Simple Planting Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes

It’s almost time to plant tomatoes out (only another week or two here in Ohio) and following these simple planting tips can help you grow a great tomato crop this year!

Growing great tomato plants (well, any type of plant, really) all starts with great soil. Tomatoes generally do well in a wide range of climates and soil types, but they do have a few specific needs and preferences in order to grow really well (without deficiency or disease problems) and produce a lot of delicious tomatoes. Adding a few different nutrients to your soil when planting your tomatoes can help your plants avoid things like blossom end rot, blight, wilt, and other virus and diseases.

The planting tips below will help you grow a great tomato crop this year, no matter what type of soil you have. For best results, start with a well-prepared, rich, deep, healthy soil, and then add these amendments when placing your tomato plants out in the garden.

(Note that it is helpful to test your soil beforehand, to see which nutrients you really need to add. For example, our soil is already high in phosphorus, so we don’t add any of this, but low in nitrogen, so we always make sure to use plenty of compost and add extra blood meal when planting. Simple soil test kits can be found for less than $10 online or in your local nursery or garden store.)

  • Something Fishy

    A fish carcass or diluted fish emulsion provides a good source of nitrogen and also encourages microbial activity which will feed the roots…
    (Place about 1/4 c. fish emulsion in 1 gallon water and pour that entire thing over the plant’s base when  done planting)

  • Something Shelly

    Egg shells or shellfish shells provide calcium and prevent blossom end rot, a common tomato ailment.
    (Add about 1/2 c. per tomato plant)

  • Phosphorus

    Use bone meal or bat guano which provides a good source of phosphorus.
    (1/2 c. per tomato plant)

  • Nitrogen

    Blood meal or worm castings provide a bioavailable source of nitrogen which the plant can use immediately.
    (1 c. worm castings, or 1 TB blood meal, per tomato plant)

  • A Root Enhancer (Optional)

    You can use mycorrhizal fungi to help the roots develop a fungal web underground, which will make sure your tomato roots will be able to uptake everything efficiently from the soil.
    (2 TBS. per tomato plant)

For more tips, check out the full article at


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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