10 Tips for Growing Tomatoes

Amy Stafford
by Amy Stafford
Who doesn’t want a fresh summer tomato straight from the garden, is there anything better? I think not, I have supplied an easy graphic for you on 10 tips for growing tomatoes that you can keep handy so you are guaranteed those delicious summer tomatoes all season long.
Top 10 tips to grow tomatoes:


#1 Plant where they will get at least 10 hours of direct sunlight.


#2 Leave enough space between each plant to allow for air to circulate.


#3 Soak you tomatoes at their base once a week, more during the hottest days of summer. Do not spray the plant, water directly on the soil at the base of plant.
#4 Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches


#5 Once your tomato plants reach about 3 ft. tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 ft. of stem.


#6 Use sturdy cages or stakes and secure the stem to the pole with loose cloth or wire every 8 inches or so.


#7 Once your tomatoes start to ripen, add a bit of compost around the base of the plant and scratch it into the soil.
#8 Pinching off the tips of the main stems of intermediate varieties in early summer will encourage them to start putting their energy into flowering.


#9 Check plants regularly for tomato hornworms (large, green-and-white-striped caterpillars) and pick them off and destroy them when you see them.


#10 Pick your tomatoes when they are fully sized and ripe, but still firm.


Determinate tomato plants: all fruits ripen around the same time and plants are fairly compact in size


Indeterminate tomato plants: produce tomatoes over a long period and shoot out many stems


Amy Stafford
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  • Julie Dever Julie Dever on Jul 28, 2014
    Add pulverized egg shells to the planting hole, to prevent the dreaded blossom end rot...I bake them for 30 minutes on 125* before grinding in a coffee grinder. Removing any yellow or spotted branch to the trash helps stop spread of diseases. Wilts and leaf spot problems are almost inevitable, and heat in the 90's and up slows down everything. Alas, we love our "maters" and put up with all the inconveniences of growing them to EAT.

    • Judy Judy on Jul 29, 2014
      @Julie Dever I read the other day on a college ag site that eggshells have to be composted to release calcium into the soil, which is what prevents blossom end rot. They suggested ground limestone, which is calcium carbonate. Useful info I thought.

  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Jul 28, 2014
    I am always so puzzled about not spraying the tomato plant....it rains on them! I've followed all the great tips and my plants are huge but not producing much. I have pruned back and then the leaves wither. Any ideas?

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