UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

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Tomato assortment, Karen Schaffer
How to grow: Tomatoes

Pest management: Tomato cultural tips, pests, and diseases

The Basics

When to plant

  • Transplant: May–June, possibly April
  • For best results, wait until daytime temperatures are regularly over 70 degrees
  • Start in pots for transplants: February–April; ready to transplant in 6 weeks 

Harvest window: July–October, depending on variety

Fertilization: Overfertilization results in excessive leafy growth at the expense of flowers and fruit.

Care overview

  • Cage or stake plants to support expected growth. Indeterminate varieties can grow 6 feet tall or more.
  • Water regularly but not excessively.
  • Harvest tomatoes when fully colored and beginning to soften.


More links

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

Classic: Black from Tula, Carmello, Dona, Early Girl, Gold Medal, Lime Green, Orange Strawberry, Santa Clara Canner, Stupice

Beefsteak: Aunt Ginny's Purple, Aunt Ruby's Green, Big Rainbow, Brandywine from Croatia, Cuostralee, Ed’s Millennium, Ernie's Plump, Ernie's Round, Green Giant, Hillbilly, Russian 117, Stump of the World

Cherry: Black Cherry, Chadwick, Galinas, Sungold, Sugary, Sun Sugar, Sweet 100, Sweet Chelsea

Paste: Amish Gold, Amish Paste, Jersey Devil, Opalka, Principe Borghese

Also, see our list of Spring Garden Fair Tomato varieties.

* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu