garden girl
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:10 pm
Location: Humboldt County, CA

Too many tomatoes?!?!(never!),but how to save planting space

I enjoy planting seeds so much that I now have 170+ adorable little babies all over my living and dining room. They like the sun from the windows and I have been turning a grow light on them when it's been really cloudy. A bunch are going to have to get out to the greenhouse today. My family has been pushing trays of plants out of the way to fit a plate at the dinner table!
10 varieties total(those pictures look so good when it's winter!!)sungold, snow white, big rainbow, black krim, sugary(hybrid), red currant, gold nugget, yellow pear, and a couple "regular old red ones"
I'm new to posting here, can't wait to figure out how to show off some pictures! :D
Question: I think I'm going to plant them close together in rows, spacing the rows enough to get in between them and pick. How close do you think I can get away with? I'm picturing a "hedge" of tomato plants[/b][/i]

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Garden Girl,

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener. Sounds like you've been bitten by the 'tomato growing bug'. :shock: I too love tomatoes but my tiny garden keeps me in check. My hubby doesn't seem to think that a small garden is a problem when it comes to 'more is better' though. Last year he brought home so many tomato plants that crowding them lead to disease problems. I would suggest you space them appropriately for their mature size. You can still grow them in rows like a hedge. Durgan has a couple of methods for growing that you might find helpful. It's on the second page of this thread. To go to his posts on the second page, scroll down to the bottom and click on the page number on the right.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3908

Newt

garden girl
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:10 pm
Location: Humboldt County, CA

Thanks Newt, I did look at his pictures, just makes me that much more anxious to start planting like crazy before it's actually time. Soon, though!

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi Garden Girl,

You can plant the tomatoe plants about 2-3 feet apart from one another with a cedar stake to support them. Use old nylons to tie them to the stake, don't use string as it will cut into the vines. Garden tape stretches to much and doesn't work that well.

One product that my mom uses (though it isn't an evironmentally sustainable method) is this garden velcro.

Anyway, make sure that you sucker your tomatoe plants as they grow which means to pinch off any leaflet that arise in the apex of the main branches and the stems

This will increase the production of tomatoes and divert any sugar production from the growth of more foliage to your tomatoes, it will also allow your tomatoes to ripen faster because a) sunlight will better penetrate the plant to the tomatoes
b) sugars will be diverted to the tomatoes instead of to growing more foliage.

Oh, and when you plant your tomatoes outside; pinch off all the branches except for the at the very top; bury the entire stem. Sounds and looks drastic but, it works. This provides a large and healthy root system for your tomatoe plant to support itself and acquire nutrients from the soil.

garden girl
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:10 pm
Location: Humboldt County, CA

I planted them deep when I put them into bigger pots and they are already shooting up again! I've been outside digging like mad to get the groung ready for them.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

A tip on digging the ground:

Just turn the weeds into the ground and break them up a bit, they will turn into fertilizer for you tomatoe plants. Once the plants are in; you can pull the weeds out and add them to your compost pile.

The idea is to disturb the soil as little as possible such that all the beneficial organisms therein will create a healthy environment where your plants will grow.

garden girl
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:10 pm
Location: Humboldt County, CA

weeds? there are some, but the grass is what I'm not liking! I am digging it up and making a pile, which I am going to use as a raised bed after adding some straw and whatever else to the top so that the grass won't be taking over .

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