Tomato plants are tough, their germination rate is spectacular and they will survive anywhere, but getting them to produce requires the right conditions and a little work.

First, they need cultivated soil, slightly acidic, that contains a fair amount of organic fertilizer and they have to be watered generously, sometimes twice a day if the weather is hot, especially if they grow in containers.

Try to water them at the base to discourage black spot.

If they don't get full sun they won't produce at all. I know. I tried.

Tomatoes need to be fed regularly, as recommended on the fertilizer package, with a phosphorus rich mix, too much nitrogen will encourage the plants to leaf out to the detriment of blooming.

If you're growing indeterminate varieties (those with the tomato chords that grow indefinitely and produce the entire season), they need pruning. When they get about four foot tall, they'll start developing suckers, which look like tiny leaves in the armpit of a branching. Those have to be removed, so the plant can devote its energy to fruit production. Good gardening practice also recommends removing all but four or five large branches off the main stem. That yields bigger fruit, but less of it.

Remove the base leaves if they look discolored and spotty, that is a sign they shut down their own energy production and are using sugars that would otherwise benefit the flowers and fruit.

Removing the base leaves also allows for better air movement and helps prevent black spot and mold.

When the plants reach the top of the supports, pinch their growth tip. That, together with harvesting the fruit as soon as it ripens, triggers the mother plant to bloom again.

Tomatoes don't mind sprawling on the ground, where they cover large areas if allowed, but they produce more when staked.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"; "The Blue Rose Manuscript"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.