The Vegetable Garden

Planting Tomatoes In Your Garden - Page 2

  • Written by Kathy Anderson

When you are ready to transplant your tomato seedlings into the garden, be sure to choose a spot for them that gets full sun for at least 8 hours a day. Dig a hole for each plant that is large enough to easily accommodate all of the roots. Before transplanting, water the plants
while they are still in the pot. This not only helps prevent transplant shock, but it also makes it easier to slip the plant from the pot.

Tomato plants will grow roots from any part of the stem that is buried beneath the soil, so the plants will benefit from being planted deeply, up to the first set of leaves. If the plants have spent too much time in pots and have become leggy, they may be planted in furrows with their too-long stems laid in the furrow and gently buried with soil. This will
help the plants develop a strong root system while preventing the long stem from breaking.

Fill in the planting hole with soil, pressing the soil in firmly to eliminate air pockets. Then give the plants a good drink of water, thoroughly soaking the soil around them.

If you plan on staking or trellising your tomato plants, they can be planted about 2-3 feet apart. Plants that will be allowed to sprawl on the ground will need more room and should be planted 4-6 feet apart.

If the soil is still a bit cool, your white or clear plastic may be placed on the ground beneath the plants to warm the soil. Once warmer temperatures have settled in, this plastic should be removed to avoid burning the foliage with reflective heat.

It is important to keep tomato leaves up off the soil to help prevent soil-borne diseases from attacking the plants. This can easily be done by applying straw mulch around the plants. But straw mulch should only be applied once the soil has warmed up above 70 degrees. If the mulch is laid down while the soil is still cool, it will keep the soil from warming up as it should, your tomato plants will suffer from cold feet and won't produce as well as they could.

Planting your tomatoes properly is an important step toward a bountiful harvest of sweet, juicy fruit. In another article we'll discuss how to trellis and prune tomato plants to increase your harvest.

Kathy Anderson has been an avid gardener for many years and has grown tomatoes by the acre, along with many other vegetables, flowers and landscape plants. Kathy recommends as a great place to learn more about gardening. Article provided by . If you use this article the above two links must be active.