How to Plant Maryland Tomatoes

Overview

Any tomato that is hardy in zones 6a to 7b--Maryland's growing region--will perform well in the state, enabling gardeners to plant cherry, heirloom or paste tomatoes. The University of Maryland recommends many varieties for Maryland gardeners, including Better Boy, Celebrity, Early Girl, Cherokee Purple, Pruden's Purple, Brandywine, Pineapple, Striped German, Lemon Boy, Green Zebra, San Marzano, Roma, Sun Cherry, Sun Gold and Juliet. These varieties do best in Maryland's climate and soil conditions.

Step 1

Prepare the garden soil for Maryland tomatoes, waiting until the danger of frost has passed. Turn the soil over with a trowel to loosen and aerate clumped soil. Remove any weeds, old plants or other debris.

Step 2

Fertilize the soil with 10-10-10 fertilizer. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tbsp. of fertilizer in the garden bed, then turn the soil and fertilizer over with a trowel. Fertilize before you plant and again afterward, while the tomatoes grow.

Step 3

Dig holes in the garden bed twice as wide as the tomato starts. While spacing will vary slightly from one type of tomato to another, the University of Illinois suggests leaving 15 to 24 inches between plants.

Step 4

Remove the tomato transplants from their container and squeeze the transplant to break apart the root ball. Separate tangled roots. Place the plant in the hole at the same depth as it was planted in the container, spreading the roots out with your fingers. Fill in the hole with soil.

Step 5

Water until the soil is saturated.

Step 6

Water again when the soil becomes dry to the touch, saturating the soil.

Step 7

Mulch the ground below the tomatoes with hay or pine straw. This delays the growth of weeds and helps the soil retain moisture during Maryland's hot summer days. Place a tomato cage around the growing plant to provide support and push the ends of the wire cage into the soil by at least 1 inch.

Step 8

Fertilize the tomatoes once fruit sets and every 10 days thereafter.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Water
  • Tomato cage
  • Mulch (hay or pine straw)

References

  • Texas A&M University: Tomato
  • The Essential Garden Guide: Tomato
  • University of Maryland: Vegetable Profiles
  • University of Illinois: Tomato
Keywords: Maryland, tomatoes, plant tomatoes

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.