History & Origin

Tomatoes were grown for hundreds of years in Central and South American and Mexico. In the mid 1500s, tomatoes were grown in Spain, France and Italy. In colonial America, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous and were grown as an ornamental plant called the "love apple." The odor of the leaves made people think it was poisonous. By the mid 1800s, they were accepted as an edible vegetable.

When to Plant

Tomatoes like warm weather. Plant tomato transplants after the average frost free date in your area.

Be sure to check the frost free date in your area.

Spacing and Depth

Dwarf tomato plants should be planted 12 inches apart in the row. Staked or caged plants should be 15 to 24 inches apart and plants allowed to spread on the ground should be planted 24 to 36 inches apart.

Special Care

Give your plants a boost when you plant them by applying a starter fertilizer. Keep watering especially when weather is hot and dry. Fertilize when first tomatoes are the size of a golf ball.


Pick when tomatoes are firm and fully colored.

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