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How to Grow Tomatoes in Arizona

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How to Grow Tomatoes in Arizona

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Overview

Tomato plants are an ideal starter plant for a backyard gardener because they are hardy, take up very little space and produce large amounts of fruit. Arizona is a desert state with hardiness zones ranging from 5b through 11. Most of Arizona's population is located in its desert portions of the Greater Phoenix Area and Tucson. These regions are known for their mild winters and early spring planting seasons. In Arizona, tomato seeds should be germinated indoors beginning in mid-December for planting in early February.

Step 1

Fill the small planting pots with potting soil.

Step 2

Germinate the tomato seeds by placing three seeds in each planting pot, spaced at least 1 inch apart and covered with 1/4 inch of potting soil.

Step 3

Place each pot in a saucer filled with water, and allow it to sit until the top of the soil is damp.

Step 4

Cover the pots with plastic wrap, and them place in a warm spot.

Step 5

Remove the plastic covering once the seeds sprout, and replant the sprouts into separate containers once their first leaves sprout.

Step 6

Place the plants in a sunny place and keep the soil moist until early February.

Step 7

Transplant the tomatoes outdoors in early February in a sunny place in your garden. The plants need at least eight hours of direct sunlight to thrive.

Step 8

Fertilize your tomato plants with starter solution after their roots are established, about two weeks after transplant.

Step 9

Continue watering your tomato plants, maintaining consistently moist soil. If your plants appear to dry out in less than two days, consider placing mulch over the soil.

Step 10

Fertilize your tomato plants again two weeks before the first tomato ripens to give the plant an extra nutrient boost.

Step 11

Fertilize again with a balanced 5-10-5 fertilizer two weeks after the first tomato ripens, and again one month later.

Things You'll Need

  • Arizona-bred tomato seeds
  • Small planting pots
  • Potting soil
  • Saucers
  • Plastic wrap
  • Starter solution
  • Mulch
  • 10-5-10 fertilizer

References

  • University of Arizona College of Agriculture: Tomatoes
  • USDA: Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: grow tomatoes, Arizona gardening, Arizona tomatoes

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.