The taste of a homegrown, vine-ripened tomato is far superior to what is available at the grocery store. Because of this, tomatoes are a prized part of many home gardens. In Louisiana, the climate is perfect for growing tomatoes. Several cultivars are recommended for growing in Louisiana, including Big Beef, Better Boy, Pink Girl, Mountain Pride, Olympic Celebrity, Empire, Heatwave and Leaper. When purchasing young tomato plants to grow, look for plants with deep green leaves and a strong stem.
Plant the tomatoes in a location where they will get full sun for at least eight hours a day and in a rich, well-draining soil.
Add compost, manure or other organic material to the soil and mix it into the top 3 or 4 inches of soil.
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the young tomato plants. Set the dug up soil to the side to later use as backfill.
Set the tomato plant or peat pot in the hole and backfill it with the remaining soil. Pack the soil down firmly so no air bubbles remain.
Water the plants immediately after planting so they can begin to establish roots in their new location. Give the plants 2 quarts of water daily until fruiting begins. Increase the watering to 2 to 4 quarts daily when the plants yield fruits.
Fertilize the plants shortly after planting with starter fertilizer solution. Make your own solution by mixing 3 to 4 tbps. of a complete fertilizer, such as an 8-8-8, to 1 gallon of water. Follow label directions carefully with regard to how much fertilizer to use. If you make your own, add no more than 1 cup of fertilizing solution to each tomato plant.
Place cages around the plants or stake them shortly after planting. Place the stakes 3 to 5 inches from the plant and set them about 1 foot deep in the ground.