How to Garden Tomato Plants


There's nothing quite like eating fresh, homegrown tomatoes right from your own garden. Because you have the opportunity to nurture your plant and soil, and select the perfect variety of tomato which suites your tastes, you'll find the taste of a homegrown tomato is far superior to that of a store-bought tomato from the supermarket. With a few basic guidelines, you can garden tomato plants in your backyard with ease and enjoy a great harvest.

Step 1

Select and loosen the soil of a full-sun location in your garden that drains well and receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. This should be an area which is easy to get to and monitor. If no land is available, garden tomato plants in containers on a sunny deck or patio.

Step 2

Purchase tomato plants. Grow two to five plants per household member. Tomatoes range in color from pink to nearly black, and can be used for slicing, making paste and sauces or spreading a few cherry or grape tomatoes over a salad. The type of tomato you plant will determine how you'll use it in the kitchen.

Step 3

Plant seeds or dig individual holes for each transplant in the garden bed spacing each plant about 2 feet apart and each row of tomatoes 2 to 3 feet apart to allow room for growth and maintenance.

Step 4

Water the seeds and transplants often to keep the soil moist around the seedlings for the first month without wetting the leaves or stems of the plants. Back off watering to once or twice a week after the first month, but water more deeply to saturate the soil below the plant.

Step 5

Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer following manufacturer's instructions as often as your package recommends up until the plant starts to fruit. Fertilizing after fruiting will encourage the plant to grow leaves, rather than increase tomato size.

Step 6

Add support structures to your plants if they require it either in the form of a trellis, tomato cage or garden stakes. You may need to tie the tomato plant to the supports to encourage upward growth rather than horizontal.

Step 7

Collect tomatoes from the vine when they turn color and are ripe, and use them fresh within about a week. If frost threatens, pick green tomatoes and place them in a sunny window to ripen.

Tips and Warnings

  • Treat pests as soon as you notice a problem either chemically or organically to ensure continuous healthy growth and production of your tomato plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Shovel
  • Hand trowel
  • Tomato seeds or seedlings for transplant
  • Water source, hose or watering can
  • Low-nitrogen vegetable fertilizer, water-soluble or granules
  • Supports, trellis, wire
  • Plant ties


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • "Growing Fruit and Vegetables;" Richard Bird; 2003

Who Can Help

  • More on growing tomatoes
Keywords: growing tomato plants, gardening tomato plants, how to garden tomato plants

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.