Growing tomato vines will reward you with ripe home-grown tomatoes. Tomato plants grow in the summer, and they produce tomatoes until the first frost. Planting the tomatoes outdoors in your home garden will give them the space they need to grow. Tomato vines need to be staked to keep them from toppling over and spreading over the ground. You can either buy tomato seedlings from the a garden centre or grow your own tomatoes from seeds.
Place the tomato seeds in a bowl. Pour 59 ml (1/4 cup) of water over the tomato seeds. Cover the bowl in cling film, and poke holes in the plastic with a toothpick. Allow the seeds to soak for 2 to 3 hours or until they swell.
Remove the seeds from the water. Place them on paper towels and cover them with additional towels to dry them.
Plant the seeds in a seed tray with seed starting soil. Moisten the soil with water, and keep it from drying out once you plant the seeds. Plant them 3 mm (1/8 inch) deep in the trays, and keep them in a sunny and warm location. Transplant them to individual small containers with adequate draining holes.
Harden the tomato seedlings. Place them outdoors for one hour a day, and continue to increase the time they are outside in the weather. This will prevent them from going into shock.
Select a location in your yard that has well-drained soil. The area needs full sunlight. Use a garden tiller to prepare a bed for the tomatoes, and then place 5 cm (2 inches) of compost over the bed.
Add 948 ml (4 cups) of fertiliser for every 9 square metres (100 square feet) in your garden bed. The fertiliser will help keep the tomato vines healthy.
Dig holes into the ground that are 5 cm (2 inches) deeper than your nursery pots and twice as wide. Keep the plants 60 cm (2 feet) apart in rows, and 90 cm (3 feet) apart between the rows.
Loosen the soil around the tomato vine. Remove the vine from the pot, and place the tomato's roots into the hole. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem if they are going to be below the soil's surface. Fill the hole with back soil, and pack the soil lightly around the tomato vine.
Water the soil after you plant the tomato vines. Keep the soil moist, and water them weekly.
Place stakes into the ground behind each tomato vine. The stakes need to be 1.8 m (6 feet) tall and at least 30 to 45 cm(12 to 18 inches) into the ground. Tie the main tomato vine to the stake loosely while the vine grows. Keep the ties on the plant 15 cm (6 inches) apart.
Add fertiliser to the tomato vines after four weeks. Use a nitrogen rich fertiliser, and keep it 15 cm (6 inches) from the tomato vine's stem.
Things you need
- 59 ml (1/4 cup) water
- Cling film
- Paper towels
- Seed tray
- Seed starting soil
- Small containers
- Garden tiller
- Nitrogen rich fertiliser