Monday, May 17, 2010

Need Help Growing that Perfect Tomato?

Need Help Growing that Perfect Tomato?

Here are four essential ingredients to your success:
Soil Preparation
Great soil is the most important ingredient in producing delicious tomatoes.  Since I grow my tomatoes in square foot gardens I highly recommend following Mel's Recipe for Soil.  A rich organic soil is best.  Before planting, it's a good idea to incorporate up to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter each year.  This builds up essential nutrients in the soil and helps to provide good drainage.  Apply 1.5 cups of all-purpose fertilizer (16-16-8 or 10-10-10) per 25 square feet before planting.

Tomatoes are heat-loving plants, so make sure to plant them in full sun! Your tomatoes should receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.  That is the minimum requirement. Any less and you 'll be disappointed in your tomatoes.

Water tomatoes deeply and infrequently, applying 1-2 inches per week. Use drip irrigation if possible.  Irrigate so that moisture goes deeply into the soil. Irregular watering (over or under) can cause blossom-end rot, a dark leathery spot on the bottom of the fruit.  Keep soil moisture uniform especially as tomatoes begin to ripen to avoid cracks in the skin.

Avoid heavy fertilization of tomato plants which encourage excessive foliage growth and delays fruit maturity. Side dress with nitrogen (34-0-0) using 1-2 tablespoons per plant at 4 and 8 weeks after transplanting.

Follow these tips and you'll be on your way 
to enjoying a great crop of tomatoes!


  1. Great info... I still have time to do side dress with nitrogen with my growing tomato plants.

  2. I got a tip last year from a KGI member who had done a course through love apple farms in California. She suggested "planting" a fish head below each tomato plant,and since then anytime I have fish bones or heads, or prawn shells, I dig a hole and bury them in the garden. It definitely improves the soil. Luckily I dont have a dog to dig them up! Not sure what it adds, but the tomatoes were lovely.

  3. Why yes I did. Thank you very much. :)


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