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Secrets for Great Tomato Plants

Although scientists don’t know just what makes a tomato good tasting and flavorful, Harry Klee from the University of Florida told NPR that site selection, proper watering and soil condition hold the key for growing good tomato plants. Other keys to healthy and powerful fruit-producing tomato plants incorporate good plant and variety selection, proper planting technique, as well as pruning and staking.

Plant Choice

The first key to growing good tomato crops is selecting varieties best suited to your region. A tomato plant that will grow well in one region may create mediocre fruit when grown elsewhere. The local extension office can provide a record of tomato varieties recommended for the region. Next, while shopping for tomato seedlings, avoid those that are overgrown or possess verdant foliage. These young tomato crops often have poor root systems, which means after transplant, they need several weeks to develop stronger roots before plants resume normal growth.

Site Choice

Site selection is crucial. Tomatoes love the sunlight, so choose planting sites that receive no less than 10 hours of sunlight. Also, start looking for airy planting spots, as good circulation helps prevent issues with respiratory diseases. Another trick isn’t to plant tomatoes in precisely the exact same area year after year. Instead, alternate the place of tomato beds every year, and if plants show signs of infection issues, do not use these plots to grow tomatoes for at least three decades.


Soil rich with nutrients and organic matter is just another key to growing healthy tomato plants. Amending with compost is sufficient for good dirt, but for heavy clay and sandy dirt, first add compost or organic manure and utilize a balanced fertilizer when transplanting seedlings. Steer clear of any fertilizer with high levels of sulfur, that will cause excessive leaf development but couple of tomatoes. .


If using tomato seedlings, a secret to tomato growing success lies in how intensely you plant them. A huge portion of the tomato plant stem — up to this seedling’s first true leaves — must be set in a hole and covered with soil and compost. By resisting the stem, the tomato plant’s root system will double in size, leading to much more productive plants.

Pruning and Staking

To concentrate on a tomato plant’s power on fruit production, a useful trick is to burn or prune any nonfruiting tomato branches until they measure 6 inches long. Indeterminate tomato varieties, which may grow to heights of 6 feet or more, will also require support like a cage, trellis or staking. For the best results, put support arrangements when transplanting young tomatoes. Otherwise, if added later, there is a risk of damaging the tomato plant’s origins.


Proper watering is essential to successfully developing a great tomato plant. Tomato plants should be watered thoroughly but infrequently — each five to seven days to get sweet well-flavored fruit. Infrequent watering improves tomato flavor and also reduces the risk of respiratory diseases such as late blight and lessens fruit splitting.

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