|Gardeners' Guide to Growing the Tomato|
Tomatoes are easy to grow and have few requirements to produce tomatoes for the table. Tomatoes require warm temperatures, a soil high in organic matter, and a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. A good fertilizer, 10-10-10, is best. Tomatoes do not want a high nitrogen fertilizer. If you give them too much, you will have a lot of nice green foliage and few tomatoes.
To increase the organic matter in the soil work compost or rotted leaves into the top four to six inches of soil. Set the plants three feet apart if you are not going to stake them, as close as eighteen inches if you are going to stake them or put them in cages. Plant them after all threat of frost has ended.
The tomato is a perennial in its native climate. In most of the United States, it is grown as an annual because the tomato, a tropical plant, will not stand the winters of a temperate climate. The tomato, being the most popular plant grown in home gardens, is available in a host of varieties, colors, shapes and sizes. Generally, set the plants in rows about three feet apart, unless you are staking them. Then you may place them two feet apart. Harvest typically begins in mid to late July, depending upon the variety grown and weather conditions. It will last until frost in Mid October.