1.Don’t start the plants too early before the season, unless you live in a warm climate otherwise, your tomato plants will be exposed to unexpected late frost and cold temperatures. The best planting time is when the temperature starts to stay above 50 F (10 C).
2. Unlike all other plants, tomatoes must be planted deeply. Deep planting encourages healthy and strong root system. At the time of planting, cover bottom 2/3 part of your tomato seedling with potting soil. For example, if your plant is 10 inches high leave only 3 inches of its height from the top.
3. Grow determinate varieties of tomatoes if you’re short of space or growing tomatoes in containers. Determinate tomatoes don’t grow too tall or wide (generally, 3-4 feet). Both hybrid and heirloom cultivars are available in it.
4. Growing indeterminate tomatoes in a small space is a mistake, they easily grow above 6 feet tall normally and spread a lot, thus require sturdy support by caging or staking. On the other hand, determinate type of tomatoes requires slight support.
5. Space your tomato plants 18 inches apart (determinate one). Ideally, you should leave the space of 24 inches if possible. Tomato plants grown too close are prone to fungal diseases and are less productive.
6. On a small balcony, you can even grow smaller varieties more closely. Consider cherry tomatoes. But remember, tomatoes growing too tightly require more attention: More fertilizer, water, and pruning.
7. Pruning is not necessary unless plants are grown too closely. Prune tangling branches that are blocking the air flow and penetration of sun. Also, remove suckers (emerging stems) up to 6-8 inches under each plant. This will improve the productivity of the plant.
8. Use large pots to grow tomatoes. You can use a 5-gallon pot that is 12 inches wide and deep for a single plant of determinate variety, for an indeterminate type choose minimum 15-gallon size container.
9. The container should be deep, at least, 12 inches is necessary.
10. Caging needs more space so instead of it, support tomatoes by stacking. If you are growing tomatoes on a balcony, consider tying them up to the railing.
11. Don’t grow tomatoes upside down. It is a fancy idea but not a practical one. However, you can grow tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) in hanging baskets.
12. Provide the sun, as much sun as possible. The more your tomato plant will soak the sunlight more they will fruit.
13. Use soilless potting mix for the better result. You can buy it or make your own.
14. Soil pH matters. Ideal pH for tomatoes is around 6 – 6.8. Slightly acidic to neutral.
15. Add worm castings or vermicompost to the soil. You can also put worms in the soil.