Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Tomatoes plants can be finicky to grow and there is much to be learned before becoming an expert at growing tomatoes. Let's look at 10 top tips for growing tomatoes in your backyard vegetable garden, in a pot or in a greenhouse in the zones 2 - 4 growing climates from someone who has struggled with growing tomatoes in Calgary, Alberta herself. Here are tips for how to grow more, tastier and larger tomatoes in your own backyard.
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Tip # 1 - Start Tomatoes From Seed Early
Tomatoes need to be seeded early in the year or purchased already started to be able to grow to maturity and bear fruit prior to our early fall frost. Seed your tomatoes around the beginning of March. (Find my free printable zone 3 seeding chart here.) Aim to have your tomato plants just beginning to bloom by the end of May to allow time for fruit to grow and ripen during the short zone 3 growing season.
When moving your tomatoes from indoors to outdoors carefully harden them off to prevent shock.
Tip # 2 - Transplant Tomatoes Deep
Tomatoes can be transplanted to a soil level deeper than they previously were growing. Tomato plants are unique in that they easily grow roots all up the stem once it is placed in soil. Plant the long stem of tomato seedlings up to the first set of leaves. (Also check out my post How to Fix Leggy Seedlings.) If you plant a number of tomato seeds together in