How to Grow a Successful Tomato Crop


By selecting a variety of tomato suitable to your climate, planting them correctly in a bright location, and giving your tomato plants the right amount of water and fertilization, you can grow a successful tomato crop easily. If your climate has a long growing season, consider growing several varieties of tomatoes; they will mature at different times for a longer production season.

Step 1

Select sturdy, young, healthy seedlings from your nursery or garden center.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in a location with full sun by digging down 12 to 18 inches and turning the soil with a shovel. Break up clumps to 1/4 inch with your shovel and hoe.

Step 3

Add several inches of compost to the soil, and mix thoroughly with the turned soil.

Step 4

Dig holes 2 feet apart and deep enough to contain each tomato plant's root ball and the bottom one-third of its stem. Additional roots will grow from the stem, yielding a stronger plant with better nutrient absorption.

Step 5

Put the young plants in the holes, and fill with soil up to the bottom one-third of their stems.

Step 6

Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch over the root areas to help prevent evaporation of soil moisture.

Step 7

Add a balanced fertilizer for tomatoes or flowering plants, as directed by the manufacturer. The exact amount and application procedure will vary, depending on the type of fertilizer.

Step 8

Water your tomatoes with soaker hoses as needed. Don't allow more than the top 1/4 inch of soil to dry out.

Step 9

Weed your tomatoes regularly to stop competition for nutrients and resources.

Things You'll Need

  • Young tomato seedlings
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Soaker hoses


  • Weekend Gardener: Tomato Growing Tips
  • Ohio State University: Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden
  • Cornell University: Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Tomatoes
Keywords: tomato growing, tomato cultivation, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.