Tomatoes are one of the most popular home vegetables, according to Ohio State University. Originally from Central and South America, the tomato was not eaten by American colonists until the 1800s. Since then the popularity of the tomato has grown so wildly it is now found in every supermarket, even when the season for tomatoes has passed. Grow your own garden tomatoes to ensure freshness and low environmental impact.
Test the pH of your soil using a pH test from a local garden center, or by sending soil samples to a local University Extension office. Most tomatoes require a pH between 6.2 and 6.8 on the pH scale. Add sulfur to lower the pH and add lime to raise pH levels in the soil.
Cut the tomato plant so that it only has 4 to 6 young leaves and no fruit present before planting it. Check it for insects and disease before placing it into the soil.
Plant your tomato plant as soon as the chance of frost has passed and the soil crumbles in the hand. Late spring weather will require a transplant of an established tomato plant, as the tomato growing season is so long.
Place unstaked tomatoes 3 feet apart with rows that are 5 feet apart. Staked plants require 2 feet of space between plants and rows 3 to 4 feet apart.
Add a complete garden fertilizer with a mixture of 8-32-16 or 6-24-24 to the soil as soon as the plant is in place.
Apply 2 quarts of water per plant everyday until harvest time.