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Set out tomato plants in evening or on a cloudy day.
Mulching helps stop weed growth and water loss from soil. Place a two to three inch layer of organic material such as compost, leaves, straw, grass clippings, hay, newspapers, or black or red plastic sheeting around growing plants.
Tomatoes can be grown on ground or supported by stakes or cages. If using stakes put stake in when planting As plant grows taller, tie it loosely to stake every 12 inches with soft fabric or twine.
Tomatoes require at least one inch of water per week during May and June and at least two inches per week during July, August, and September. Water once or twice a week and to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
Space dwarf plants 12 inches apart; staked tomatoes should be 12 to 18 inches apart. Allow 2 to 4 feet between non- staked plants.
Rows should be spaced 3 to 5 feet apart for staked plants and 4 to 6 feet apart for non-staked plants.
A 10-20-10 fertilizer should be applied at planting time. Sidedress for first time when first fruits are one- third grown. Use about one to two tablespoons per plant. Mix fertilizer into soil then water, being careful not to get fertilizer on foliage. A second application should be made two weeks after first ripe fruit and a third application one month later. Water plants thoroughly after fertilizing. All fertilizers should be worked into top six inches of soil.
For more information on fertilizers:
Author: Marilyn Pokorney Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website: http://www.apluswriting.net