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Growing tomatoes in home gardens

​​​​​​A quick guide to tomatoes

  • Start tomatoes from seeds indoors, five to six weeks before planting outside.
  • When buying plants, choose sturdy plants up to a foot tall.
  • Transplant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.
  • Stake or cage plants at the time of planting.
  • Pick all the fruit and bring it indoors before the first frost at the end of summer.

Sun-loving tomatoes 

Four red and green tomatoes growing on plant

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum, Lycopersicon lycopersicum) are the most popular homegrown vegetable.  

Like other plants in the potato family (which includes eggplants, peppers, and tobacco), tomatoes are heat-loving plants that require a long, frost-free season and full sun. The long, hot, sunny days of Minnesota summers are great for growing tomatoes.

You can start your own seeds indoors or buy plants by mail or from a garden center. 

Soil pH and fertility


Selecting plants




How to keep your tomato plants healthy and productive


Cindy Tong, Extension horticulturalist, and Jill MacKenzie

Reviewed in 2018

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