The Q&A Archives: Growing Tomatoes

Question: How do I get the most out of my tomato plants?

Answer: For a really good harvest, grow tomato plants in the sunniest part of the garden, prepare the soil well before planting, and provide lots of water during the growing season. Begin by spreading several inches of organic matter over the garden plot and working it into the soil. You can use compost, leaf mold, or aged manure. Set your tomato transplants deeper than they were growing in the pots, to encourage additional root growth. Be sure to add stakes or a tomato cage for support if you're growing indeterminate-type tomato plants. Your plants will need about one-inch of water per week, so set a rain gauge out in the garden to see how much moisture Mother Nature supplies. Supplement as needed, watering deeply to ensure the entire root system gets wet. You should fertilize the plants when they begin setting fruit. Spread some compost under each plant, or side-dress with a cupful of 5-10-10 fertilizer. If you follow the above guidelines, your plants will perform to their maximum abilties.

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