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How to Plant and Grow Tomatoes the Best Way

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Tomatoes are a wonder crop. They taste delicious right out of the garden and there are innumerable ways to preserve them. Today we are going to teach you how to plant and grow tomatoes the best way … in my opinion. As the kids and I planted the garden I listened to their chatter and to my surprise, much of it centered around how excited they were to pick snacks straight from the garden again. During the summer months, it is common to see them go into the garden and eat cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes like they are an apple. I truly feel that the best way to get your kids to like vegetables is to harvest a garden with them.

Key Factors for How to Plant and Grow Tomatoes the Best Way …

There are a few key factors when planting and growing tomatoes that will help them to be particularly successful. First, I start my tomatoes early. Where I live that means I start them indoors, usually in January. After all danger of a frost has passed I put them in the ground.

I have found the best way to plant my tomatoes is to dig a 1-foot deep and 1-foot wide ditch down the center of my planting row. I then place my plants about every foot along one side of the ditch. No matter the size of the plant, I leave about 1-foot of the plant sticking out of the ground. Sometimes that means as much as 2 feet of the plant is planted in the ground. This may seem unusual, but it is actually very good. Tomatoes have the ability to form roots all along their stalk. The more of the stalk that is buried the greater the root system. An awesome root system will increase the plants’ nutrients and in the long run give you a fabulous yield.

Often I need to place the plant in the ditch sideways and gently bend the top so it sticks upward. I repeat this spacing along the other side of the row. Then, I carefully cover the plants with dirt followed by mulch. The mulch will both keep the weeds down and hold in the moisture. Mulch also enhances the soil as you till it in every year. I like to place about 2 inches of wood chips on as mulch.

Tomato Cages

Then, I place my tomato cages over the plants often having 2-4 plants per cage. I learned this process when I applied square foot gardening techniques in the past, and I have to admit to still spacing my tomato plants closer together. How close the plants are may decrease the amount of produce on a single plant, but your overall yield is greater.

I have some steel mesh cages that I built a few years ago that I absolutely love. The steel mesh is the same stuff used to reinforce concrete. A 100ft roll made 16 cages. I just counted out 12 squares and cut them at that point. The cut ends I used to wrap around the other side holding it into a circle. At the bottom, I cut off the horizontal wire and use the verticle wires to poke into the ground and stabilize the cage. This has been a great system for us.

Good Tip!

The only other thing I do is fertilize about once a month. I use rabbit pellets or miracle grow. Fish is also a good fertilizer, but every time I bury fish under my plants my dog digs it up so I have given up on that idea. Besides that, regular watering and weeding are important. My yield has been fabulous since I have implemented these key steps. Hopefully, you will get just as high of a return.

Fish is also a good fertilizer, but every time I bury fish under my plants my dog digs it up so I have given up on that idea. Marie
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