garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

How far do you space your tomato plants?

I know the standard is 30in. between plants and 2-3ft. between rows. How far apart are yours, also, how do you train them, stakes, cages, fence, etc.?

Some say that the farther your plants are apart, the more tomatos you will have on each plant. Likewise, the opposite holds true too. I read a study that was done in another country concerning the relationship between plant densities, and plant yields. The study found that when plants were spaced about 2-2 1/2ft. apart the plants had a greater yield each, but when the plants were 1ft. apart, the yield decreased. The overall yield for the whole patch, however, was higher the closer the plants were placed. This indicates that the extra plants you get by having them closer together, produce enough fruit to outweigh the fruit you lose from decreased production per plant. I should also note that I think this was done on a commercial farm. What are your thoughts on the findings of this study?

I personally have my plants 1ft. apart in rows 2ft. apart and tie them to stakes.

Happy harvesting!

Kochsgarden
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:25 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Spacing

I space my tomatoes about 4 feet apart. I like having room to move around. If I was growing for total pounds I would grow them closer.

I don't waste the space I just plant carrots and lettuce around my tomato plants. It works great because when its time to pick my crop of tomatoes the lettuce is all picked over and the carrots can be pulled when ever.

User avatar
stella1751
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Wyoming

Three-feet equidistant for me. Sometimes, the bed shape doesn't cooperate, and I wind up with one or two that are anywhere from 30" to 34".
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

For caged plants my rows are 5 ft apart and cages are 4-5 ft apart along the row and the leaves still overlap some. Staked plants are 2-3 ft apart pruned to 3-4 vines. I planted a little closer this year inorder to squeeze some pepper plants in and had massive problems with Septoria infection before the late blight hit.

cw
Full Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: t.n.

I plant mine 4 ft apart and thats kind of close, mostly grow brandy wine variety's and some black tomatoes.The brandy wines grow rather tall,some times up to 5ft and taller if I don't stop them and they need some good support so I grow mine up a cattle panel that is nailed between 4 lumber supports that are concreted into the ground,its a permanent structure.In the spring I grow sweet peas up it till the ground is warm enough to plant out the tomato seedlings,sweet peas are pretty much over by then.
I must go down to the sea again,to the lonely sea and sky,I left my socks and shoes there I wonder if there dry.

petalfuzz
Green Thumb
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

I do mine 2' apart and have them staked. It's worked out fine. I keep the lower parts of the plant trimmed of foliage for air circulation.

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

It looks like I am on the close side here! Whats interesting is I don't seem to be noticing any decreased fruit production. What I have discovered is that closely planted tomatos are more difficult to prune!

User avatar
Diane
Green Thumb
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Mass

My plants were 3 feet apart by 2 feet. The cherry plants have taken up tons of space. I caged them and had to stake them. There is plenty of fruit on them and the romas that are now in the their shade.
I need to get 4 foot cages for the cherries next year. :)
Gardens are a little bit of heaven on earth.

https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt87 ... G00047.jpg

dmcness
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:22 am
Location: Amherst NY

I had cherry and beefsteak tomatoes planted about 1-1/2 feet. In a 6 foot by 6 foot space I had about 20 plants, which I intended to thin but never did, and they gave a huge yield. My plants had to compete for light and grew really tall (over 7 feet) and I have had 30 dozen cherries and 3 dozen beefsteak so far.

I am a novice that got lucky (I did have a lot of pruning to do) but I think the yield has to do with the conditions of sunlight, nutrients, and water. Of course I did not have any bugs or disease.

Experiment and try.

Dan
the healthiest activity on earth...gardening
Bunky

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I grow my tomatoes in 24" diameter cages. The cages are six feet tall. I wire four cages together side by side in 4' X 8' raised beds. I plant four plants in each cage. They are very crowded. I don't worry much about how many tomatoes I get from each plant. I pay more attention to how many tomatoes are produced in a certain space. I've had a great year with all the tomatoes I could eat and give away. By planting in this manner, I have room to plant peppers and summer squash around the edges of each bed. My spring planted tomatoes have now extended about three feet above the top of each cage. They simply lay over the cages and continue producing. Crowded planting works for me.

I also tried my crowded planting method with bell peppers this year. I planted some plants singly and some plants in groups of three with the root balls touching. Early in the season, the grouped peppers produced more peppers than the single plants. As the season progressed, the grouped plants started exhibiting stress and stopped producing. the single plants continued producing and with cooler weather, are going into a growth phase with lots of blooms and new fruit. The grouped plants are almost dead. All other conditions were the same.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3234
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

I put some of them way too close.

Gerrie
Senior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:10 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

I found that no matter what sized cages I put tomatoes in they got too heavy and pulled the cages over, so I tried using ranch fence posts to stabilize the cages, not easy or good to do since the stakes had to go down throught the root zone at that point, so last yr. I got another 'brilliant' idea.
Most of my 'brilliant ideas' don't work, see, so I wasn't really expecting too much from this one either and I had to convince hubby who has seen enough of my brilliant ideas to be immediately sure it wouldn't work.

Surprize this one worked! I bought cement grids of heavy gauge wire (about $5.00 each and set them in a row down the middle of the bed anchored with metal ranch fence stakes. I tied the tomaoes to this and they are not too difficult to harvest. This year I put in the cages first when I planted but hooked the cages to the grid at the time. The grid is strong enough to hold the cages in place. Last year I used a double row of grids and that actually worked better but as usual, I was experimenting again this yr. I am never satisfied. I plant about 2' apart in two rows, 2' apart (one row on either side of the grid. I'll take pictures, but I may need help again loading them here.
The spiritual life is first of all a LIFE, it is meant to be lived-Thomas Merton

Gerrie
Senior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:10 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

OK, here goes with the pictures. The first one should show the closeup of the wire grids which are about 4'x5' each. The wire nuts are to prevent me from impaling myself or putting out my eye, which is reasonable expectation for someone as clumsy as me. If you look carefully you can see the way the tall tomato cage is hooked over the top of the grid and that the grid is anchored with a plastic tie to the fence stake.[img]https://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab236/Gerrie_photos/OurTomatoesSept09002.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab236/Gerrie_photos/OurTomatoesSept09001.jpg[/img]
The spiritual life is first of all a LIFE, it is meant to be lived-Thomas Merton

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”