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How to Take End of Season Notes about Your Tomato Garden

Since 2010, Tomato Dirt has garnered 4.6+ million views, making it the web’s leading online source for growing tomatoes in the home garden. Award-winning writer and Tomato Dirt owner Kathy Widenhouse has helped thousands of home gardeners grow healthier tomatoes. Be one of them when you get Tomato Dirt’s Growing Guide here.

As the end of season approaches, take notes about your tomato garden. You will be glad you did come next spring.

Einstein: learn from yesterday. With Tomato Dirt

Your personal gardening notes may be the most valuable resource you can rely on for next year’s crop (followed by Tomato Dirt as a close second, of course!)

Where you put your notes does not really matter. Use a notebook, computer file, gardening journal, or whatever place works for you.

What kind of notes you take will be unique to you, too. For instance, maybe you planted only one or two tomato varieties … but perhaps your climate had considerable weather swings this year. Meanwhile your sister, who lives 3 states away, planted 10 types of tomatoes and her region had a consistent weather pattern. Her tomato garden notes will look different from yours.

Refer to the checklist below to take notes about your tomato crop and pieces of information you want to remember for next year. You can also download a printable version here. You can make copies for each tomato variety you planted or for your tomato garden in general. Fill out the checklist and keep it in your garden notebook so you have a head start next spring!

End of Season Checklist for Your Tomato Garden


Starting Tomato Seeds

  • Tomato variety:
  • Name of vendor (either for seeds or plants):
  • Cost (seeds, potting soil, plants):
  • Seed planting date:
  • Germination date:
  • Date first true set of leaves appear:
  • Transplanting date:
  • Special plant strengthening tips:
  • Hardening off dates and exposure:
  • Things I want to do differently about starting tomato seeds next year:

Planting Tomato Seedlings

  • Date that I set plants in the garden or containers:
  • Planting details:
  • Garden layout records (so I can rotate crops):
  • Containers - size and positions:
  • Things I want to do differently about planting tomatoes next year:

Growing Tomatoes

  • Watering method
  • Watering schedule
  • Staking method
  • Type of fertilizer
  • Fertilizing schedule
  • First flowering date
  • Date first fruit appeared
  • Pests
  • Diseases
  • Special weather notes
  • Things I want to do differently about growing tomatoes next year:

Harvesting Tomatoes

  • First pick:
  • Last pick:
  • Volume:
  • Seeds saved and save date:
  • First frost date:
  • Garden clean up details:
  • Things I want to do differently about harvesting tomatoes next year:

(Download and print this checklist here.)

A Last Word

Physicist and Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein (1879-1955) said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

That truth applies to gardening. Each growing season allows you an amazing opportunity to learn about gardening, about tomatoes, about your soil, your microclimate, and even your own gardening habits.

As you review what you experienced from growing this year’s crop, you can apply your success and lessons learned to the next time around.

More End of Season Tips for Your Tomato Garden

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Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist, Part 1: Remove Tomato Plants

Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist, Part 2: Remove Tomato Supports

Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist, Part 3: Burn, Turn, Mulch

3 Mistakes to Avoid When You Prepare Garden for Winter ...

More tips on our Garden Cleanup Pinterest board...

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