Planting Tomatoes

There’s a lot more to planting tomatoes than simply sticking them in the ground.

Start by digging a hole about 10-12 inches deep.

Add a handful of compost and a little fertilizer to the hole (we recommend a teaspoon of Pro-Gro or Compost Plus). Stir it in.

Fill the hole with water and let it soak in.

Remove the tomato plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball by squeezing it and wiggling your fingers along the bottom most roots.

Gently snip off the bottom-most leaves and stems so that you can plant the tomato a little deeper. This will encourage the plant to shoot out more roots which will give it better structural support to bear the weight of future fruit.

Pull off any blossoms and fruits at this point to encourage the plant’s energy to go toward developing roots for its first week in the ground.

Place the plant in the hole and stabilize it with a little soil. Make sure no leaves are touching the soil. If there are, snip those off too since tomato diseases are often soil-borne. Be sure to leave at least two full sets of leaves on the plant so that photosynthesis can still take place.

Fill the hole with water.

Insert a strong stake securely into the hole a few inches from the root ball.

When the water drains out, fill the rest of the hole with soil, pat it down gently, and water it again.

Cover the wet soil with mulch leaving a circle of exposed soil around the stem. If the mulch gets too close to the plant, it will promote rot and slugs.

As the tomato grows, use a strip of cloth, string, or garden wire to tie the main stem of the plant to the stake.

Keep reading…

Staking Tomatoes
How to Prune Tomatoes

Interested in learning more? The Grower’s Library at Johnny’s Selected Seeds may have the information you’re looking for.

Gardening Tips Gardening compost fertilizer garden mulch planting staking tomatoes transplanting

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