Planting Tomatoes {Beginner’s Garden Podcast}

In the Garden · Summer Garden · The Beginner's Garden Podcast · Tomatoes · Vegetables

The most popular vegetable to grow, tomatoes find a spot in most home gardens. Whether we grow them for canning (like I do) or for fresh eating, a bumper crop of tomatoes can make any gardener feel like a pro.

How do we get that bumper crop? Though we can’t control the yearly nemeses of weather, disease, and pests, getting our tomato plants off to a good start gives them the best advantage.

But because everyone it seems grows tomatoes, sometimes the most basic information on growing the most popular vegetable can be hard to find. In this episode of the Beginner’s Garden Podcast, I go through all the basics, such as:

  • When to plant
  • [More important] When NOT to plant
  • The 7 supplies you need
  • How far apart they need to be planted
  • Step-by-step planting instructions
  • Suggestions on staking, and the ONLY time I recommend using round tomato cages
  • Why you should mulch, but not right away

Click below to listen to the episode, then scroll down to get all the show notes for this episode, including some valuable resources to get your tomatoes off to their best start!

Show Notes

(some links below are affiliate links)

The two organic fertilizers I recommend are Tomato Tone and Garden Tone:

My method for crushing egg shells:

VIDEO: a variation of the Florida Weave for staking tomatoes:

*As I mentioned in the podcast, this method works best for Roma tomatoes and other determinate varieties. If you use them for an indeterminate type, you’ll need taller stakes.

Recommended books on tomatoes, mentioned in the podcast:

Epic Tomatoes


Previous Podcast Episodes mentioned:

Episode 3: 4 Types of Mulch to Use in Your Garden

Episode 8: How to Grow a Salsa Garden

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  1. First of all, I am so glad I found your podcast. I have always been a weekend warrior gardener and am trying to become better so I can yield more fruits and vegetables. I started at the beginning of your podcasts and am working my way thru them all. A few of questions on this one after watching the YouTube video.
    1. Is the fence behind you for your climbing plants or is it to keep critters out. I have deer, bears, turkey’s, rabbits and everything else coming thru my yard and I am concerned about them eating everything I plant. I know you mentioned in the blueberry segment that they don’t do much damage on your property.
    2. I have chickens as well and have a lot of eggshells. If I grind them up and put in a container, will they keep their potency over the year until I need to use them again?
    3. How many tomato plants do you have between the stakes you show on the video?

    Thank you for all the work you put into this to make my life easier.

    1. Hi Ron, the fence behind me isn’t actually my garden fence. It’s a fence for our dog. My garden is now fully in an enclosed fence, which is comprised of part rabbit fence/chicken wire (about 2′ tall) and part electric fence (a line at the top). The latter is for the deer; the former is for rabbits. With your eggs, I wouldn’t see why you couldn’t continue using them as long as they are completely dry. I have used mine after a year or more, and I haven’t heard otherwise on them losing anything with time. On your third question, I have tried using this method with 2 plants between the stakes as is common in commercial operations, but I’ve had the best success using 1 plant per stake. Now I only use this method for determinate varieties like Romas and I use heavy cages for indeterminate tomatoes. Here’s a post that explains more on what I use now:

  2. Hi Jill

    I’m such a beginner. Last year tried to plant tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and zucchini in a 4×4 garden bed. Yikes. It was awful.

    I learned so much already.

    I planted only five tomato plants

    But I didn’t plant them like you said.
    I just dug a hole and stuck in the ground. I feel like I should dig them back up. They have been in there for about two weeks ago

    Best part I love about finding your podcast is that you love the Lord.

    I just deleted a podcast about minimal living. They started going into how things are connected to the spiritual gods. I was like delete!

    So I was thrilled how you spoke about grafting tomatoes and used it to bring Gods words into the podcast.

    Love your podcast.
    Blessings to you and your family

    Sorry about losing your mom too early to cancer. I know we have a great hope to see our love ones in heaven.
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much, Peggy! I wouldn’t dig up your tomato plants at this point. They’re roots have already started to get established and I’m sure they’ll be fine! I hope you have a great season!

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