30 Second Guide to Growing Tomatoes

Posted May 30, 2016 by Lauren Dibble in Gardening / 7 Comments


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

guide to growing tomatoes

In this series I’m compiling the quick and dirty info on growing specific vegetables. Just the basics. No fluff, no frills. When you’re sitting down in the late Winter, surrounded by seed catalogs, and your garden plan in front of you, you want a quick reference. How far apart can you plant? What pH do they need? How much water? What vegetables can you plant next to others? Which should you avoid?

This quick and dirty 30 second guide to Tomatoes should help you answer all those questions quickly, without having to sort through article after article. I’ve always wanted a quick cheat sheet like this, so hopefully you’ll find it useful too!


Tomatoes are the best, easiest, and most delicious entry-level vegetable for the beginner homesteader to grow. If you’re just getting your thumbs green, check out my post: Gardening 101 for more basic information.

Below I’ve gathered a quick and dirty guide to tomato-growing success. Paired down to the simple necessities, this quick guide should give you an easy reference sheet for all things tomato.

Soil pH



6-8 hours


1 in per week

Planting Time

Start seeds 6-8 weeks before last day of frost. Transplant after chance of last frost.

Compatible With

Chives, Marigolds, Basil, Carrots, Peppers, Sage, Onions, Garlic, Leaf lettuce

Avoid Planting With

Black walnuts, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, dill


3 ft


Need tomato cage or support for stalk.

Harvesting Fruit

Harvest tomatoes when they first begin to turn yellow or orange and allow to ripen on your counter to prevent any type of rot or the birds getting to them first.

Saving The Seeds

To save the seeds from your tomatoes to plant in your garden next year, scoop out seeds from a healthy, vine-ripened tomato. Place in a glass jar and allow to ferment for at least three days. Rinse the seeds and allow to dry fully. For more detailed instruction, see my Saving Tomato Seeds post.

30 Second Guide to Growing Tomatoes

7 responses to “30 Second Guide to Growing Tomatoes

  1. JES

    There is nothing like a home-grown tomato! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! 🙂

  2. Well this explains why my tomatoes didn’t do so well last year. I planted them right next to the cabbage and the cauliflower. 😛 Think I’m going to have to browse around your blog for some more tips! #sustainablesundays

  3. I wouldn’t have thought to pick them before they are fully red and let them ripen on the counter! It’s what they do in the grocery stores! I may have to try that out, unfortunately mine are still green right now. #sustainablesunday.

    • Lauren Dibble

      I HAVE to pick them before ripe or else the birds get to them first! Plus there’s something so fulfilling about seeing tomatoes ripening on the window sill. Where are you located? I’ve just put out my seedlings this week!

  4. My grandma always said that tomatoes don’t need the scalding sun to ripen they just need the heat. I, too, have always picked them before they are really red because our Kansas sun is scorching in the summer!


  5. Great tip about harvesting them early. Every time we’ve tried to leave them until they’re ripe, they get gobbled up before we can pick them. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at #SustainableSundays and I look forward to seeing what you share with us this week.

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