Planting tomatoes: everything you need to know

A juicy, vine-ripened tomato can add the perfect burst of flavor to spring and summer recipes. Whether you prefer heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, here are some easy planting tips for harvesting your own homegrown tomatoes – ripe for the picking!

Step 1: Find a Sunny Spot

  • Tomatoes and nearly all vegetables and herbs prefer an area that receives full sun or at least afternoon sun
  • If there's not an area in your garden that receives full sun you can easily grow vegetables and herbs in a pot

Step 2: Choose Your Tomato

  • There are two basic types of tomatoes: determinate & Indeterminate
    • Determinate (All blossoms and fruit develop on the plant at about the same time. Harvest time is short. The plant is self-topping and does not continue growth from the terminal bud.) 
  • Indeterminate
    • The terminal bud of an indeterminate tomato does not set fruit, it always produces leaves and more stem from the growing tip.
    • The vine can grow indefinitely if not killed by frost in the fall.
    • The blossoms and fruit develop progressively as the vine grows so tomatoes in all stages of development may be on the vine at one time and harvest may last several months.
  • NEW Mighty ‘Mato
    • A new grafted tomato
    • Bigger, better harvests
    • Stronger, more vigorous tomato
    • Improved ability to withstand temperature swings and extremes

Step 3: Plant in a Nutrient Rich Soil

  • It's important to have a good soil for two reason
    • It has the nutrients plants need to establish a healthy root system
    • Good soil will provide the plant with good drainage so it gets enough water but it's not sitting in water which would cause the roots to rot
  • In the Garden
    • Amend soil with Pike Vegetable and Flower Mix at a 50/50 ratio with the native soil
  • In a Pot
    • Use a high-quality Potting Mix like Pike Potting & Container Soil
  • Tomato Cage
    • Tomatoes get large quickly
    • Place a Tomato cage on your tomato as soon as it's planted 

Step 4: Care

  • Watering
    • After planting, water plants extremely well. Thereafter, water only when the soil indicates the necessity of watering.
    • As a general rule of thumb, water your tomatoes often enough to keep the soil cool and moist.
    • It's important to keep tomatoes on a regular watering schedule
    • Irregular watering can cause the fruit to split
  • Feeding
    • Regular feeding is important.
      • We recommend E.B. Stone Tomato and Vegetable Food (100% organic). 
      • Apply 6-8 weeks. 
      • Dry fertilizer should never touch the main stem and should be lightly cultivated into the soil. 

FREE CLASS: Home Grown Tomatoes

  • Saturday, April 4 at 9 am at all Pike Nurseries locations
  • Home-Grown tomatoes taste just like summer, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and will save you money at the grocery store! Learn how to select, plant and enjoy your own tomatoes.

Check out and for more great ways to bring the joy of gardening into your home.

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