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Grow Tomatoes This Spring

Tomato heirloom beefsteaks

No tomato tastes better than the one you’ve grown yourself. Whether you are growing tomatoes for slicing on sandwiches, salads, snacking, cooking, or canning, there is a tomato or two that will grow easily where you live.

Here’s a collection of tips to help you start growing the tastiest, juiciest tomatoes ever in your home garden.

How to Grow Tomatoes

Tomato seeds are commonly planted indoors as early as 8 to 6 weeks before the average date of the last spring frost. Tomato seedlings are usually transplanted into the garden 1 to 3 weeks after the last frost. There are tomatoes for every region and every taste. Learn to grow tomatoes this spring–and if you are a tomato old-timer, pass this easy-how-to on to a new gardener! Read on>>>


Tomato heirloom beefsteaksChoose the Best Tomato for Your Garden

Which tomatoes should you grow? Here is the list of the most popular, easiest growing, and easiest to find tomato varieties. Keep this list handy when ordering seeds or going to the garden center. This list should help you find the right tomatoes for you and your family’s needs, and it will help you time the planting of your tomatoes. Read on>>>


Tomato seedlingsTomato Seed Starting

The optimal seed starting temperature for tomatoes is between 70°F to 80°F Seed will germinate best where the bottom temperature is about 85°F. Tomato seeds can be started in pots, peat pellets, or flats. Be sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage. Read on>>>


Tomato Potting UpTomato Growing: Simple Secrets for Success

Secret #3: Continuous and even watering. Keep the soil evenly moist–not too wet and not too dry. Too much water will drown the plant; too little water will stop fruit production. Test soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil–if it comes out dry, it’s time to water; if it comes out wet, hold off.  Read on>>>


cherry tomatoes in potsHow to Grow Tomatoes in Containers

Tomatoes are easily grown in containers—clay pots, plastic nursery pots, and wood boxes. Container-grown tomatoes have the same growing requirements as garden-grown tomatoes: 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day, nutrients-rich soil, and enough water or soil moisture for steady, even growth. Read on>>>


Tomatoes connected10 Tomatoes for Small Spaces

Small tomato plants that deliver big flavor are just right for growing in small gardens and on decks, patios, and balconies. Small tomato plants range in size from 18 inches tall or less to no more than 3 or 4 feet tall. Small tomato plants require no staking or caging—but you can. Read on>>>


Tomatoes greenGrowing Early Season Tomatoes

Given optimal conditions, early-season tomatoes can produce fruit equally flavorful to the best late-season varieties. Early season tomatoes ripen fruit in 55 to 70 days after being transplanted to the garden as 6-week old plants.  Read on>>>


Tomatoes ripeningGrowing Naturally Sweet Tomatoes

Of the tomatoes that are naturally high in sugars, a growing-to-taste-test may be in order. Here are seven tomatoes that you can grow for a sweet flavor taste off. If a sweet tomato is what you crave, one of these will likely be for you. Read on>>>


Tomato Brandywine heirloomHeirloom and Hybrid Tomatoes Explained

Most of the crops we eat today, including tomatoes, have evolved from less desirable wild plants. Over generations and generations, humans have selectively created many plant varieties through seed-saving and plant breeding. Do heirloom tomatoes (or other heirloom vegetables, for that matter) have benefits or advantages when compared to hybrid tomatoes. The answer is a bit more than “simple.” Read on>>>

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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