Tomato Plant Help


Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable to grow in a home garden. They are grown as an annual but will overwinter where climates are mild. They are easy to grow and have an abundant harvest. A few plants will supply one family with plenty of tomatoes for the table and to freeze for winter. There are hundreds of varieties to suit every taste and growing condition.


Consider what kind of tomatoes you and your family like. Heirloom varieties such as Brandywine and Green Zebra are said to be tastier, but they often do not harvest until late in the summer. Early season varieties such as Early Girl and Quick Pick come to harvest in 54 to 60 days. Better Boy and Mountain Delight are medium to large tomatoes which harvest in 70 to 72 days. Tiny Tim, Cherry Gold and Red Robin are all small tomatoes which do well in container gardens.

Where to Plant

Tomatoes grow well in containers, outdoor gardens or in your flower garden. The Small Fry variety is good for hanging baskets. Pick a sunny area that is easy to water. Heirloom tomato varieties can be large and sprawling, while many hybrids are more compact and low-growing. Check the plant label or seed packet information to determine the final height of the plant and how much room to give it.

Soil Preparation

Add organic compost to the soil before you plant in the ground or in a container. Container-planted tomatoes need soil richer in nutrients than garden tomatoes because of the constant watering. Half garden loam and half compost is a good mix for containers. Add compost fertilizer as side dressing when plants are 3 and 6 weeks old.


Keep weeds to a minimum by raking around the plants with a hoe. Disturbing the topsoil prevents weed seeds from sprouting. Mulch garden and container tomato plants with straw, leaf mold, newspapers or black plastic to keep weeds down. Large sprawling tomato varieties can be staked to poles, grown on a trellis or in tomato cages. Tomato cages can be purchased at garden centers. Prune suckers from leaf shoots, leaving one strong stem.


Container tomatoes should be watered daily and the soil should be moist to the touch. Newly planted tomatoes in the garden should be watered daily for the first week. After that, water regularly and thoroughly. Tall sprawling varieties need more water. Watch for wilting leaves as a sign that the plant is in water deficit.

Keywords: tomato care, grow tomatoes, tomatoes