Growing Tomatoes in Your Home Garden - FeraxFarm

Tomatoes are cultivated all around the globe. They can grow in small gardens or even in pots. With proper care and a few useful tips growing tomatoes in your home garden can yield ripe and delicious fruit.

Even if space is limited and you lack a garden, you can easily grow tasty, juicy tomatoes in containers with minimal effort.

Tomatoes are among the most commonly used vegetables, finding their way into numerous dishes worldwide, from salads and sandwiches to juices, sauces, ketchup, and various tasty and healthy recipes in India.

Growing flavourful tomatoes lies in selecting the right varieties, ensuring a good start for the plants, and managing potential issues in advance.

tomato plantation-Growing Tomatoes in Your Home Garden

Growing Tomatoes in Your Home Garden

There are several tomato varieties in India that you can grow at your home. These tomato varieties can be grown throughout the year as some of these are summer varieties, some are winter and some are rainy season varieties.

Here is the step by step guide to grow tomatoes in the home garden.

Select the Right Variety of Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes in your home garden first needs to select a variety. Begin by choosing the right kind of tomato that fits your available space and taste preferences. Your choice of tomatoes to grow at home largely depends on how you intend to use them.

Tomatoes can be broadly categorized into two main types: indeterminate and determinate. Indeterminate tomatoes continuously produce fruit throughout the growing season, while determinate tomatoes tend to ripen almost all at once.

Determinate tomatoes are ideal for making sauces or drying because they reach a smaller size at maturity, making them suitable for container planting.

Indeterminate tomatoes, which encompass many heirloom tomato varieties are better for consistent harvesting throughout the summer.

Determinate variants will produce shoots until the vine’s flowers have bloomed, whereas indeterminate types will form flowers along with the shoots and continue growing until the weather conditions become unfavorable.

Several popular varieties of open-pollinated heirloom tomatoes include Paste Tomato or Plum Tomato, Cherry Tomato, Yellow Pear, Rose, Black Krim, Cherokee Green, Nepal, and more.

Additionally, consider the ripening time of your tomatoes. Tomatoes are classified into early-season, mid-season, and late-season categories.

Get the Soil Ready

After selecting your desired tomato variety to grow at home, prepare the soil. Tomatoes grow well in soil that drains well and is full of organic material. Prepare the soil by taking out any unwanted plants and loosening it using a garden fork or tiller. Improve its fertility by mixing in compost or aged manure.

Before you plant anything, ensure your soil is suitable for tomatoes. Tomatoes like a bit acidic soil, with a pH level between 6.2 and 6.8. You can check the pH at home or have a soil test done by your local extension agency, which will also identify any nutrient shortages.

Mix compost into the soil before putting it in the tomato plants. You can also add compost to keep the plants well-nourished during the growing season. Another option is using a fertilizer made for tomatoes every two weeks throughout the growing season, starting when you plant. Tomatoes need lots of nutrients to grow well.

Get Your Tomatoes Growing

You can grow tomatoes from seeds or buy them as young plants from a nearby plant shop. If you choose to start from seeds, plant them indoors about 6-8 weeks before you plan to move them outside. Make sure they get enough sunlight, warmth, and water for good germination.

If you intend to transplant your tomato plants in early June, sow the seeds indoors around mid-April. When your tomato seedlings reach about five to six inches in height, it’s time to move them from their small indoor pots to larger ones or your outdoor home garden that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

This transition is known as “hardening off” the plants. Follow these steps for a smooth transfer of young tomato seedlings outdoors.

Also Read: Tomato Cultivation Varieties for Indian Farmers

Planting Your Plants

Once your seedlings reach a height of about 6-8 inches, it’s time to move them to bigger pots or directly into the soil. Keep a distance of 4 feet between each row and 2 to 2½ inches between plants in a row to ensure good airflow and space for growth.

When putting in your tomato plants, go a bit deeper than their original pot depth. Plant them so that they’re covered up to the top leaves. This method lets tomatoes sprout roots along their stems, resulting in a strong plant.

You can either dig a deep hole or create a shallow trench and place the plant on its side. It will gradually stand upright and grow towards the sunlight. Just be cautious when inserting your tomato support (like stakes or cages) to avoid piercing the buried stem.

Watering Your Tomato Plants

Regularly provide water to your tomato plants. Growing tomatoes in your home garden needs consistently moist soil but it should not have soaked. Putting a layer of mulch around the plants can help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

When your tomatoes are growing, water them deeply and frequently. If it’s hot and dry, they might need even more water. If you notice the plants looking wilted most of the day, it’s a sign they need water. If it’s not raining, plan to give your plants about an inch of extra water each week.

Direct the water at the base of the plant or use a soaker hose. Avoid getting the leaves wet, as this can cause diseases. Once the fruit starts to ripen, you can reduce the watering.

Giving less water will encourage the plant to concentrate its sugars, resulting in tastier fruit. But be careful not to withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed, as this can cause them to drop their blossoms and possibly their fruit.

Fertilizing the Plants

Fertilize your tomato plants at these key times: before or during planting, about two weeks before they start to bloom, and once more when the first tomatoes are small. For each plant sprinkle, about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons (15-21 ml) of fertilizer.

Use fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 4-6-3 If your soil has good compost and is balanced. If your soil needs more nitrogen, consider a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 NPK during the early growth stages. Before your plants start fruiting, choose a fertilizer with lower nitrogen content.

Cover the fertilizer with soil and mulch. Just be sure to avoid getting any fertilizer on the leaves or stems—it’s important to keep it contained in the soil.

Provide Support to Your Plants

When tomato plants reach a height of 10 to 12 inches support them. As they grow, carefully tie them to stakes or a trellis to avoid branches breaking from the fruit’s weight. You can use tomato cages, string trellises, and metal or wooden stakes with ties to keep the plants upright.

Indeterminate tomatoes usually require more strong support compared to determinate varieties. Stakes or cages can assist tomatoes stand tall once they start bearing fruit.

Remove Bottom Leaves of Plants 

Once your tomato plants grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall, taking off the leaves from the lower foot of the stem can help prevent diseases as these leaves are the oldest and are often the first to get fungus issues.

Since these leaves are near the ground, they can easily touch pathogens in the soil. Removing them can stop fungal diseases. Make sure to clean your clippers between plants to prevent the spreading of disease. Also, remove the sucker that develops between branch joints to get more tomatoes.

Managing Diseases and Pests

Several diseases attack tomatoes such as Bacterial wilt, Damping Off, Septoria leaf spot, Leaf curl, Bacterial leaf spot, Mosaic, and Early blight. Regularly check your crop for disease and if necessary use appropriate measures to combat these issues.  

Keep an eye on your plants for unwanted visitors like aphids, caterpillars, or tomato hornworms. Combat these pests using natural methods like handpicking or applying neem oil. Also, maintain a clean garden by removing any diseased or infected plant parts promptly.

Harvesting and Storing Your Tomatoes

The timing of tomato harvesting varies based on whether you planted early, mid, or late-season tomatoes. Early-season tomatoes mature in 40 to 70 days, mid-season in 60 to 70 days, and late-season tomatoes in 80 to 100 days from planting.

When tomatoes reach a good size and are fully colored, they are ready to be harvested. The skin should be smooth, shiny, and have a supple yet firm feel. They should come off the plant easily. Fruit is not ready to harvest if you have to pull them hard.

Keep your harvested tomatoes at room temperature. Storing them in the refrigerator can hinder the ripening of unripe fruits. However, if the tomatoes are fully ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Just remember, they’ll taste best if you allow them to return to room temperature before consuming.


Growing tomatoes at home is a simple and enjoyable way to start your home garden and have fresh ingredients for your meals like soups, salads, and sandwiches. Choose a tomato variety to cultivate and look forward to a satisfying harvest from your home garden.

Tomatoes are at their tastiest and most flavorful when enjoyed straight from the vine. Once you transplant them, you’ll begin to see the fruit developing within approximately 65 to 70 days.

A ripe tomato is softer compared to the unripe ones. The timing of ripeness can vary depending on the tomato variety, but generally, most tomatoes will be ready for harvesting by late summer if planted in early spring.


Leave a Comment