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« Transplanting Tomatoes | Main | How do I Water a Tomato Plant? »

April 18, 2011


Judith Broadhurst

Thanks much for the instructions about growing tomatoes in containers.

eva Hass

My favorite part of this entire post is the fish picture. One of them winked at me!


I have started to collect my egg shells. I am excited to try your "ingredients" for tomato plant planting. I can't wait to see the results. You can not beat a tomato fresh off the vine!


Tomato plants can be planted laying on it's sides. The additional soil contact with the stem will send additional roots out.


Oh my god...Generally I like food and green plant a lot. Also your tips are very useful..I am just not brave enough to try it.

Nancy in CA

We used this method last year and had the best tomatoes we've ever grown. No pests or diseases, either. I'm about to go out and get fish heads for this year's crop. So glad I found this!

Love Apple Farm

Mary: In a shadier garden, you should grow small-fruiting varieties like Matina, Green Zebra, Black Prince, Bloody Butcher, Jetsetter, Nyagous, Jaune Flamme. Or just stick with cherry tomatoes. You can still have a full-color heirloom tomato garden with different varieties of cherries.


Fabulous amount of detailed information
I have a question you may be able to help me answer. What type of plant will grow in a not so sunny place. I live in a shady area in portland or


i used this method last year and it worked awesome thanks for the help!



Mike Lowery

If anyone wants to take a walk on the wild side. Try my method...Soy beans. Buy a bag of them, put them into a sealed container and fill with water. Leave the container outside in the sun for 5-7 days or until the beans start to ther fermantation (they really stink!) Dig a hole next to your tomato plant and put the fermanted beans it and cover up...end result...bammm..tomatoes the size of softballs.

Love Apple Farm

Joe & Austin: I wouldn't dig them up, but you can add all of my suggestions by digging them into the soil around the tomato plant (give them about a 12 inch berth all around the base). I would not put the fish heads in though, as they need to go two feet deep. The Topsy Turvy plant will prove difficult for you, as it needs a lot of water and a lot of fertilizer to be even a little bit happy.

Joe and Austin Molkie

Hello: I ran across your site and love what I see. My grandson and I have planted some tomato varaties, including one in a topsy turvey. Some look good and one does not. It has a tall stem with no flowers. Not sure what to do with it but wait and see.

Problem: We planted our tomato plants 3 weeks ago but not as deep as you did, and with good sold, cow manuer and some Mircial Grow for vegs. I was wondering if I could dig up the plants, use your system and replant them deeper in the soil, or would digging them up now hurt the plants?

Joe & Austin - Kennesaw, GA

Love Apple Farm

Hua: A good organic disease preventative (nothing is ever 100%, though), is Serenade. Available on-line and at very good nurseries. Follow the directions on the label. Also, a regimen of once a week worm casting tea couple with aspirin (one and a half tablets to a two-gallon garden sprayer) applied to the foliage does wonders for fertility, yield, and disease prevention.


Do you use any preventive measures against disease? Copper fungicide or sulphur based spray at any point? I've read about it. I make daily checks on my plants and wonder if there is anything more to do besides fertilizing and watering?


I found your tomato plants at PW markets in Silicon Valley. Of course they didn't have many varieties but it was great to see your tomato plants for sale nearby! AND, I love your earth friendly way to bring the plants plastic! Thanks, Cynthia, for keeping me interested in growing tomatoes each year. Sandi

christine jefferson

Okay, so I read this AFTER planting my tomatoes. What can I do now to boost along the growing process (because it is much too late to redig)? Definitely will follow your instructions next year! I DID dig in a great amount of compost/bone meal/lobster mix , peat humus, peatmoss, plant booster, penobscott mix, plant tone, lime, cow manure, etc (which is all recommended for our clay soil in NY) before planting. Thank-you, Christine


My tomatoes are planted and I'm so excited to see how they do!! I got fish heads from my brother-in-law and I already had the mychorizzal fungae so everything else was easy to pick far the tomatoes are doing great. I've got a couple of brandywine, a pink lady, Mr. Stripey, Roma, a gigantic something, and a German Johnson??? They all look so healthy and they have blooms already. I will definitely use the worm casting tea too! Thanks so much for your wonderful blog! Oh, I also have my fingerlings growing in my 15 gallon buckets! This is going to be a great veggie year!!


Love the internet for learning info just like this! Thanks for sharing. Also admit that I want to get entered into your newsletter contest with this post! And have something to add (got the idea from book Food Not Lawns). We have added 3 small fish ponds around our garden/yard and drilled holes in the side where we attached drip hoses so when it rains or we add water to the ponds, the drip hose is gravity fed to water the surrounding vegetable plantings. This also has the benefit of the fish waste being delivered with the water! Since we did this, we have much better looking veggie plants. :) I will try your dips next time I'm planting to give more headstart to the tomato. Thanks again.


Hi, I had a question. My Lilian's Yellow tomatoe plant leaves have started to change colour. I was planning on transplanting it this week. The two bottom leaves have turned yellow the other leaves have small grey dots on them, the new leafs have a grey shadow on them. Can you tell me what to do to help my plant

Paul Greenberg

I was wondering how often you fertilize your tomatoes after you plant them and with what?

Darlene Anderson

I'm definitely going to try some of this (not sure about getting the fish heads-I'd have to do my own fishing for them). I grow lots of big tomatoes using my never ending supply of horse manure and adding potash, but I will try the eggshells and other suggestions. Thanks for a great post!

Love Apple Farm

Geoff: Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency. Agricultural lime does have calcium in it, so that's why you are probably getting that advice. I always put a handful of bone meal and several crushed eggshells in the planting hole (rather than on the top of the soil). Those are good sources of calcium. If you start experiencing it after you have planted already and are unable to add it to the hole, then you can use a liquid calcium feed such as Foli-Cal. Watering is always tricky. I don't have anything on a routine or timer. I dig into the ground several inches, and if it's dry three or four inches under ground then I water. But I try not to water more often than every 5 or 6 days. Also, I do not recommend Miracle-Gro. I recommend a fertilizer tea made out of worm castings.

geoff edge

I have been growing tomatoes in Oregon for many years and have had considerable success. Typically I pick about 300 lbs every year but I am concerned about blossom-end rot which destroys about 20% of my crop. The experts tell me it is either lime deficiency or uneven watering. I use plenty of lime so my problem must be watering but exactly what is "uneven" watering? Oregon is dry in July - Aug so I water every week. I also use miracle grow at the same time as I water.

Any ideas?

geoff edge

Love Apple Farm

Kevin: Fish Meal is an ok sub for a fish head, but come KNOW you're suppoosed to be eating your fish anyway? Buy 'em whole, eat 'em, and use the heads and tails in your planting hole. Any good nursery will have regular bone meal. Try Yamagami's Nursery. The 4-6-4 can be purchased in slightly different configurations: 5-5-5, or 4-3-2. Just make sure all three numbers are represented in similar amounts on the label. The mychorizzal fungae can be purchased at They are a local, Grass Valley, distributor, so they're not shipping it too far. Otherwise, you can buy that at Mt. Feed here in Ben Lomond.

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