organic tomatoes

Total Guide to Growing Tomatoes

Download Total Guide PDF.


For good reason, tomatoes are the popular kid in the garden. Everyone wants to grow them, but not everyone knows how! So we have collected everything we know about tomatoes – from choosing which tomatoes to grow to how to harvest – and put it in one place!

Have success with Espoma’s Total Guide To Growing Tomatoes!

Five questions to ask before growing tomatoes – Know your tomatoes! Answer these five questions before deciding what tomato varieties to grow.

Best Tomato Varieties for Beginners – Depending on what you’re making and where you live, some tomatoes really are better! With more than 7,500 varieties, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for.

Should I grow heirlooms? – Heirloom tomatoes come from seeds that have been handed down from farmer to farmer for generations for their special characteristics and varieties must be 50 years old at least. Because of this, heirloom tomatoes have minimal disease resistance.

Hybrid tomatoes – With over 7,000 varieties, picking the right tomato to grow can seem overwhelming. If you want your tomato to have it all — flavor, disease resistance, texture and more – try modern, hybrid tomatoes.

Non-Red Tomatoes – When growing tomatoes in your organic garden, you probably envision swathes of red. However, tomatoes were not always red. The earliest varieties were yellow and orange.

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Starting tomatoes from seed – In practically no time at all, you can start tomato seeds. The best way to get a head start on growing tomatoes is to start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost date in your region.

How to start tomato and pepper seeds indoors – The best way to get a head start on growing tomatoes is to start seeds indoors. Whether you’re growing cherry tomatoes or hot peppers, visit your local garden center to pick up supplies.

How to plant tomatoes – Seeing red tomatoes peek through the green leaves in your garden is a true sign that summer is here. The first harvest of the season provides opportunities to finally try those delicious garden-to-table recipes.

How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers – Laura from Garden Answer demonstrates how to grow tomatoes in planters.

Ensuring soil health – Soil, as you may have thought, is not dirt. Healthy soil is a collection of creatures, minerals and living material that holds water and nutrients like a sponge, making them readily available for plants. To continue to grow big, juicy fruits and vegetables, you need to make sure you’re feeding your soil.

Growing tomatoes in containers – Tomatoes grown in portable containers are just as tasty and satisfying as garden grown. Plus, containers are versatile and can easily be moved from one spot to another to suite your gardening needs.

Growing tomatoes upside down – Laura from Garden Answer demonstrates how to make an upside down tomato planter. She uses Espoma’s new liquid fertilizer, Start!, to give plants the nutrients they need to grow.

Turn your tomato garden upside down – This summer, put a new twist on growing tomatoes by adding upside-down tomato planters to your organic vegetable garden.

Growing tomatoes  – To pick the tomatoes best for you, decide if you’d like to snack on tomatoes throughout summer. These are known as Indeterminate. Or if you’d like your crop to ripen at once at the end of summer, select determinate.

Companion Planting for Beginners – Find out how to your plants can help each other in this tutorial with Laura from Garden Answer. She’ll walk you through the basics of what it is, how to get started and how she companion plants in her own garden.

organic tomatoes

How to fertilize tomatoes – Tomatoes and peppers have big appetites, so they need plenty of organic food. Since plants get all their nutrients from the soil, their all-you-can-eat buffet runs out quick. Feed them right, and they’ll burst full of fresh produce.

3 Ways to Support Tomatoes – Use tomato cages, wood or metal stakes, or a trellis to give plants extra support. It’s really a matter of preference which one you choose. The most important thing is that you’re keeping plants off the ground to avoid pests, diseases and rot.

How to mulch tomato plants – Add mulch, a natural covering on top of soil, to keep moisture in, block weeds and provide added nutrients.

How to prune tomatoes – Tiny tomato seedlings can vigorously turn into huge bushes in no time. In fact, they’ve even been known to bend cages and pull stakes out of the ground!

What are tomato plant suckers?  – Tomato suckers are small shoots, or leaves, that sprout out from where the stem and the branch of a tomato plant meet. Although relatively harmless to the plant, suckers don’t serve much of a purpose.

How much water do tomatoes need? – When, and how frequently, you should water your tomato plants depends on the variety, size and location.

6 Secrets to Get The Best Tomatoes – Every tomato has the potential to be great and some extra attention now will pay off big time come harvest. Set the stage for a stellar performance by this year’s crops with these tips.

organic tomatoes

Blossom end rot – If a dark, water soaked spot has formed on your tomato you may have blossom-end rot. This problem is likely caused by an imbalance of calcium in the plant.

Tomato woes – How to solve common tomato diseases – If you spot a worrisome sign on your tomatoes, here’s how to identify and fix it – the organic, natural way!

Keep Tomatoes from Cracking and Splitting – Tomatoes split open when the fruit outpaces the growth of the skin — usually after a heavy rain. The bad news: split tomatoes can introduce bacteria into the fruit and cause them to rot.

Protect your plants – 4 common tomato pests – It doesn’t matter if you’re growing hybrids or heirlooms, there are a few pests you don’t want around. Identify harmful pests early before damage is done.

organic tomatoes

Harvesting tomatoes made easy  – Whether you’re cooking, canning, freezing or simply eating your tomatoes raw, you’ll want to pick them at the perfect moment. These harvesting tips will ensure your organic tomatoes are ripe when picked.

Step-by-step Instructions to Can, Save and Preserve Tomatoes  – Preserve tomatoes now to enjoy the sweet rewards of your summer veggie garden long after harvest season is over.

Saving tomato seeds – Tomato seeds might be available at the store year-round, but saving your own is satisfying and easy.

Tomato recipes – Make sure to pick tomatoes when they are just right to enjoy with your favorite tomato recipes. These harvesting tips will ensure you get a flavorful tomato every time.

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