Planting Tomatoes Correctly – The Secret To A Massive Harvest

Planting Tomatoes Correctly – The Secret To A Massive Harvest

Gardening comes with a lot of anecdotal wisdom, and not all of it works. However, one bit of gardening advice that’s proven to work time and again is to plant tomatoes on their side in a trench or bury them deeply in the soil.

You can find this advice all over the internet, but it’s rarely explained how and why it works. Or which tomatoes should be planted sideways and which deeply. There are rules to getting this trick to work well.

Let’s demystify tomato planting once and for all.
We’ll examine why planting sideways or deeply works with tomatoes but not other plants. We’ll discuss the rules when determining what tomato varieties should be planted this way.

I’ve often said that to grow a thriving houseplant, you have to understand its native environment. The same can be said of tomatoes, and it all starts in South America.

Wild Tomatoes & Their Heavy-Feeding Garden Cousins

If there is one thing you must do when planting tomatoes, then it is this – plant them deep – really deep.

This is because tomato plants have one key characteristic, roots can grow from non-root areas on the plant.

This means that if you deeply bury a tomato plant, roots will develop on the buried parts of the stem. This leads to really strong roots, which help support a huge tomato plant and lots of fruit!

Some people also plant tomatoes sideways. Read on to learn why.

How I Plant Tomatoes

I did a really deep hole for my tomatoes to go into.

Before planting, I cut the lowest set of leaves off the tomato plants so I can get them even deeper.

Tomatoes have a reputation for being the prima donna of the vegetable patch, and it’s not hard to see why.

They can be water hogs, but don’t you dare get it on their leaves. Pests and disease? They’re prone to all manner of them. Tomatoes require lots of nutrients to grow the abundant fruits we expect of them. And don’t forget, they have to be staked, or they fall over and snap and can take up a ton of room if not pruned regularly.

But it’s not their fault. Not really.

Tomatoes are finicky because we made them that way.

Then pop your tomato plant into the hole.

Go right up to where the bulk of the leaves are.

There we have it, one tomato planted deeply.

All that area of the stem that is now in the soil will develop roots. These roots will help anchor the plant (great if you are growing outdoors) and also provide a large root structure to take up a lot of nutrients.

Sideways Planting

This is a method of planting tomatoes that is gaining in popularity.

It serves the same purpose as planting deeply, from what I can see.

You plant the stem sideways with just the top of the plant poking out above the soil.

I tried this last year, and it worked well, but there didn’t seem to be any advantage over just planting the tomatoes deeply.

Bury String Under The Rootball
If you are planning on growing your tomato plants up string, which I do reccomend, then now is a great time to bury the string under the rootball of your tomato plant.

This means you dont have to tie the string to the stem of the plant later on, which can possibly restrict growth.

I like to tie multiple knots in the string, bury it in the planting hole and then plant your tomato ontop of this.

I have found this to be sufficient, and that it rarley comes loose, but even if it does then you can always tie the string round the stem at that point.

Plant Right Up To The Top!
Always ensure you plant your tomatoes deeply. This way you get the benifits that i mentioned above (root groth from the stem, leading to a stronger root structure), but you are also anchoring the plant.

This makes it much stronger and less likely to blow in the wind and possibly break.

I often remove some of the lower leaves on my tomato plants so that iI can plant them as deeply as possible. While this may seem drastic, it is actually a benifit to the plant in the long run.

Adding Food Scraps
Another popular “hack” when it comes to planting tomatoes is to add some food scraps to the bottom of the planting hole.

These will break down into the soil as the tomato grows and add a slow release feed to the root of the plant.


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