What is the Best Soil for Tomatoes?

May, 2013 by

If you love to eat ripe tomatoes and you have a knack for gardening, maybe it’s time to consider planting your own tomatoes. Two of the most important criteria for healthy tomatoes is planting in the right soil in San Diego CA and where you plant your tomatoes.

Tomatoes need a minimum of six hours of sunlight every day. Total sunlight is ideal, especially in climates that are cooler, like northern climates. Soggy soil discourages tomato roots to grow. They like a well-drained and sunny portion of your garden.

The best soil San Diego CA for tomatoes will have a pH of 6.0. This is a measure of acidity, and a pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. A 6.0 rating means that tomatoes like their soil slightly acidic. In fact, most vegetables like soil with a pH rating of 6.0 to 6.8, or slightly acidic soil.

Check your soils acidity levels every few years with an affordable test kit found at your local garden center. If the pH is low, or is too acid, then you will want to incorporate lime to the ground to restore the pH balance. Many gardens in the West will have high pH levels, and soil in San Diego CA is no exception. This means the soil is alkaline and so sulfur needs to be added to bring down the pH. You can add lime and sulfur any time to your soil provided the ground isn’t frozen. Fall is great time since it gives lime, which is slow-acting, a chance to go to work.

To make your soil in San Diego CA better for tomatoes, consider adding organic matter to the ground. Leaves and grass clippings and compost San Diego CA help regulate soil that can either be too sandy that drains too fast or soil that is too clay-like and takes a long time to drain. You want soil that drains well and warms up in the sunlight and good compost will do that.

If you plan to transplant existing tomatoes, make sure your soil in San Diego CA is churned to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Use a tiller or garden fork to free up compacted soil so that the tomato roots will penetrate quickly and take hold.

Incorporating quality fertilizer is another great way to ensure your tomatoes will be healthy and vibrant. Work the fertilizer in at the same you transplant. Loosen up the soil and make a trench 6 inches deep which will serve as the row for the tomatoes. At the bottom, lay a band of fertilizer or dehydrated animal manure or compost. Cover the fertilizer with several inches of soil, keeping the plant’s roots away from touching the fertilizer as the salts can harm the roots. Once you have covered the fertilizer, begin planting the tomatoes evenly into the furrow and water well.

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