Growing Food

How to Grow & When to Plant Bush (Determinate) Tomatoes in Your Backyard Vegetable Garden

TomatoesBush blog post
Tomatoes are fun to grow and even more fun to eat! The wide usage of tomatoes makes this one of our favorite things to grow in the garden. Bush tomatoes (or determinate tomatoes) only grow to 3 or 4 feet tall, but they bush out and require caging. Beware of the tomato hornworm, though. He is a feisty fellow that can take out an entire tomato plant in a day!

How to Grow:

Tomatoes are planted indoors in most places to make sure there is plenty of time for the growing season. They are planted indoors 6 weeks before your last spring frost and then transplanted outdoors after your last spring frost. Tomatoes can be planted throughout the summer up until 15 weeks before the first fall frost. You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App.

Tomato seeds will be planted 1/4 inch deep, 1 per square foot, in the fun sun. Take care to notice what plants are around the area as well, see the companion plant section below. Seeds will begin to sprout in approximately 7-21 days. Water weekly, but try to not wet the leaves.

Companion Plants:

Companion planting is a vital part of organic gardening. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. There are also plants that do not like being next to each other. Some plants get too tall and can provide too much shade for your plant. Sometimes certain plants attract the same pests, so it is important to try and separate these. Herbs are especially great companion plants because they help to repel pests from your other plants!

         GoodBad
AsparagusMarigoldsPole Beans
Banana PeppersMarjoramBeets
BasilMintBroccoli
Bush BeansNasturtiumsCabbage
Bell PeppersNew Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia)Cauliflower
Brussel SproutsOkraCorn
CantaloupeOnionsKale
CarrotsOreganoKohlrabi
CatnipParsleyLuffa (Loofah)
CeleryRadishPeaches
ChivesRosemaryPotatoes
CucumbersSage 
EggplantSpinach 
GarlicTarragon 
Hot PeppersThyme 
LemongrassWatermelon 

See companion plants for 100+ foods in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web app!

Pests:

Pests can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in the garden. We strive to grow food without the use of pesticide and luckily there are natural solutions for most of these nasty pests! The pests listed below are common pests for bush tomatoes:

Learn more about how to manage pests and attract beneficial insects in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App!

Harvesting:

Tomatoes will be ready to harvest within approximately 60-90 days. Harvest as soon as the color changes, then ripen them on the counter indoors. When harvesting, be sure not to pull too hard and break the stem so as to not to hurt other tomatoes on the vine.

Cooking & Eating!

Tomatoes have countless uses in the kitchen. Put them in a salad, burrito, casserole, or stir-fry. You can also preserve them as sauces. The possibilities are endless!

 

Learn more about growing over 100 different foods, including how to manage various pests in our FREE iOS, Android, or new Universal Web App!

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