How to Pick the Best Home Garden Spot for Growing Tomato Plants

Your tomatoes are counting on you to pick out a spot in the home garden where they can grow successfully.

They have a few preferences. In fact, they’re downright picky about two things. Tomatoes like sun and heat.

Site Tip #1: Tomatoes need sun.

Whether you’re growing one cherry tomato plant in a patio container or a full crop of a couple dozen varieties, make sure you choose a site that gets at least 7 hours of full sun a day.

Check how shadows fall, especially if trees or tall buildings are nearby.

black plastic warms the soil for tomatoes

Site Tip #2: Tomatoes like heat.

A couple of weeks before you plant tomato seedlings, spread black plastic across your planting area. The dark covering absorbs sunlight during the day, helping to warm the soil several degrees. This way, cool spring nights won’t stress your tomatoes.

You’ll give them a leg (stem) up and help them make a smooth transition to the garden. They’ll thank you by providing you with an earlier crop.

Tomato Dirt Special Tip: if you can’t give your tomatoes as much heat or sun as you’d like, plan them near a west- or south-facing side of your house. The wall will soak up heat during the day and pass it along to your tomato plants at night.

Here are a few extra tips, along with the top two biggees above, that you need to know when you select a spot in your home garden for growing tomato plants.

Site Tip #3: Tomatoes don’t like drafts.

Tomatoes don’t do well on slopes or in windy areas. Low-lying spots don’t work, either, because you’ll expose tomatoes to frost. Plant tomatoes where they’ll be protected from winds and cold blasts.

Site Tip #4: Tomatoes need a lot of nutrients.

Tomatoes are big feeders. Prepare your garden plot by working in lots of compost into the soil, 5-8 pounds per square foot. Incorporate the compost well by turning the soil with a spade icon or tiller/cultivator. Learn more about preparing garden soil for tomatoes.

Site Tip #5: Tomatoes need water.

Make sure your plot has access to a water source. You’ll need it for watering tomatoes especially during the heat of the summer.


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