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As far as varieties go and what you should grow--the choice is yours. Ask around on what other people grow, taste test or just flat out try something different. There are tomatoes grown specifically for this area (Medford and the Willamette)as well as some great heirlooms. There is something for everyone--and yes-- The tomato is a fruit.


If you have ever planted anything at all--even if you never have had a garden, there is a good chance that you have grown a tomato or two before. Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants to grow. One of the reasons is that after spending a couple of dollars over the winter for one tomato, you are ready to break free of those yellow, hard things they call a tomato in the stores. You can't beat a good old sun ripened tomato, picked right off the vine from your yard. Below I will cover some of the do's and don'ts of growing tomatoes and how to take care of them. If you have any questions, please e-mail me

When and Where

Tomatoes are warm loving plant that do not like to get cold. You need to wait until the last frost before you plant them outside. They do not like cool nights either, so if you plant them too early they will not grow. They will not set fruit if the nights are cool either, so again--there is no need to rush to plant them. If you can give them 3 to 4 months of warm growing weather, then you should have lots of tomatoes. Since tomatoes like warm weather it makes sense to plant them in full sun. Give them as much sun as possible(in Southern Oregon). It is good to change the location of your tomatoes every year. If you do not have a lot of room to work with and can only plant them in one spot---work your soil really well before you plant them, by using a lot of organic matter. Tomatoes also do real well in containers, so even if you do not have a garden--you can plant a few of them up anyway.

Planting and Stuff

When tomatoes first start out from seed, they tend to get a little leggy. So when you plant them, you want to plant them up to at least the second rung of leaves on the plant. This will strengthen the plant and the plant will be strong enough to support all of the tomatoes it produces.Be aware of what type of tomato you are planting. Some require some kind of support, while others do not. If you build a little basin around the tomato, that will make it easier to water. Sweet 100's are a good cherry tomato, while the Medford tomato is a good medium size tomato for this area. The Early Girl is a great early tomato, that grows good anywhere.

Taking care of your Tomatoes

Tomatoes are fairly easy to take care of. The weather really controls how well they grow. If it is too cool in the evening, then the blossoms won't set or you could get blossom end rot. Too much water can cause problems also. If at all possible, try to avoid over head watering. If it gets to hot and dry, that can cause problems also. So no matter what you do, you are still in the hands of Mother Nature. Towards the end of the growing season, you might want to cut back on the watering a little bit and pinch off any new growth that is forming. That will put more energy into the tomatoes that are on the vine. Liquid fertilizer on tomatoes works very well(about every two weeks).Good luck and happy planting.