We live on a 300 acre farm and my 17-year-old son grows a massive garden each year. He is amazing. We have 18 plants right now (8 different varieties) and just got our first picking of some beautiful Heirloom tomatoes.
A few days after planting, he places straw around the base of the plant. We've done this for years and it really works. We live in NC where it's summer time starting in March most years!