Grow Tomatoes Easily  

Dave “The Tomato Guy” Freed will help you grow great tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes Easily Starts Here

I’m Dave Freed, the tomato guy. What’s in store for you on this website? Why should you take the time to check out my website instead of the hundreds of others? Look at the photo below. That’s me with three tomato plants as featured in the Los Angeles Times. The plants — two “Better Boy” and one “Big Beef” — each individual plant has more than 100 pounds of tomatoes hanging from their vines.

Man standing in garden between three tomato plants
I can help you get similar results. I teach to you and others, on Zoom and in person, how to grow tomatoes easily. When you see these pictures throughout the website, you see the results, you know I know what I’m doing. And you can google Dave the tomato guy for more about me. In addition to tomatoes, for bigger and better and more fruits and vegetables — my techniques, methods, specific recommendations apply to most everything in your garden. We need more home grown vegetable and tomato gardens. Many younger parents want to teach their children how to grow a vegetable garden. What could be healthier than growing a vegetable garden and home grown tomatoes at home? I’m always happy to help when I can.



Dave Freed /  the Tomato Guy

Important notes from Dave

  • Teaching others how to Grow Tomatoes Easily—I do this as a hobby. Way over 100,000 visits to this website in less than 5 years. I don’t do it for the money. I’m retired, have a limited income, drive an old 1999 Toyota pickup truck and happy with life.
  • Companies offer free potting soil, plants, fertilizers, etc. if I will advertise/promote their products. I don’t do this. I do not accept income from advertising of third-party products.
  • And I will not accept free product from anyone. That way I can suggest to you those things that work in growing tomatoes easily and not promote things that may not work well. My suggestions are based on products and methods that I have used and recommend.
  • In addition to tomatoes, my techniques, methods, specific recommendations apply to most all vegetables.
  • To help keep my research on equipment, products, growing methods and buying teaching props so I can continue teaching others mostly for free how to grow tomatoes easily, I have set up a small GoFundMe campaign. You can donate if you want to support the effort. $5, $10, $20, any amount is appreciated. Helps towards expenses.
  • I live in Southern California and most notes apply to our growing season here. Make sure to adjust for weather conditions, day and nighttime temperatures, in your location. In general, the best time to plant is in spring, after the cold weather has ended and before hot weather arrives.
  • Before planting visit our tomato photo gallery where you'll find lots of varieties, pictures and descriptions. Plant whatever varieties you like but make sure to plant at least one that will give you lots of tomatoes. Here are a few of the tomato plants you will see in the tomato photo gallery, which includes descriptions.
  • You are welcome to share this information with others. Share with your family and friends; share with the general membership of your club. I do this as a hobby. I love growing tomatoes and sharing what works for me. And if it works for me, it should work for you.
  • If you don’t have a “Green Thumb,” I’ll give you one…
  • If you apply the steps I show you here to all your garden vegetables, your other garden vegetable plants will grow bigger and taller and you will have more and bigger fruits and vegetables in your garden. The key to the biggest improvement will almost certainly improving your soil. In the website, you will read exactly how to improve your soil.
  • I also offer planting accessories at a minimal cost for materials (and delivery in Southern California if you need it). Many people do not want to make their own accessories. I don’t want or need a job or income. If I can add a little more success to your tomato growing, I’m happy to make these. Click the button to download an order form or just send an email with your needs.

Our tomato gallery

Other websites will not show pictures of tomatoes like you see on this website. You will see great looking tomatoes. The plants were all grown by me and more pictures will be coming. I tell you, “If I can do it, you can do it” because I show and tell you everything I do. As you look at the tomato gallery of pictures, click each picture for a larger view and description.

After looking at the pictures, scroll through “Tomato Growing Advice” and if you don’t find answers to a question, you are welcome to email me at I’m pretty good at getting back to you. I want you to be successful.

In some pictures, leaves have been cut away to show the loads of tomatoes different varieties of tomato plants can produce. You will see plants grown in self-watering containers, you will see tomato plants 3-4 foot tall loaded with 50 to more than 100 6-10 ounce tomatoes. Also, in containers you will see 7 foot- plus tall plants loaded with 150 to over 200 …. 6-8 ounce tomatoes.

You will see some plants in the ground can produce over 100 pounds of tomatoes from a single plant. If I can do it, you can do it. I’ll show you how. If you don’t have a “Green Thumb,” I’ll give you one. It’s as simple as I’ll give you a shopping list of things to pick up, you purchase the products on the list and follow a few simple steps …that’s all it takes and you will grow tomatoes easily!

A hint on when to pick tomatoes. We tend to pick too soon. Wait until that tomato is a little soft…..just because it’s the right color does not mean it’s the right ripeness! You will see a big difference in flavor. You are welcome to share this information with others—family, friends and clubs, etc.

Growing Advice 

Tomato plants in the pictures you see were grown by me. Most of what’s written is based on my actual experience growing those homegrown tomatoes. I pass my experience on to you. I want you to be successful so you in turn can pass your success on to others.

The basics: How to grow tomatoes easily

What are the basics to growing tomatoes? The following are “cut-to-the-chase” shortcuts so you can plant your tomato plants right away. Go to Growing Advice and look up and check off/be aware of each of the following. Once you have started growing, bookmark the website…

Tomato planting tips, where to start?

Should you start with live plants or seed? Live plants are the easiest. I only plant seeds if I can’t find a live plant. What size tomato plants should you to buy? Avoid six plants in a container pony packs if you can. Many times…

Popular varieties of tomatoes — photos and descriptions

In the following pictures, leaves have been cut away to show the loads of tomatoes different varieties of tomato plants can produce. You will see plants grown in self-watering containers, you will see tomato plants 3-4 foot tall loaded with 50 to more than 100 6-10oz…

How much sun do tomato plants need?

Plus or minus four hours of sunshine for smaller tomatoes such as cherry Tomatoes. Larger size tomatoes need more sunshine, 8-10-12 hours. If you are not sure you have enough sunshine plant those tomatoes anyway. Books say tomato plants need at least 4 hours of…

The best potting soil or mix for tomatoes and vegetables

The bag must say either potting soil or potting mix, these terms are interchangeable. How to use these potting soils/potting mixes in each type of planting application such as pots, containers, raised beds, regular backyard dirt, etc. will be explained in each of those separate…

Containers and Self-Watering Containers

The most important factors when growing in containers will be container size and using great potting soil/ potting Mix. Size of container. For typical varieties of tomato plants use a minimum of 15 gallon containers; 20 gallon is better and 25 gallon is ideal. 1…

Growing tomatoes in raised beds

Raised beds and raised planters are a great way to grow tomatoes and garden vegetables. A raised bed puts great soil for planting on top of your poor soil. How to make your own raised bed from scratch? Google it, you will find zillions of…

Proper watering

Remember—Full grown mature tomato plants can easily use 2-3 gallons of water daily, sometimes more. Some may use 4-5 gallons daily. Use the suggested potting mix/soil and keep the soil moist but not soggy ... these soils contain lots of sphagnum peat moss. One pound…

How to prune your tomato plants

There is really no right or wrong in pruning. If your plant is growing out of control, it’s ok to cut it back. Don’t prune so much as to put your plant in distress or make it think it is dying. Determinate tomato plants grow like…

How to help your tomatoes pollinate

Tomatoes are self-pollinators. This means each flower contains both the male and female parts. The male part will drop the pollen onto the female part.  Tomatoes, generally will not produce pollen when night time temperatures are too cold. For tomato plants to produce pollen, generally…

Tomato cages — Staking up tomatoes

Why cages? You want to keep the fruit up off the ground If you choose to use one of those popular cheap flimsy funnel shaped  tomato cages and you seriously grow great tomatoes, you will need to somehow support the cage with a stake or stakes. …

Fertilizing your tomatoes — What to use and when to use it

Always lots and lots of questions about fertilizing tomatoes… Do I need to fertilize? What do I use and how often do I fertilize? The answer is YES. You need to fertilize ... Tomato plants are heavy feeders of fertilizer. Use a liquid fertilizer or…

Will dwarf tomatoes become the rage?

Dwarf tomatoes have been the talk of the town. A few years ago, grafted tomatoes were the talk and many people rushed out and planted grafted tomatoes. A grafted tomato would have your favorite variety grafted to the rootstock of a disease resistant tomato. We were…

Tomato Pests, Diseases, Solutions

Let’s talk general solutions to tomato pests and diseases...

First and most importantly, grow a healthy tomato plant. We covered this elsewhere on the site, review if necessary.

Like us, tomato plants that are weak and frail usually get sick. Say your once healthy tomato plant looks a little sick. What to do? Discolored leaves falling off, wilting, bugs. Whatever. We think, “Let’s ask the experts." Some expert somewhere must know the answer. The internet has what seems like 100s of possible cures.

We post a picture of the problem and get 50 different remedies from 50 different people. Then we take a leaf to the local nursery for help. The local nursey is ready to sell us a slew of products that might help.

Sometimes we leave thinking maybe we may know more than the nursey employee. That’s how we normally proceed on sick plants.

So what should we do about a sick tomato? First, we don’t always need a specific diagnosis. We need to do more of those things that generally fix sick tomato plants. When tomato leaves are dying and falling off the tomato, usually it’s a "fungus” problem. We don’t need to know the specific fungus. There are 100s and 100s of different types of fungus. I don’t spend all day trying to figure out which specific fungus it is. First do something that generally treats/cures fungus and sick tomato plants in general. That’s what you’re going to read about in this section.

When your tomato plant has bugs? Take you garden hose and spray off the bugs. Do it in the morning so your plant has all day to dry.

If your tomato plant is really bad?? Pull it out and put in another new healthy little guy. You’re not running a tomato hospital.

In this section you will read a few of the common problems with some helpful solutions on powdery mildew fungus, fungus in general, spider mites, blossom end rot, root knot nematodes.

I don’t generally use pesticides, never needed to. Even with some disease every year, we always have plenty of tomatoes.

Protecting your tomato plants from powdery mildew

There are hundreds of types of powdery mildew. Pictured below is what powdery mildew commonly looks like. It usually starts down low and towards the center of the plant and works it way upwards.   Sulfur dust is an organic way to protect your plants against powdery…

How to avoid blossom end rot on your homegrown tomatoes

Every year people ask about blossom end rot—a dark leathery spot on the bottom of the tomato. Your plant will continue to bloom and set fruit until the end of the season. It’s pretty common and especially so with tomato plants growing in containers. It’s most likely…

Growing Tomatoes in Hot Weather

Everyone encounters hot weather. Tomatoes enjoy days that are about 75 degrees. Once temperatures exceed 85 degrees most tomato plants will tell you it’s too hot to bear tomatoes. In this section we talk about how to help your tomatoes during hot weather.

Hot weather is the enemy of tomatoes

Hot temps, especially inland, will begin to ramp up as summer comes on.  Hot summer temperatures can bring your tomato plants to a stop. And your plants get especially hot if they are planted next to a block wall, stucco wall, are in containers on a…

Mulch your tomato plants to protect them from hot weather

What is mulching? In your regular backyard soil/raised beds—mulching is adding a three, four or event five inches deep of a coarse compost type mulch on the ground soil around your tomato plants. For example straw: buy a bale of straw for about $12 and…

Heat tolerant tomatoes: Growing tomatoes in hot weather

Typically, we plant tomatoes in the springtime once the cool weather has passed and before the hot weather arrives.  And typically we get lots of tomatoes as this is the best time of year to plant. Most springtime type tomatoes do not produce pollen until…

One last thing... 

Helping people how to grow tomatoes is my mission, my hobby. I don’t do it for an income but do have some expenses. A $5, $10, even $20 donation occasionally is appreciated. Because of your donations, I was able to upgrade from my blogsite to this enhanced website. Between my first blog and this site, visits have exceeded 100,000 in less than five years.

I’m thinking next I would like to do more YouTube videos. Short two to three minute segments covering subjects detailed in the website. We’ll see.

You have seen pictures of tomato plants loaded with tomatoes, you see the results. And then I tell you exactly how I do it so you can do it too.

Once you can do it—you can then help your friends, neighbors, and relatives do the same thing. Anyone can write about how to grow tomatoes but when you see the pictures, you can see I know what I’m doing.

I’m not a scientist. I learned mostly from experience and I continue learning and I pass that on to you. In addition to tomatoes, my techniques, methods, specific recommendations apply to most all vegetables. Vegetables will be bigger and in more abundance. We need more home vegetable and tomato gardens. Many younger parents want to teach their children how to grow a vegetable garden. What could be healthier than growing a vegetable garden and home grown tomatoes at home?

And it’s not that difficult. I’m always happy to help when I can. Use your search engine/Google — Dave Freed the tomato guy — see things I have been doing and what others have to say about me.

Advertising? You won’t see any on my website. I don’t accept any form of advertising, money or free products in exchange for promoting other people’s products. I have had offers. I don’t accept the offers because I want to always show and suggest products to you that work best for growing tomatoes and not products that others pay me to promote.

When you have suggestions and ideas I always enjoy hearing from you. Email me at

That’s my story, my cause, my mission. I appreciate any help you can give.


Dave Freed, The Tomato Guy

Success secrets

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