The Q&A Archives: 'Rutger' Tomato Tips

Question: I am just beginning a garden for the first time. I have bought some "Rutger" tomato plants and was wondering if these need any special plant food or basically is there anything you could tell me about them since there weren't any directions with the plants? Tim Taliaferro Tulsa, OK

Answer: Tomatoes need a lot of sun, good soil drainage and good fertility. Before planting, mix some well rotted compost into the soil. Tomatoes like a pH of 6-7 which is a fairly neutral pH. (You may have your soil tested through your extension service to determine the acidity level) Give plenty of space between plants - 2' to 3'- and use tomato cages or stakes to support the plants as they get bigger. As they grow, an occasional side dressing of well rotted compost will help them. 'Rutgers' is an older variety that produces 7 ounce red fruits on a determinate plant (only gets 3-4 feet tall). It should produce fruits by mid summer.

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