How Do You Plant Tomatoes?

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

Welcome to the wonderful world of growing your own tomatoes! Nothing compares to the satisfaction of biting into a juicy, sun-ripened tomato you've grown yourself. This article will provide you with detailed insights on how to plant tomatoes, making it easier for anyone looking to start their journey in growing these luscious, versatile fruits. Packed with tips and techniques, we'll guide you through from sowing the seeds to harvest time. Whether you've got a sprawling backyard or a compact balcony space, we'll provide you with the knowledge you need to grow the tastiest tomatoes. So, let's embark on this exciting journey to transform your garden with the cheerful charm of tomatoes.

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Cheatsheet: Growing Tomatoes

Variety Selection:

  • Choose disease-resistant varieties 🌱
  • Opt for determinate or indeterminate based on space 🏡
  • Consider heirloom for flavor and nutrition 🍅


  • Prepare well-drained soil with compost 🌱
  • Plant after the frost date in 6-8 hours of sunlight ☀️
  • Space plants 2-3 feet apart with stakes or cages for support 🌱


  • Water deeply, ensuring consistent moisture 💧
  • Feed with balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks 🍽️
  • Prune suckers for better airflow and fruit production ✂️

Pest Control:

  • Keep a vigilant eye on pests like aphids and tomato hornworms 👀
  • Use natural deterrents like neem oil or garlic spray 🌿
  • Attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings 🐞


  • Pick tomatoes when fully ripe, avoiding overripe or green ones 🍅
  • Store at room temperature for best flavor and texture 🌡️
  • Preserve excess tomatoes through canning or freezing 🥫

Fun Facts:

  • Tomatoes are 95% water and low in calories but high in vitamin C! 💦
  • The world record for the heaviest tomato is 8.61 lbs! 🏆
  • Homegrown tomatoes taste 26% sweeter than store-bought! 🌱🍅

Intro To Growing Tomatoes

Let's do this! Growing tomatoes is a lot of fun. Plus, they are tasty and healthy!


There are also lots of varieties to choose from, offering fruits of various sizes, shapes, flavours and textures. The two different types of tomatoes are treated differently, so decide if you want a determinate or an indeterminate variety! Cordon (or indeterminate) tomatoes grow tall, up to 1.8m (6ft), and require tall supports. They are great for growing in a greenhouse, but will also do well in a sunny spot outdoors, either in the ground or in large pots against a south-facing wall. Bush tomatoes (determinate) ones may need support, depending on how large they grow and whether the stems are strong enough to carry their crop of fruit. They are useful when space is limited, as plants grow vertically, tall and narrow, and produce a heavy crop. they require regular maintenance watering, feeding, tying to supports and pinching out side-shoots. bush (or determinate) tomatoes are shorter and wider, great for smaller gardens, pots and growing bags. so, got your seeds?


use rich soil with plenty of compost mixed in before planting. use garden compost or well-rotted manure, but leave a gap around the base of the stem, to prevent rotting. tomatoes ideally wants sandy loam or clay loam to grow in. sandy loam simply means soil consisting of less than 7 percent clay, less than 50 percent silt, and between 43 and 50 percent sand.


to boost fruiting, especially with plants in containers, feed every 10-14 days with a high potassium liquid fertiliser once the first fruits start to swell.


you are obviously also going to need seeds!


this plant needs full sun.


tomatoes are easy to grow from seed sown indoors in warm conditions. sow from early spring if they'll be outside, or even earlier if in a greenhouse. fill a small pot with seed compost, water well, then sow three or four seeds on the surface. cover with some vermiculite and try to keep them at around 18 c (64 f). ideally, you'd have a heated propagator, but you can also cover them with a clear plastic bag and place on a warm windowsill.


Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Tomatoes

1. When should I plant tomato seeds?

The ideal time to plant tomato seeds is during the early spring when the soil has warmed up and there is no longer a risk of frost.

2. How far apart should I space tomato plants?

Tomato plants should be spaced around 2 to 3 feet apart to allow for proper air circulation and growth.

3. What is the best location to plant tomatoes?

Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil to provide tomatoes with at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

4. How often should I water tomato plants?

Water tomato plants regularly and deeply, aiming to provide around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Adjust the frequency depending on weather and soil moisture.

5. Do tomato plants require any fertilization?

Yes, tomato plants benefit from regular fertilization. Begin with a balanced fertilizer when planting and then feed every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season.

6. Should tomato plants be pruned?

Pruning tomato plants helps improve air circulation and reduce disease risk. Remove the suckers or lateral branches as they form, and consider removing lower foliage as the plant grows taller.

7. How can I protect tomato plants from pests and diseases?

Regularly inspect your tomato plants for any signs of pests or diseases. Use organic or chemical controls as needed, and consider using mulch and row covers for additional protection.

8. How long does it take for tomatoes to ripen?

The time it takes for tomatoes to ripen varies depending on the variety, but generally, it takes 60 to 80 days from transplanting for tomatoes to reach maturity.

9. How do I know when tomatoes are ready to harvest?

Tomatoes are ready to harvest when they have developed their full color and feel slightly soft when gently squeezed. Additionally, they should easily detach from the vine with a gentle twist.

10. Can I grow tomatoes in containers?

Absolutely! Tomatoes can be successfully grown in containers. Choose a large container with good drainage and use a high-quality potting mix. Regular watering and fertilizing are crucial for container-grown tomatoes.

For tomato gardeners at any experience level, planting tomatoes is an enjoyable experience full of opportunities to learn and grow. the simple steps of selecting the right type of tomato for the environment, proper soil preparation, and following instructions for depth and spacing may seem daunting at first, but once you witness the future rewards of your labor, you'll be eager to hop back to the garden for more.

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