Bury tomato plants deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stems. You can either dig a deeper hole or simply dig a shallow tunnel and lay the plant sideways. It will straighten up and grow toward the sun. Be careful not to drive your pole or cage into the stem.
Once the tomato plants are about 3' tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1' of stem. These are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems. They get the least amount of sun and soil born pathogens can be unintentionally splashed up onto them. Spraying weekly with compost tea also seems to be effective at warding off fungus diseases.
Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, (missing a week and trying to make up for it), leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant into concentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop their blossoms and possibly their fruit.
Determinate type tomatoes tend to set and ripen their fruit all at one time, making a large quantity available when you’re ready to make sauce. You can get indeterminate type tomatoes to set fruit earlier by pinching off the tips of the main stems in early summer.
Tomatoes love plenty of sun. Plant in the sunniest location and they will produce faster and be more prolific.
As plants approach 3-feet tall, remove many of the leaves from the bottom 1-foot of the stem. These leaves receive very little sunlight and are often the first to develop fungal problems.
Weekly applications of compost tea may ward off many fungal diseases.
Thin strips of cloth make great ties for tomato plants. Begin attaching plants to stakes when the stem is about a foot tall.
Disease problems are often the result of poor conditions such as inadequate nutrients, water, sun, or space; pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, or viruses; and weather. With proper care and maintenance, however, most problems can easily be overcome. Also, if your particular area is prone to certain types of pests or disease, you should choose varieties that are listed as resistant.
Planting flowers with strong aromas, such as marigolds, can also help fight off pests.
Tomato varieties, such as Oregon Spring, Early Girl, and Stupice, are bred to develop fruit early and are perennial favorites.