What should I know about growing tomatoes successfully?
Tomatos should be planted no earlier than mid-May in this area, in well drained, fertile soil with at least 8 hours of sun each day. A soil test from Cooperative Extension in your County will provide you with the best information on the amendments you should apply to your soil . Use directions for vegetable gardens.
Without a soil test, you can safely apply a modest amount of lime and organic fertilizer or compost. Crushed egg shells or a garden calcium additive will help prevent blossom end rot. Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches and rake out stones and other debrie. A strong root system is achieved by planting the tomatos deep in the soil. A twelve inch tall plant can be planted six inches deep, but regardless of the size leave 3 or 4 inches above the soil. It's best to have an inch a week of rain water. If it doesn't rain water with a hose to achieve the required one inch. It is best to water in the morning. When the plants are a foot or so high, install a support, consisting of a cage or a stake with ties. Large indeterminate tomatos plants will reguire staking up to six feet. Mulching with grass clippings or other material will keep weeds down. A water soluable fertilizer may be applied following label directions.
Early tomato varieties will yield small tomatos in mid to late July. Larger tomatos will ripen in August and might continue producing until frost.
See video below on growing healthy tomatoes.