Home Growing Vegetables Growing Tomatoes: Tips, Pics & Tom’s Two Cents

Growing Tomatoes: Tips, Pics & Tom’s Two Cents

Growing Tomatoes: Tips, Pics & Tom’s Two Cents

Previous Posts: All About Growing Tomatoes

List of Tom’s TOP Tomato Picks: Slicer, Salad, Paste, and Cherry

Homegrown tomatoes, there’s nothing quite like them to wake up the palate and slap you with the taste of summer. I’ve compiled all of my favorite posts about this delectable nightshade. Just click on the link below each photo for tips, pics and insights (hopefully) about growing tomatoes in your garden and enjoying them on your plate.

row of newly planted tomato plants

How to Grow Tomatoes When the Plants Are All Legs

tomato supported by trellis wire

How to Make a Tomato Trellis (A Cagey Alternative)

tomato suckers: don’t pinch ‘em

Tomato Plants: Leave the Little Suckers Alone


stem of cherry tomatoesSnip It: The Best Way to Pick Cherry Tomatoes


How Not to Make Ketchup


best savory ketchup blue ribbon winner

How to Make Ketchup & Blue Ribbon Redemption



Green Tomatoes: I’ll Tell You What to Do With Them


The BLT: Assembly (and a Little Driving) Required




  1. Here in my western NY garden, I’m trying 3 new-to-me varieties this year: Kellogg’s Breakfast (a gorgeous orange beefsteak type from Seed Saver’s), Indigo Rose from Territorial, and Red Estiva from Johnny’s. My own favorite paste tomato is Viva Italian, uniform, prolific, delicious. We filled 60 jiffy pellets with assorted seeds last weekend; already, the broccoli has sprouted! It’s an exciting part of the gardening year.

  2. Tom!
    Where have you been lately? I figured that you might be involved in something more fun then your blog and took a much needed break! 😉 Now that I see that clean-shaven face I might have been right!!
    You look marvelous darling!! With or without facial hair 🙂 You look very happy and that is very good!! I WANT THAT SANDWICH!! 😛

  3. Tom, Tom, Tom … Thanks for the fascinating article about tomatos. And you look so handsome, not that you didn’t with the facial hair too … Your articles always make me smile !

  4. Tom,
    Great post. Glad you compiled all this info. I’m even more glad as a fellow heirloom tomato grower to know that you aren’t afraid to post a picture of tomatoes with a few splits and cracks. Those are TRUE tomatoes and it’s all about the FLAVOR! Best to you in 2012,

  5. Hi, I’m new to your blog and am a Seattlite now living the country life vicariously through you! I was waiting for you to comment or offer a tip about growing tomatoes in this heat-challenged climate of ours. Do you use cloches throughout the year?

    • Renae, thanks for the compliment!

      Anne — ummm, more tomatoes for me to try, let me know how these varieties do for you.

      Roberta and Brooks…I’m blushing, thanks for the kind comments, but I fear that photo was taken last summer, so I still have the beard, pasty white winter skin, and an extra 20 pounds from the holidays. It aint pretty, let me tell you. I think I’ll post a photo of George Clooney in a straw and dungarees, and convince readers that it’s me.

      Dave, here’s to ugly tomatoes that taste great! thanks!

      Kim, I don’t use cloches, I just try not to plant my tomatoes too early in the season. Soil temp is the big thing and a tomatoes love warm feet so I wait until at least May 15 to plant my tomatoes starts, last year it was June 1. I’m looking into getting a Hoop House and I’ll share my results when the time comes..

      Kim — I once grew tomatoes in pots on my porch in Juneau, Alaska…it can be done. And though I only got 4 tomatoes, I was still satisfied with that result.

      Here are my suggestions:
      –Variety matters: I would only choose cherry, currant, grape or small salad tomatoes. The big beefsteaks would not do as well. Sungold tomatoes are a favorite as well as a grape type called Juliet.
      –Don’t over water, When the tomato begins to wilt a bit, then water it.
      –Don’t fertilize it, this will cause a lot leaf growth but not fruit set.
      –Give it as much sun as possible. If your deck faces North, this may be a real challenge.
      –Consider a pea patch, a community garden to rent a space in. That’s how I started when I lived in Seattle and didn’t have garden space. You meet some great folks and learn a lot just by osmosis.
      –Use a good potting soil, and pot with good drainage, it needs to have a hole or holes on the bottom of the vessel. Good Luck and if all else fails, support your local farmers market and buy your summer tomatoes there. Good Luck!

  6. I always look forward to your words and photos with my cup of tea in the morning. Would you please make it a point of posting late at night, so I can wake up to the New York Times and your Blog? Thanks so much….Patty

  7. I am going to be referring to this post often during tomato season in Minnesota. The best things I’ve done recently with my own tomatoes is 1. Mixing hybrid along with the heirloom 2. Realized squeezing as many tomatoes as I can into my little garden plot is not wise. Doing both of these have helped significantly with wilt and disease. And Tom… I winced (again) upon seeing the photo of your kitchen when you made the ketchup.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.