How to Grow Tomatoes

All of our tomatoes and plants are grown at breezy gardens.  For 30 years we have trialed many different varieties and would highly recommend any of the plants we carry to feature in your own home garden.

When to plant

Tomatoes like heat!  They are a warm weather plant.   The number of days listed in this guide for each variety is the time it takes from the time you plant the tomato in your garden until you harvest your first tomatoes.   (this is based on the temperature of the soil being at a constant 75f)  in our area you should plant about the 3rd week of may to be safe.  An old vegetable farmer once said to me “plant after the last full moon in may” this is tried and true advice.

How to prepare for planting

A trick to increasing and maintaining soil temperature is to use black plastic.  Prepare your garden in the usual way by rototilling or turning over with a spade or fork. Add organic compost or fertilizer and mix these into the soil.  This is also a good time to add lime to your garden.  Preferably, lime with calcium.  (if you ever grew tomatoes and had problems with the end of the tomato rotting, this is called blossom end rot and is due to the lack of calcium in your soil)  a good rule to follow is to add 50 pounds of lime to 1000 square feet of garden each year.   To help increase your soil temperature use black plastic.  For large areas you might want to purchase a roll of plastic (size dependent on how many tomatoes or other warm weather plants you are planting.)  For a small area you could use a large black plastic trash bag (
do not use clear) cut down each side of the bag.  Do not cut the bottom. Open up the bag and you should have a sheet of plastic approximately 2.5 feet wide x 7 feet long.  Lay this sheet in your garden and cover the edges with soil.  From one end measure about 6 inches in and then cut a hole 3” to 4” diameter in the middle of the sheet.  Then cut additional holes 18’ apart.  You should get 4 holes for each bag that you use.  Place some stones or old wood on the plastic to keep the wind from blowing the sheet out of your garden.

How to plant

Plant your tomatoes in the holes of the plastic using a small garden trowel.  Stab the trowel into the hole to the depth of the length of the trowel.  Then pull the trowel toward you which will create a hole on the back side of the trowel.  Place your tomato plant into the hole behind the trowel.  Remove the trowel from the hole.  Then, using your fingers, firm the soil around the plant pressing lightly

How to water

Tomatoes require 1 inch to 2 inches of water per week for the entire growing season.  Much of this water will come from the moisture in the soil.  However, if the weather becomes very hot and dry you will need to water your tomatoes.  Its best to water in the morning and avoid getting the plant leaves wet.  (tomato plant leaves that are subjected to excessive wetting are more susceptible to tomato diseases.)  Watering in the morning allows the leaves to dry out before night time.   It is better to water once every 5-7 days thoroughly than to sprinkle lightly every day.  This forces the plants roots to grow deeper in the soil searching for water and thus be better prepared for dry weather.  Using black plastic keeps the soil moist by forming a barrier between the soil and the air thus preventing loss of moisture by evaporation.  The black plastic also prevents the growth of weeds that would rob the tomatoes of moisture and nutrients.

Types of tomatoes at Breezy Gardens

There are many different types of tomatoes, selecting the right tomato for you is key.  We sell many different types of tomatoes just for that reason!

Early Girl- early season medium size

Primo Red- New! Early season, medium size

Jet Star- Big Yield, mid-season large tomato

Celebrity- very disease resistant large tomatoe

Big boy- mid season large tomato

Better boy – mid season large tomato, disease resistant

Supersonic – late season, extra large tomato. Determinate grower

Beefsteak – late season, extra large tomato very juicy

Roma- Italian plum tomato, great for cooking

Sweet 100 – red cherry tomato

Sweet Gold – yellow cherry tomato

Sugar plum- sweet grape tomato

Garden Peach- Organic Seed, medium yellow tomato

Brandywine- large heirloom tomato