18 May 2010

how to plant tomatoes

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Look at this tomato plant I just brought home. The poor thing flops right over in that tiny pot. 

But I know a trick. 

If you want strong, healthy, non-floppy tomatoes, you must plant them sideways.

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By taking off the bottom leaves and planting as much of the stem as possible, you encourage the plant to root all along the buried stem. More roots over a wider area provide needed stability for these vines.

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I should clarify here that you can also dig a really deep hole and bury the stem all the way up to the leaves. 

But that's more work. We all know I'm lazy.

And if you're worried about the leaves touching the soil, or the plant actually growing sideways, don't. I planted these the day before, and they've already turned upright. Leaves worship the sun, and will follow it anywhere.

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There is nothing better than home-grown tomatoes.

Does anyone have any tricks for keeping tall tomato plants upright and contained? I've tried tomato cages, bamboo stakes...by mid-summer, they're always out of control!

4 comments:

J I L L A I R E said...

I'm going to share this post with D. This year we're going to try cedar stakes and twine as tomato cages. Also, we're going to really learn how to pinch off the suckers (I think that's what they're called)--essentially pruning them to keep them under control and focused on producing. Our tomato plants are always outrageously wild.

Elizabeth said...

We do tomatoes every year and dig a deep hole and bury it up to the bottom leaves. Sometimes we even break off the bottom row of branches and bury them up to the next branches. Last year my husband built tomato cages that can be expanded/ added on to. He built them out of pvc(white) pipe. They worked great! We had tomato plants up to 6ft! :)

Marisa@make*happy said...

Thanks for the tips, ladies! Jillaire, I think I'll try pinching some back myself...

Jen said...

I plant mine at an angle, too, but haven't tried planting them sideways...I'll have to do that this year. I've used the square metal cages for years now and have had good luck - when I remember to prune them a bit to keep them under control. And the bonus is that this type of cage collapses for easy winter storage.

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