Growing fresh vegetables in your own garden can be a rewarding experience. Tomato and potato plants are particularly easy to grow for even a novice gardener, making them a good addition to any home vegetable garden. As you plant potatoes and tomatoes, you'll need to focus on providing good soil, nutrients, adequate water and regular care. Once your plants are growing well, you can begin to enjoy picking fresh tomatoes when they are ripe and digging up potatoes right from the soil.
Dig up the garden area to break up clods of dirt and loosen the soil 10 to 12 inches deep. Add 4 inches of compost or garden soil to the top of your garden area and then mix it with the existing soil by turning the soil well.
Feed your potatoes with a 5-10-10 fertilizer by adding the feed to the sides of your trench just before planting and mixing it in well with the soil. Also apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer to your tomato plants during planting and mix it in with the top inch or 2 of soil. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application so you apply the correct amount of fertilizer for your product.
Plant seed potatoes that have sprouted "eyes" a foot apart into a trench 4 inches deep with each trench spaced 30 inches apart. Cover over each seed potato with 2 inches of soil. As the potatoes grow and sprouts emerge from the soil, fill in the trench with 2 more inches of soil. Continue to add soil as sprouts appear to build up a mound around each plant to keep the skins of the potatoes from getting sunburned.
Plant tomato seedlings container-deep into the garden bed, spacing the plants 24 to 30 inches apart. Set a garden stake or tomato cage as close to the seedling as possible without disrupting the roots. Use plant ties when needed to train the plants to grow vertically.
Water both your potatoes and tomatoes well to thoroughly moisten the soil and maintain a moist soil for the first month of growth. Avoid wetting the leaves or stems of your plants as you water. Pair rainfall totals with your manual watering to ensure your plants receive an inch of water a week.
Harvest potatoes by digging them up when flowers begin to fade for small "new potatoes," or wait for the upper plant portion to yellow and die back before harvesting large potatoes. Harvest tomatoes as they ripen on the vine turning from green to a rich orange or red color, depending on the variety.