Tomatoes are the most widely grown crop in home gardens and, arguably, the most utilized, whether cooked, roasted, pureed, fresh, dried, or even smoked. And placing your tomatoes in the right place in your garden can drastically improve the quality of your tomatoes as well as the size of your harvest.
When planning your garden you want to consider things like planting them where they will have the resources they need to thrive and enough room to properly spread out for the variety you are growing.
With the right planning, you can provide your tomatoes with everything they need and maximize the growth potential of your tomato plants. Read on to learn more.
The Importance of Planning Your Garden
It is very important that you plant your garden before planting to help ensure that you meet your garden’s overall needs.
This includes making sure that your plants have enough sun, are not shading smaller plants that need the sun, and are planted alongside other plants in a beneficial companionship.
If you do not plan your garden it doesn’t take long to make a mistake and place your tomatoes with another heavy feeder or block another full sun plant, effectively stunting its growth.
Spacing Your Tomatoes in The Garden
How you space your tomato plants is important to make the most of your garden space. Tomatoes take up a lot of space in the garden and need plenty of room to spread out but often you can get away with closer plants than traditional farming to make the best use of your garden space.
How to space your tomato plants in a plot
Spacing for tomato plants in the garden is generally 18 to 24 inches apart. This can vary by the variety of tomato plants you are growing because some can be very large while others can stay extremely small making for a great potted plant for your patio.
For most varieties of tomatoes, this will be perfect for allowing them to have enough room in the garden. When growing in rows it is recommended to grow at least 3 feet apart to allow plenty of room to move between your plants for harvesting.
For indeterminate tomato varieties leaving enough room for spreading out is vital because these varieties will keep growing larger until the first frost comes and sometimes even long after that.
How to space your tomatoes plants in a square-foot garden
In square foot gardens, you do not have the space for large spacing of your tomato plants but you can still grow your tomatoes in your square foot garden and even use them to help grow even more food in the same space.
When placing tomatoes in your square foot garden you should stick to one plant per square. For your square foot garden be sure to pick a smaller variety to avoid stunting growth too much.
Determinate tomato varieties are an amazing option for your square-foot garden as they will die off after production and can then be replaced with cold-weather plants making the most of your garden space.
To make the most of your square foot garden, plant cold-weather plants like lettuce alongside your tomatoes to help shade them for an extended growing season in the spring. As your tomatoes need more space in your garden bed the cold weather crops will be dying off leaving extra room in your square foot garden beds.
Placing Your Tomato Plants to Make The Best Use of Resources
Spacing is not the only thing you need to think about when it comes to planting your tomatoes. Placing your tomatoes in the optimal position is the most important move to help make the most of your tomato harvest.
When placing your tomatoes in the garden you want to find a full sun area for your tomatoes. The more sun they get the more delicious tomatoes your garden will produce.
Placing your tomatoes in an area where sunlight will be reflected onto them is a great way to give them a boost. Such as placing a trellis of green beans behind your tomatoes on the north side to reflect the light.
Make sure where you place your tomatoes will not shade other plants that are much smaller and need a large amount of sunlight to thrive.
Place your tomatoes where they will get enough water. This means you want to place them where they have a watering system such as underground pots or place them at the start of your drip irrigation system. The plants at the start of the system will get the most water.
You can even opt to place larger holes near your tomatoes to make the most of your watering system to help your plants grow and thrive.
The soil you place your tomato plants in is very important. Make sure to place them in fertile soil to ensure that they will thrive. And avoid planting your tomatoes in the same soil you did in the season before to prevent issues with pests and disease from last year.
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