How to grow tomatoes (2023)

Growing tomatoes is a fun and rewarding chore that results in fresh and nutritious pasta.tomatoesthis tastes better than anything you can buy in the store. Tomatoes are easy to grow and taste best when grown in full sun. There are many different varieties of tomatoes that can be grown, including cherry, plum, and beef, each with their own fruit shape, flavor, and culinary uses.


How to grow tomatoes at home

To grow tomatoes successfully, you need rich, fertile soil or peat-free potting soil and a good sunny, shady spot. Water regularly and fertilize weekly with a high-potassium fertilizer once the plants begin to flower.

Tomatoes are divided into two main types of growth: determinate (bush) and indeterminate (string). Shrub species are usually planted in pots or hanging baskets, with their stems extending over the edge. Cordon types are trained for growth and are supported by a stick or stake.

If you are growing cordon tomatoes you will need a stake, e.g. B. a bamboo cane to support the plant and you need to pinch the side shoots so that the plant bears fruit on a central stem. You do not need to stake out wild tomato varieties.

If you are a novice gardener, growing wild tomatoes is a good idea as you don't have to stake them or pull off the growing tops.

Why not use your harvest to make delicioussaucesfor homemadepizzas? Check out our tests of the bestpizza ovens, in collaboration withGood BBC food.

More expert tips on growing tomatoes:

(Video) ★ How to: Grow Tomatoes from Seed (A Complete Step by Step Guide)

  • 10 of the best tomatoes to grow
  • Rust-resistant tomato varieties
  • Tomato varieties explained
  • How to grow tomato plants from cuttings
  • How to grow the tastiest tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes: Jump Links

  • sow tomatoes
  • plant tomatoes
  • take care of tomatoes
  • pick tomatoes
  • store tomatoes
  • Growing tomatoes: pests and troubleshooting
  • where to buy tomatoes
  • The best tomatoes to grow

How to grow tomatoes from seed

How to grow tomatoes (1)

Tomatoes are available as young plants, but if you want to try some of the more unusual varieties, it's worth growing tomatoes from seed.

Start sowing in late January to late March. Sow the seeds in pots with 7.5 cm moisturepeat-free compost, cover with a thin layerVermiculit, then water and cover with plastic wrap. Stand on a warm, bright windowsill or spreader.

When your seeds have sprouted, remove the cling film (or remove it from the greenhouse) and keep the compost moist.Transplant seedlingswhen they reach a height of about 2-3cm, into 5cm pots filled with moist all-purpose soil. Put them back on the windowsill. Continue filling as needed. Support the stalks by tying them to a pea stick with soft twine.

In this no-fuss video guide, David Hurrion shows the best way to sow tomato seeds:

plant tomatoes outside

How to grow tomatoes (2)

Move your tomatoes outside after the last frost in May. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot where you can plant them on a ledge (in soil with plenty of well-rotted garden compost), or in 12-inch pots, or place two or three plants in a grow bag. If you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse, give it a trygrows next to basil, which thrives under the same conditions.

Watch Alan Titchmarsh's No Fuss video guide on growing tomatoes in a grow bag:

(Video) Grow Lots of Tomatoes... Not Leaves // Complete Growing Guide

Planting tomatoes in the greenhouse

Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is very similar to growing them outdoors, except you have a longer growing season. You need to protect your plants from excessive heat, which can lead to tough skins, patchy ripening, and if you forget to water regularly, blossom end rot. So put on some blinds, use shade paint or hang a shade fabric.

more like that

In this video, Monty Don explains how to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse:

Where to buy tomatoes online

Care of cordon and bush tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes (3)

Tall string tomatoes need to be pinched (side shoots removed) and staked (plants tied to sticks with soft string). When the first small fruits appear, remove the leaves underneath so that light and air can reach them better. When there are four trellises (clusters) of flowers, pinch off the growing top of the plant.

Watch Alan Tichmarsh's No Fuss video guide to caring for tomatoes:

Once the flowers appear, fertilize your plants weekly with liquid tomato food like Tomorite. Keep tomatoes well watered as uneven watering will cause the fruit to crack or develop hard black spots known asbud rot. This is caused by a lack of calcium that is in the water.

For wild tomatoes that are spreading, you can let them persist. If the berries are hidden under the leaves, thin out the foliage a little to let the sun through so they can ripen. Support heavy trellises on inverted flower pots to keep their stems from breaking.

(Video) World's 🌎 Best way to grow HUGE Tomato Seedlings 🌱

pick tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes (4)

Let the tomatoes naturally ripen on the plants, which greatly improves the taste. At the end of the season, cut back the oldest leaves to let in more light and prevent gray mold from taking hold. When the weather cools, choose the trellises to mature indoors.

store tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes (5)

Tomatoes are best eaten straight off the vine when they are still warm from the sun. They don't freeze well, but you can store them at room temperature for a week or more. Avoid storing tomatoes in the refrigerator if possible, as this will give them a floury consistency.

The best way to store tomatoes is to make a tomato sauce and then freeze it.

Prepare and cook tomatoes

Enjoy tomatoes in salads and sandwiches. Most varieties are also suitable for cooking, but plum varieties are particularly suitable. If you're lucky enough to have too many tomatoes, try experimenting with your own pasta sauces.

Our friends at Olive have put together a delicious collection oftomato recipes, including a spectacular tomato and manchego cake.

Tomato cultivation: pests and diseases

How to grow tomatoes (6)

white bow tiecan be a problem for tomatoes grown in greenhouses, and tomato blight can afflict plants grown outdoors, especially in hot, humid summers.blossom end rot(pictured) is caused by a lack of calcium, andshare fruitscan be the result of irregular watering.

(Video) This will CHANGE the Way You Grow Tomatoes

you can seeGreen shield insectson your tomato plants. These are harmless insects and will not harm your crops.

Especially in a muggy summer,tomato rustit can be a real problem. In this clip from Gardeners' World, Monty reveals the telltale symptoms of tomato blight and how to deal with it. Learn how he saved the remaining crop and what to do with pest-infested crops to curb the spread of the disease:

Tips for buying tomatoes

Here's our guide to buying tomato seeds and plants, including where to buy tomatoes:

  • Be careful what you buy - do you want to grow tomatoes or wild tomatoes? Keep in mind that vine tomatoes need training on a stand, while bush tomatoes are suitable for pots and hanging baskets.
  • Make sure your tomato variety grows well in the space you can give it. If you don't have a greenhouse, make sure you choose a strain suitable for outdoor growing.
  • Choose the right tomatoes for your dish - don't plant cherry tomatoes if you plan to make tomato sauces, or plum tomatoes if you plan to eat them raw in salads. Research which strains work best for you and stick with them.

Where to buy tomatoes online

Great tomato varieties to grow

How to grow tomatoes (7)

Outdoor Tomatoes:

  • 'Hybrid-Astro'– produces large quantities of small to medium-sized tomatoes with exceptional taste
  • 'Gardener's Delight'– a bush or cordon cherry tomato with heavy yields of richly flavored fruit
  • 'Pearl of the Garden'– Also called 'Garden Pearl', this compact shrub variety is ideal for growing in large pots
  • 'Ildi' - deliciously sweet, yellow, pear-shaped cherry tomatoes in large clusters of up to 80 fruits

house tomatoes:

  • 'Julia'– a cordon cherry plum with fewer seeds than most. cooks well
  • 'Reduna'- This kind of cord tastes delicious and classic and is easy to cut
  • 'Sparta'– Cordon variety with many well-formed fruits with good taste

You can also check out some of our trusted gardening tools below with a selection of great planting and support kits.


(Video) A Complete Guide for Growing Tomatoes & Peppers - Seed to Harvest: Every Step!/Table of Contents

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What is the trick to growing tomatoes? ›

When you plant tomatoes, plant a little deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to the bottom few leaves! Tomatoes root along their stems, so this trick helps them develop stronger roots. Tomatoes can be planted a lot deeper because they can produce new roots anywhere along their stems.

What month do you plant tomatoes? ›

Tomatoes are warm weather plants which need plenty of sun to thrive and grow best at temperatures between 70 and 75°F (21 and 24°C). Seeds are best sown under cover in March and April ready for harvesting from July to September.

How long does it take a tomato to grow? ›

Tomatoes take 60 days to more than 100 days to harvest, depending on the variety (see more about varieties below). Due to their relatively long growing season requirements (and late planting date), most gardeners plant small “starter plants” or transplants instead of seeds after the weather has warmed up in spring.

Are coffee grounds good for tomato plants? ›

Coffee grounds contain around 2% nitrogen as well as varying amounts of phosphorus and potassium which are all very important for the growth of tomato plants. By mixing some coffee grounds into the soil below your tomato plants you're introducing these nutrients that the plants need to thrive.

Why put baking soda around tomato plants? ›

By spritzing a baking soda solution on your tomato plants, the surface becomes more alkaline, creating an unsuitable environment for blight to take hold. You'll prevent any blight from growing or stop any spread dead in its tracks.

Do tomatoes need full sun or shade? ›

Perfect Tomato Growing Conditions

Tomatoes love the sunshine. A position in full sun (that means an average of at least eight hours a day) gives the best results in most areas, though if you're in a hot climate you can get away with dappled shade.

What's the easiest tomato to grow? ›

Cherry Tomatoes are the easiest tomatoes for beginners to grow. They produce crop after crop and have very few problems!

What is best to plant with tomatoes? ›

Companion Plants to Grow With Tomatoes
  • Basil. Basil and tomatoes are soulmates on and off the plate. ...
  • Parsley. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Borage and squash. ...
  • French marigolds and nasturtiums. ...
  • Asparagus. ...
  • Chives.
Jun 7, 2021

How late can I plant tomatoes? ›

This depends on your first frost date and the days to maturity for the type of tomato. As long as the days to maturity are less than the number of days away from your first frost date you can still plant. For most areas, you should still be able to plant late from late June to late August with no problem.

Can I plant tomatoes in September? ›

Technically the answer is yes, but for a much better result – wait until late October/early November. Use the time in September to prepare your soil and get your irrigation systems in order, so that when your Tomato seedlings go in they will have a great start.

How often should I water tomato plants? ›

Water newly planted tomatoes well to make sure soil is moist and ideal for growing. Early in the growing season, watering plants daily in the morning. As temperatures increase, you might need to water tomato plants twice a day. Garden tomatoes typically require 1-2 inches of water a week.

Do tomato plants come back every year? ›

the answer is a resounding yes. In their native tropical growing range, tomato plants are perennials that live for many years. In cold climates, however, they do not survive winter outdoors because they are not frost-tolerant. Because of this, most gardeners grow tomatoes as annuals.

How many tomatoes will one plant produce? ›

All types of tomatoes yielded an average of about 18 fruits per plant, but Roma tomatoes yielded the most with an average of 30 fruits per plant.

Are eggshells good for growing tomatoes? ›

Crushed egg shells are chock-full of nutrients. Nutrients that can both energize your tomato plants, and protect them from blossom end rot.

Are banana peels good for tomato plants? ›

This means potassium-rich banana peels are excellent for plants like tomatoes, peppers or flowers. Banana peels also contain calcium, which prevents blossom end rot in tomatoes.

What should I add to my soil before planting tomatoes? ›

Compost and composted manure are great additions to the soil for tomatoes and lots of other plants. Compost adds basic nutrients and improves soil structure. Composted manure provides nutrients all season long. Composted manure: This provides a slow release of nutrients over the growing season.

What is the best homemade fertilizer for tomatoes? ›

Some of the most popular materials used in making homemade fertilizer for tomatoes are:
  • Matured compost (should make at least half of the final product)
  • Alfalfa dry leaves or pellets (rich in nitrogen)
  • Blood meal (a rich source of nitrogen)
  • Pet and human hair (source of keratin and nitrogen)

Can I pour milk on my tomato plants? ›

The same properties that make milk good for a human, such as the calcium and B vitamins, are what benefits plants. The calcium helps the plants grow, as well as prevent blossom end rot, which can be caused by a calcium deficiency. This condition is common in tomato, peppers, and squash plants.

What does Coke do for tomato plants? ›

Soda Pop as Fertilizer

Club soda or carbonated water contain the macronutrients carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorous, potassium sulfur, and sodium that are essential for healthy plant growth. The absorption of these nutrients encourages more rapid growth in the plant.

Should you water tomatoes every day in hot weather? ›

In areas with sandy, fast-draining soil, like parts of the Southwest, South Florida, and Coastal South, you may need to water plants daily or even twice a day during the hottest days of summer. No matter where you live, drip irrigation is probably the best, most economical watering option.

What are the signs of over watering tomato plants? ›

Overwatered plants may have wilted or yellowed stems and leaves, or the leaves might develop bumps and blisters or fall off entirely if plants continue to get too much water. Another way to tell overwatered plants from underwatered ones, once the case is severe enough, is to check the roots.

Do tomatoes need lots of water? ›

Tomato plants need a lot of water. That doesn't mean your plants can't be watered too much. Many individuals who home-grow tomatoes make the mistake of thinking watering the plants is as simple as keeping the soil soaked throughout the season. The truth is that there is a distinct art to watering for healthy growth.

What is best tasting tomato? ›

The Brandywine is perhaps most commonly named the best-tasting tomato variety. It has the perfect balance of sugar and acidity, with that superb old-fashioned tomato taste. Growing conditions can affect the flavor quality more than some other varieties on this list.

What do tomatoes not like to be planted by? ›

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi can stunt the growth of your tomato plant because they out-compete them for the same nutrients. These vegetables are in the brassica family.

What does Epsom salt do for tomatoes? ›

Late in the season use an Epsom salt spray to increase tomato and pepper yield and keep plants green and bushy; early in the season add Epsom salt to the soil to aid germination, early root and cell development, photosynthesis, plant growth, and to prevent blossom-end rot.

Does picking tomatoes make more grow? ›

You should harvest tomatoes as often as they are ready. In fact, it's a great way to encourage more flower and fruit formation. Once the plants are heavy with fruit, you may need to pick them daily. Many types will continue to produce until the very end of the season, which comes with the first frost for most of us.

Should I trim my tomato plant leaves? ›

As a tomato plant matures, its lower leaves begin to yellow. Pinch or prune yellowed leaves to prevent disease, improve the tomato plant's appearance, and help the plant keep its energy focused on fruit production. Don't over prune in hot climates.

What plants keep bugs off of tomato plants? ›

Don't just stop at planting Marigolds with your tomatoes. For further protection from pest bugs, you can also plant basil, beans, bee balm, borage, sweet alyssum, chives, garlic, nasturtium, mint, anise, onion, and parsley.

What are the worst companion plants for tomatoes? ›

What are bad companion plants for tomatoes? Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and other brassicas. Brassicas, including broccoli, cabbage, rutabaga, and cauliflower, will compete for nutrients with tomatoes, as both brassicas and tomatoes are heavy feeders.

Should I put Miracle Grow on my tomatoes? ›

Tomato seedlings can be watered with Miracle-Gro as soon as they have their first set of true leaves, but go lightly. Scott's recommends a dilution rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon of water for inside plants. Apply the solution every 7 to 14 days.

Does Epsom salt help tomatoes? ›

One trick is to put a scoop of Epsom salt into each hole when planting tomatoes. Some gardeners swear it prevents blossom end rot. It's time to debunk that myth. Epsom salt doesn't stop blossom end rot—it leads to more of it.

How often do you put Epsom salt on tomatoes? ›

Make up a solution of about a teaspoon of Epsom salts per litre (quarter gallon) of water in a spray bottle. Simply wet the foliage on your tomato plants every two weeks using a fine spray setting. It will quickly be absorbed by the leaves. Avoid spraying on hot, sunny days or when rain is imminent.

How do you trick tomatoes into producing earlier and ripening faster? ›

By placing a few unripe tomatoes into a brown paper bag with a banana, the ethylene produced from the banana will help to ripen the tomatoes quickly. Always be sure to use a brown paper bag and not a plastic bag for this trick. A plastic bag will not allow air in and will rot the fruit.

Can I just sprinkle Epsom salt in my garden? ›

Adding Epsom salt is a simple way to increase the health of their blooms, and is something that you can include easily as a part of a normal routine. For potted plants, simply dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering once a month.


1. Growing Tomatoes From Sowing to Harvest
2. How To Grow Tomatoes At Home (SEED TO HARVEST)
(Urban Gardening)
3. How to Grow Tomatoes, Complete Growing Guide
(The Gardening Channel With James Prigioni)
4. Simple Steps to Growing Masses of Tomatoes 🍅
5. The easiest and most fruitful way to grow tomatoes at home for beginners
(TEO Garden)
6. Best Way to Start Tomato Seeds Indoors (or Outdoors)
(Next Level Gardening)


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