Experts recommend growing tomatoes in soil rich in organic matter, or compost. To provide tomato plants with enough nutrients, they suggest mixing the upper one-third of the topsoil with a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost and cow manure.
Experienced gardeners also suggest adding a slow-release, vegetable-safe fertilizer to the soil on a regular basis. They recommend planting the seedlings from 18 to 24 inches apart. Tomato plants thrive in soil with plenty of moisture, so gardeners should water them frequently. Suggestions for care vary slightly depending on if the tomatoes are planted in a raised bed, a pot or an open garden.