The Q&A Archives: Best soil for planting tomatoes

Question: I was watching Smart Gardening on TV over the weekend and they said to go to their website for informtion on preparing your soil in order to grow the best tomatoes. I can't find anything. Can you help? I'm growing tomatoes this year but the flavor is not there. Thank you.

Answer: Flavor will depend on the specific variety you are growing probably more than on the soil, assuming your soil is adequate for the plant to produce tomatoes. Sometimes flavor is diluted if the season is an extra rainy one (or the plants are overwatered), or a little more intense if it is a bit dry and the fruits are not sizing up to their maximum. But, ideally the soil would be organic and evenly moist yet well drained, pH between 6.2 and 6.8. A general purpose fertilizer applied per the label directions along with generous applications of good quality compost should assure ample nutrients; organic matter such as compost, rotted down leaves, well rotted/aged stable manure and bedding and so on can also be worked into the soil prior to planting to help improve the soil. You could also run some soil tests and see if anything is particularly lacking. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results with an eye on tomatoes. I hope this helps!

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