Growing Tomatoes in South Dakota



Growing Tomatoes in South Dakota


Rhoda Burrows


Includes information on selecting variety, growing conditions, planting, care, and storage of tomatoes; also describes several common diseases and other problems commonly encountered in South Dakota.

Learning goals for the item

Readers are equipped to grow their own tomatoes, recognize common disease problems, and know how to avoid them.

Appropriate audience

Home and community gardeners, school gardeners, master gardeners, adult learners

A list of credits (if appropriate)

Photo credits: Michelle Grabowski, U of Minn.; David Graper, SDSU; Mary Roduner

A list of references (key references - cited or suggested)

SDSU Extension 06-1001-2014 “Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes and Other Vegetables”:
SDSU Extension 06-2024-2012 “Vegetable
Gardening in South Dakota”:

Keywords (separate keywords or phrases with a comma)

Tomato, Home garden, Septoria, Blight, Vegetable, Catfacing

Source URL if item is stored online

Review Summary

This bulletin begins with an explanation of different types of tomatoes. Cultural recommendations are outlined including, soil, planting, frost protection, frost damage, fertilizing, mulching, staking and pruning, cultivating and controlling weeds, watering, and blossom end rot.  There is a section on common insects and diseases, with several important diseases highlighted, including photos.  Other problems, such as herbicide injury and cracking are discussed. The bulletin ends with a section on harvest and storage.

This material is accurate to partially accurate (see notes below). It supplies all the information a home gardener would need to know to grow tomatoes in South Dakota.  There are few citations, but since the information is general, many citations are not required. Some sentences could be shortened to make them easier to read.  The pictures and graphics do a good job of breaking up the text, but there is some concern that the grass clippings are not clear in the mulch image and the blossom end rot image is not typical of blossom end rot injury.  It would be good to include a photo of late blight if possible (none is currently included). There is a creative element with clever tricks, like cardboard collars, cans and bottles.  It is an attractive publication and makes growing tomatoes sound easy.  It provides the appropriate level of technical information for the home gardener. It will give the reader the confidence to try growing tomatoes.

The following sentences or phrases are inaccurate or more accurate information has been provided:

"Determinate tomatoes are great for canning", is inaccurate because there are numerous fresh market tomato varieties that are determinate but would be far too juicy for canning purposes.

Determinate tomatoes don't completely stop growing. Better to say that they have little growth after fruit set.

Tomatoes do very well in medium and heavy textured soils. The bulletin recommends using light soil.

It is better to have the plug deeper, and it is fine to bury leaves.

The bulletin recommends extra nitrogen when fruits begin to ripen but N uptake is high during rapid vegetative growth and during fruit sizing. N uptake is not high during fruit ripening. Adding N during fruit ripening cannot increase the fruit size of those fruit! Perhaps by applying when the earliest fruit are turning, you may help with sizing of the later maturing fruit. Key is to apply N ahead of fruit sizing.

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“Growing Tomatoes in South Dakota,” ASHS HortIM™, accessed August 23, 2019,


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.