Home | Lifestyle | Plant Types | Tomato Plants | How to Plant Tomato Plants for a Family

How to Plant Tomato Plants for a Family

by Kevin Krause
  • Overview

    Growing fresh tomatoes at home is a cost-effective way to provide your family with a healthy food choice. Home-grown tomatoes can be all-organic and vine fresh, making them great for use in salads, on sandwiches or for making sauces. Growing tomatoes takes some time and preparation, but the end result is well worth it.
 
  • Step 1

    Fill paper cups with a starting soil mixture. Each cup will produce one plant, and three plants per family member will produce enough fresh tomatoes to provide a supply of one tomato a day from early summer through early fall. Planting six plants per family member will provide extra tomatoes to either use in food preparation or to preserve for the off-season. Poke a few drainage holes in the cup bottoms and water the soil thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the cups. You want moist soil without standing water.
  • Step 2

    Use your finger to poke holes in the center of the soil in each cup. Each hole should be about 1/8" deep.
  • Step 3

    Place one or two tomato seeds in each hole and cover lightly with soil. Do not pack the soil tightly, as this will hamper the seeds as they begin to sprout.
  • Step 4

    Keep the cups in a container with a clear cover. A large, clear tote that can be purchased at your local home supply store is suitable for this purpose. Check on the seeds daily for signs of sprouting.
  • Step 5

    Remove the cover once all plants have sprouted, and place the container in an outdoor area that will get indirect sunlight. Keep them here for a day or two to acclimate the young plants to the sun and help dry out the soil slightly. Bring the plants indoors at night if temperatures are expected to reach into the low 40s. After a few days you can begin to set the plants out in direct sunlight.
  • Step 6

    Use a nutrient-rich spray or fertilizer to feed the young plants to help them establish their root systems and grow strong. Start off with small doses and gradually increase as the plants begin to get larger. Do not exceed recommended amounts of fertilizer.
  • Step 7

    When the young plants have reached about four inches in height, you can transplant them from their paper cups into a garden bed. Mix compost into the soil where you will be planting your tomatoes. Plant the tomatoes in the spring when temperatures begin to warm and there will be no overnight frost.
  • 2
  • Tomato seeds Paper cups Starter soil Fertilizer and compost Container with clear lid
  • Tomato seeds
  • Paper cups
  • Starter soil
  • Fertilizer and compost
  • Container with clear lid
  • To help your tomatoes grow healthy and strong, you may want to tie them to stakes or a mesh screen.This will direct the plants to grow upwards and keep them from crowding each other, and the tomatoes will be easier to harvest. If planting in early spring, use a plastic ground cover over your tomato bed to help keep the soil warm.
  • To help your tomatoes grow healthy and strong, you may want to tie them to stakes or a mesh screen.This will direct the plants to grow upwards and keep them from crowding each other, and the tomatoes will be easier to harvest.
  • If planting in early spring, use a plastic ground cover over your tomato bed to help keep the soil warm.
  • Do not overfeed your young plants with nutrients. This can kill the plants rather then helping them to thrive.
  • Do not overfeed your young plants with nutrients. This can kill the plants rather then helping them to thrive.

References & Resources