How to Grow a Tomato Plant

Overview

A tomato plant is an ideal addition to any garden or landscape for the succulent juicy tomatoes and splashes of color. They are simple to grow as long as you know the specific care your tomato plant needs. Although they can grow almost anywhere, you need to make sure they have proper sunlight, water and patience to grow strong and healthy.

Step 1

Obtain a tomato plant from a local nursery for transplanting. This is the best option for a beginner, but a more advanced tomato gardener may grow from seeds. Good first-time growers' varieties include Better Boy, Creole, Early Girl, Brandywine, Celebrity, or any cherry or grape tomato variety.

Step 2

Decide on a site for the tomato plant. It must be in a sunny area where it will get six to seven hours of full sun per day.

Step 3

Using a shovel or trowel, prepare the soil by adding about five pounds of compost per square foot, mostly used to pack around the plant on top. Tomatoes demand a growing medium rich in organic matter.

Step 4

Space the tomato plants apart about 1 1/2 to three feet.

Step 5

Remove the tomato plant from the growing container and plant it deep in the ground, about two feet (this depends on the maturity of the tomato plant). Don't worry if some of the leaves get buried, as new roots will emerge along the buried stem that will make it stronger and spread.

Step 6

Water the transplant right after you plant it with about a gallon water at room temperature.

Step 7

Water the plants with about 16 ounces of room temperature water per plant every day for the first seven to 10 days after transplanting.

Step 8

Keep an eye on the tomato plants to make sure they are adjusting to being transplanted. If you see them begin to die, get brown spots or wilt a lot, they may have not survived the transplant. After two weeks, mulch a layer about an inch thin around the tomato plant with a combination of dead grass or straw to keep the soil moist and to prevent weeds.

Step 9

Make sure the tomato plants are getting about one to three inches of rain per week. If you live in a very dry area, make sure to water them a couple of times a week. Consider using a tomato cage or a stake to support the tomato vine about 14 days after transplanting.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves, if desired
  • Compost
  • Trowel/shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Tomato cages

References

  • Growing Tomato Plants
  • Caring for Tomato Plants
  • Tips for Growing Tomatos
Keywords: growing fruits, caring for tomatoes, tomato plant gardens

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.