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 and refer to as needed.

  • Sunshine for tomatoes: How much sunshine for tomatoes? You don’t need a lot.
  • Pots, containers, raised beds, backyard type soil: What’s easiest? I like containers/pots at least 20 gallons in size.
  • Potting soil / mix for tomatoes:Which potting soil should you buy? See which ones to use. Improving your soil will probably be the biggest improvement in your garden … better soil, makes a huge difference. Better soil gives you bigger root systems, bigger root systems give you bigger tops and bigger tops give you more tomatoes.
  • What fertilizer for tomatoes? Always use a liquid, read on for why liquid and why liquid works best.
  • How to properly water tomatoes? A mature tomato plant can use two to three gallons of water each day, sometimes more.
  • What tomato variety to buy and plant? Always pick a good variety that will produce a lot of tomatoes. See “Popular varieties with lots of tomatoes, pictures and descriptions.”
  • Best time to plant tomatoes? Planting in spring (mid-March to April 1) is best for live plants here in Southern California. Plant after cold weather has ended and before the hot weather arrives.
  • Many speakers give a lot of general information. I will give you specific information and examples. If it works for me it should work for you because I show you exactly what I do.

As Dave “The Tomato Guy” I want to show you specifically what works for me. I want you to say “I get it, I understand,” most of all, I want you to be successful. Also, locally, I take orders and deliver things like SelfWatering Containers, Heavy Duty Tomato Cages, Deep Watering Pipes, etc. You don’t need any of these to be successful but many of these accessories help grow tomatoes easily. I’m retired. I do this as a hobby and when it becomes a job and no more fun … I quit.

Two photos showing before and after tomato plant growth
Right, planted the first week of April in 25 gallon containers. Left, the same tomato plants in the last week of July.

You are welcome to share this information with others—family, friends and clubs, etc. Sharing tips helps us be better growers.