Five Important Tomato Growing Tips

There's a lot of information on However, the following tomato growing tips are the top five most important. You could even call these the "secret" of growing tomatoes:

Tomato Growing Tip #1: Choose the right tomato varieties for your region.

  • Match the fruit time-to-maturity to your area. For example, if you live in a cooler region with a short growing season, choose an early tomato variety that bears fruit in forty-five to sixty-five days.
  • Seek out All-America award winning varieties. These will be identified in seed catalogs and are proven field-tested winners throughout the country.
  • Ask local nurseries for their recommendations.
  • Grow tomatoes from seed for the widest choice of varieties.

Tomato Growing Tip #2: Choose only strong tomato seedlings.

  • For best selection, buy the seedlings as soon as you see them. Keep them in pots, in full sun, until the danger of frost is past.
  • If you can see roots at the bottom hole in the pot, they are becoming root bound. Avoid or transplant to a bigger pot.
  • If you're buying plants, skip those with flowers and look instead for those with the sturdiest stems.
  • Never buy small young plants already setting fruit, because these are under stress and will have reduced growth and yield.
  • Don't buy leggy plants.
  • Avoid plants with any yellowing leaves; all leaves should be a deep green color.

Tomato Growing Tip #3: Water your tomatoes regularly before the leaves appear wilted.

  • Watering tomatoes is the most important element in growing tomatoes
  • Tomatoes are 90 to 95 percent water and need about 1-inch of water per week. More for sandy soil.
  • Maintain even soil moisture.
  • Don't let the soil completely dry out.
  • Soak the soil when watering down to 6 inches.
  • Water the base, not the leaves.
  • Never over-water, which can happen if your site has poor drainage.
  • The best control for cracking is a constant and regular water supply.

Tomato Growing Tip #4: Choose a planting location with good sun exposure.

  • You'll have much higher fruit yields in a sunny spot.
  • For best results you should have 8 hours of sunlight per day. Don't fret if your site receives less than 8 hours of sun, you can grow tomatoes with only 3 hours, but you'll have a much smaller yield and the fruit will take longer to mature.
  • Increased sunlight leads to less disease, less insect problems, and higher vitamin C content.

Tomato Growing Tip #5: Spread 3- to 4-inches of organic mulch around your tomato plants after the weather warms.

  • Good mulches include dry grass clippings, straw, chopped leaves, wood chips, etc.
  • Dry grass clippings were the top-rated mulch in a North Dakota State Univ. comparison study.
  • Mulching
    • Suppresses weeds
    • Helps retain soil moisture
    • Reduces soil temperature
    • Adds nutrients to the soil
    • Controls soil erosion

Growing tomatoes successfully isn't too difficult, but if you follow these five basic gardening tips for growing tomatoes, I think you'll greatly increase your success rate. Good luck!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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For More Gardening Tips I Recommend These Websites

If you're growing more than tomatoes (and what gardener isn't) there's tons of great general gardening information available online.

You should check out for tips on growing a successful vegetable garden -- for beginner gardening and seasoned gardeners alike.  In my opinion these informative vegetable gardening tips will particularly help the first time gardener grow a healthy crop of tasty vegetables.


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