Tomatoes are the most popular home grown vegetable and among the most temperamental. Ask 100 people the best way to grow tomatoes and the best varieties and you may get 100 different answers. In Texas too much early hot weather can be a problem. In northern areas cool nights can keep fruit from setting. Too much water may cause larger varieties to split. We are not going to presume to make you an expert in the space we have here and limit our remarks to fundamentals useful in all parts of the country.
Start with loose and well drained soil prepared to a depth of at least 8 to 12 inches. A mixture of Nature’s Guide Expanded Shale, Nature’s Guide Shale and Compost, Nature’s Guide Texas Green Sand, and Nature’s Guide Lava Sand improve nearly any type of soil and allow water penetration and growth.
Your local nursery is the place to select your plants. They have the varieties they know are best for your climate. Pick strong plants and remove any blooms that are be present. Blooming before the root have developed can divert the plants growing energy and cause a shorter harvest.
At planting, remove the bottom leaf stems and plant so the first branches are only about an inch or so off the ground. Roots will grow out of the main stem and produce a stronger more extensive root system.
Soak the plants with a solution of 2 oz. Nature’s Guide Root Stimulator per gallon of warm water.
Plant earlier than the final frost date if you have resources to cover the plants and protect them from frost like the milk bottles described for eggplant. This gives you a head start in hot climates.
Dust regularly with Nature’s Guide Diatomaceous Earth. Apply it around the base of each plant after soaking with Nature’s Guide Root Stimulator. This prevents cut worms that can devastate a stand of plants in a single evening and red spider mites that arrive with the summer heat.
Keep moisture constant and surround the base of each plant with an inch of Nature's Guide Compost. Some growers hold that allowing the plants to get dry enough to begin wilting will make them hardier.
Side dress each plant with 1/2 cup of Nature’s Guide Tomato and Pepper Food when they start blooming.
Set tomato cages in place while the plants are still small. Once they get large it is hard to place cages without damaging the plants.
If you smoke or chew tobacco wash your hands thoroughly with a germicidal soap before working with them. Tobacco Mosaic, a disease common to tobacco that infect Tomatoes.