Clayton Blog

How to Plant Tomatoes



With the warmer temperatures and beautiful outdoor weather of summer rapidly approaching, getting a new outdoor hobby or two might be for you. Whether it be hiking, fishing or another activity, being outside during the summer is a great feeling.


Along with those activities, you can also start your own summer garden. Whether you be in the country or in a city area with no land, you can still make the most of the sunlight given during the summer months. The space you have can dictate what you grow, but a vegetable that is very versatile is the tomato.


In this 3-part series, we will discuss how to grow tomatoes, different ways to plant tomatoes, and all the different types of tomatoes. 


How to Plant Tomatoes Successfully



  • Tomatoes grow in warm weather, so you want to make sure you plant in late spring or early summer.


  • You want to make sure that you plant tomatoes in a sunny area, as they need at least 8 hours of sunlight per day to reach their optimal flavors.


  • A stake or cage will need to be placed so the tomato plants will stay off the ground. Make sure you decide on a support plan before you plant your tomatoes, then add your support system immediately after planting.


  • You want to make sure each plant has plenty of room to grow, so you want to space each plant around 3 feet apart from the other plants.


  • Tomatoes take up nutrients at an optimal level when the soil pH range from 6.2 to 6.8, and they also need a consistent supply of plant nutrients. You want to mix a continuous-release fertilizer into the soil as you get ready the planting holes. Make sure to follow the rates given on your chosen fertilizer label. You also want to mix 3 to 4 inches of compost, which will give you minor nutrients and help hold moisture.


How to Get Healthy Tomatoes All Summer



  • To get a healthy tomato plant, it is recommended to bury two-thirds of the stem when planting.


  • Immediately after you plant your tomato plant, water seedlings and add a liquid plant food to give them a head start.


  • You can also combine some fast-maturing varieties with special season-stretching techniques to grow an early crop, but you want to wait until after the last frost to plant main-season tomatoes.


  • Make sure to cover the ground with at least 2 inches of mulch so you can minimize weeds and help keep the soil moist. Shredded leaves make awesome mulch for tomatoes.


  • Water your tomatoes frequently to get an inch of moisture per week (including rainfall), and more in the hotter days. You can see if they need watering by checking the soil. If the top inch or so is dry, it is time for watering.


Now that we’ve covered how to plant tomatoes, learn more about unique ways to plant tomatoes to have some more gardening fun.

See Unique Planting Methods

Topics Lawn and Garden