The best place to grow tomatoes will have full sun for six hours a day. Hotter southern locations might need a little afternoon shade to give the tomatoes a bit of relief so they can survive and thrive. A well-drained site with rich, loamy soil is ideal. If you don’t have a location with full sun for six hours a day, you might have to trim back some tree branches. If your soil isn’t ideal, start adding organic material like compost to it.
If you’re a beginner, start small. You can always make the garden bed bigger if you are really crazy about gardening. If your interest wanes – or if some unexpected life event comes up that makes taking care of your garden difficult – then the garden is still manageable.
The very nice thing about sod is that somebody else – specifically, a team of people who knows a LOT about growing grass – has prepared this grass for the last 14 to 18 months, seeding it, feeding it, and blasting every weed that even tries to show its spindly head. So basically you’re paying to have a professional’s lawn installed at your house.
If you have a limited amount of space, or if you have terrible soil, then you can grow your tomatoes in a container. A number of determinate tomato varieties are specially bred for this purpose, bearing a nice bunch of tomatoes in a small pot.