Pro Tips – How often you water your tomato plants is a major concern most people face, especially the first time around. If you’re one of them, then this article is for you. Inside, you will learn how often you water tomatoes, some facts about Tomato growth and 5 tips on watering tomatoes.

Pruning Tomatoes – Backyard Abundance (PDF) – Pruning can help improve hervestable yields and prolong the harvest season. Additionally, keeping tomato plants off the ground reduces some fungal diseases like Septoria leaf spot, anthracnose or early blight and improves fruit quality. So, it’s important to learn how to prune your tomato plants properly. Check the detailed guide for more information on pruning tomatoes.

Common Problems

While tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetable plants in summer, they’re also one of the most problematic. Here’re some good resources to learn how to identify problems and treat them before things get out of hand.

A Guide to the Identification of Common Problems | Aggie Horticulture – Monitor your tomato plants daily. Check stems, leaves, and fruit for some symptoms that come from nasty critters on the prowl. Check this article for more in-depth information.

Recognizing Tomato Problems – Here’s an overview of the most common tomatoes problems. Choose the best treatment prescribed for each one.

Insect Pests of Tomato – The key to any successful pest management program is to develop a regular scouting plan to identify pests as they begin their dirty work and to determine if insecticide applications are needed. In this guide, you will learn more about insect pest identification and management.

Pests and diseases of tomatoes – This is a detailed list of the main pests and diseases of tomatoes. Find out more about each problem and how to control it when you click on its link on the page.

Tomatoes Pest Management Guidelines – University of California’s official guidelines for pest monitoring techniques for managing tomatoes pests.

Growing Tomatoes Tips and Tricks

Tips on growing tomatoes (PDF) | San Diego Master Gardeners – A fantastic tomato harvest starts with proper planting and care. And with a little knowledge anyone can produce a bountiful crop. Inside, you will learn a lot of great tips from choosing tomato variety to preparing the soil, caring for tomatoes.

Five Tomato Growing Tricks – Check out five tomato growing tricks to learn how to boost your yields and make the most your veggie plot this year.

Top 10 Tomato Growing Tips – A fantastic tomato harvest starts with proper planting and care. Follow the link for more tomato growing and caring tips to improve your chances of a perfect crop.

Additional Resources For Growing Tomatoes

Growing Vegetables: Tomatoes (PDF) | UNH Cooperative Extension

Tomato – Vegetable Directory – Watch Your Garden Grow | University of Illinois Extension

Grow your own tomatoes | Royal Horticultural Society

Tomatoes | Gardening Solutions – The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

How to Grow Tomatoes in Garden | The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden | The State University of New Jersey

Tomato : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina

Growing Home Garden Tomatoes | University of Missouri Extension

Tomatoes (PDF) | UC Davis

Tomatoes – Growing Guide | The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS)