How To Grow Great Tomato Plants
Purchase healthy, stocky plants that have no flowers, fruits or buds
Choose a sunny location, rotate planting beds every year
Plant in an area where you may have grown peas or beans the previous year
Add compost to the soil and make sure the soil isn’t compacted.
Choose an early variety that can be planted in early spring. I like to plant my main crop in April and then another couple of plants in July for fall harvest. Check Sunset Gardening Guide for the best time in your area to plant.
Depending on how you’re going to stake or cage tomatoes, have all the equipment ready for planting day, stake the plants at the same time you transplant.
When planting remove lower leaves and plant the tomato deep, so that only about 3” are above ground. Tomato plants have the ability to grow roots from the buried stem. Water well after planting. Water well and deep but infrequently, keep your watering consistent, tomatoes need about 1” water a week.
Don’t over fertilize your tomato plants. Use a high phosphorus content fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Organic Tomato/Vegetable Fertilizer, 5-7-3. A high nitrogen content will give you lots of green leaves but little fruit.
Pinch branches out
I always pinch out side shoots in the beginning to help the plant grow tall rather than gangly.
Mulch and Companion Planting
Tomatoes love carrots; basil and marigolds so plant them in the same bed and mulch the rest of the soil to keep the moisture in.