How Can I Get My Tomato Plants to Produce Fruit?


Skip the produce aisle in the grocery store and grow tomatoes in your backyard. A couple of these quintessential vegetable plants will produce a bounty of crimson, juicy fruit that can be used fresh or in your favorite entrees. The exact fruit production of the plant varies according to the tomato variety, but gardeners can implement several management strategies to provide the plant with the environment and nutrients it needs to produce lots of fruit.

Step 1

Choose a sunny garden spot. Tomatoes require a minimum of seven hours of full sun per day. Insufficient sunlight is one of the most common mistakes made when growing tomatoes and leads to poor fruit production, according to Cornell University's website.

Step 2

Amend the soil with organic material for the best tomato fruit crop, according to North Carolina State University's website. Tomatoes thrive in rich, loamy soil. The university recommends mixing 3 inches of aged compost into the top 6 inches of soil before planting the tomatoes.

Step 3

Fertilize the soil two weeks before planting the tomatoes. Tomato plants need lots of nutrients to support fruit growth. Ohio State University's website suggests using 3 lbs. of 8-16-16, 5-10-10 or 5-20-20 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of gardening space.

Step 4

Give the tomato plants enough water. Since the fruit itself is composed mostly of water, according to the University of Missouri website, sufficient water encourages and sustains optimal fruit development. Apply 2 quarts of water to each tomato plant daily until the tomato plant grows its first set of fruit, after which water amounts should be increased to 4 quarts daily per plant.

Step 5

Fertilize the tomato plant again once it starts bearing fruit. This encourages continuous fruit growth. North Carolina State University's website suggests using 3 tbsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer once the plants have started to grow fruit, and again every four weeks until the tomato season ends.

Things You'll Need

  • Aged compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • "American Tomato: The Complete Guide to Growing and Using Tomatoes"; Robert Hendrickson; 2006
  • Cornell University: Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Tomatoes
  • Ohio State University: Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden
  • University of Missouri: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
Keywords: tomato fruit production, growing tomato plants, tomato plant care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.