1. Choose disease resistant heirloom varieties and buy from reputable nurseries.
2. Choose plants with dark healthy leaves and thick stems. Long lanky stems are signs that they either grew too fast or they didn't get enough sunlight while growing.
3. Make certain that the area where you plant your garden has at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Remove rocks and weeds from garden area where you intend to plant. I never put manure or fertilizer in soil where I plant tomatoes.
4. Invest in and put up a sturdy fence upon which to grow your tomatoes. I like to use a good quality cattle panel held up with metal fence posts buried every four feet. Good quality tomato cages also work as well.
5. When soil temperatures are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dig a trench four inches deep and long enough to bury the entire stem of the tomato plant. Without a fence, you would have to plant tomato plants 4 foot apart but since you are growing your tomatoes up a fence, you can plant each plant a foot from the one beside it.
6. Remove all but the uppermost leaves of your tomato plant, then plant the entire stem, leaving only the leaves above ground.
7. In planting hole, pour one gallon of water and dust the hole with about a tablespoon with dried kelp powder. Make certain to spread it around the hole and not just dump it all in the bottom of the trench. The water guarantees that the plant stays well hydrated and the kelp contains growth hormones that give the plants a healthy boost.
8. Now plant the tomato into the planting hole. Lay the plant so that the leafy part of it is next to the fence. Cover the entire stem.
9. Sprinkle another tablespoon of kelp along the area where you planted the tomato stem and dust with diatomaceous earth around the base of the tomato to prevent cutworm damage.
10. Water a second time with another gallon of water. If your soil is sufficiently warm enough, mulch around plants to conserve moisture and to prevent diseases in the soil from splashing up from the soil when it rains or when you water.
Now that you planted your tomato plants, water your plants regularly and keep the vines tied to the fence. With proper care, within a few weeks, you will have a terrific tomato crop that the entire neighborhood will envy.
Donna Brown under the pen name Cygnet Brown has written simple organic gardening tips for the beginning gardener like the ones in this article in her book Simply Vegetable Gardening. The book is available through her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com
Article provided by Donna N Brown