Tomato Growing Information Solanum lycopersicum Transplant: Start in trays 6 weeks before anticipated transplant date. A heat mat is recommended to reach the ideal soil temperature for germination of 70-90° F. Tomatoes grow very slowly in cool soil. Once true leaves have developed, transplant into 2-4" pots to develop strong, stocky plants. Transplant into field or protected tunnel when soil temperature is a minimum of 55° F and air temperature is over 60° F. Bury stem up to 1st true leaves, being careful to keep graft union above soil if using grafted plants. Spacing: 12-18" apart for determinate varieties, 24” apart for indeterminate varieties, in rows that are 3-4' apart. Growth needs: Tomatoes need a lot of nutrients and organic matter. Make sure not to apply too much nitrogen, which will encourage overgrowth of foliage. Calcium provided before fruit set and regular soil moisture will prevent blossom end rot. Determinate or bush varieties do not need pruning and can be grown with or without support. Indeterminate tomatoes should be pruned and trellised for best results. Harvest: When fruit is of mature color and size. Can be harvested less ripe and to fully color post-harvest. Storage: Store fully ripe fruit at 50-60° F for 4-7 days.