The Q&A Archives: care for tomato plants

Question: what do tomatoes need

Answer: Tomatoes are warm-season plants and should be planted only after danger of frost has passed. Temperature is an important factor in the production of tomatoes, which are particularly sensitive to low night temperatures. Blossom drop can occur in early spring when daytime temperatures are warm, but night temperatures fall below 55 degrees F as well as in summer, when days are above 90 degrees F and nights above 76 degrees F.

Tomatoes can be grown on many different soil types, but a deep, loamy soil, well-drained and supplied with organic matter and nutrients is most suitable. As with most garden vegetables, tomatoes grow best in a slightly acid soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8.

Once the tomato plants are established, apply a mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. If weeds do appear, they may be pulled by hand or removed by shallow cultivation. An even moisture supply is important, especially once the tomato fruits begin to develop. If the soil becomes too dry, blossom-end rot can be a problem. If too much water is applied at one time, ripening fruit may split.

Hope this answers all your questions about growing tomatoes.

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