Tomato plants prefer lots of space, light and water. Use a fan, black plastic and mulching to create stronger, more flavorful plants. Practice prevention of disease by removing the bottom leaves of the tomato plant.
Tomato seedlings require special care. Stronger plants develop when they have room to grow. When planting seedlings, place them in individual 4-inch containers after they get their first true leaves. Use artificial lighting to ensure the seedlings get the required 14 to 18 hours of light per day. The short days of winter are unlikely to provide the light needed for maximum growth. Place a circulating fan next to the seedlings, as the breeze toughens the stems.
As the plant grows, other techniques help it produce the best fruit. Water the plant regularly during dry spells. When the fruits begin to ripen, water less so that the plant concentrates its sugars and improves the flavor of the tomatoes. Warm the soil for early plants by placing black plastic over the soil a few weeks prior to planting. The use of mulch can decrease the temperature of the soil, so do not apply it before outside temperatures begin to increase. The bottom leaves of the plant are most vulnerable to fungus. Remove the bottom foot of leaves once the plant is 3 feet tall.