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How to Grow Tomatoes Low to the Ground like a Bush?

Hopefully, you know the following answer about tomatoes. Many, Many years ago I saw a garden where the tomatoes were growing low to the ground like a bush instead of growing up in a cage. Can you instruct me on how to grow tomatoes as a bush? Thanks

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Location: Kamloops, BC

I'm very much a beginner, but thought I'd tell you about my experience. Last year we threw stuff in the ground and didn't do anything to them. We had 3 tomato plants. They grew like MAD, and weren't caged or pruned at all. We just let them do what they wanted to. They ended up looking like a bush, all round. We had a TON of tomatoes from them. When they were full of fruit they started to fall a bit, we did eventually put a couple of stakes up to help them out. So, from that experience I would say if you just don't stake or cage them they would naturally grow this way.

I'm sure some others will have much more information for you.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Tomatoes are a vine. Left to themselves they will just sprawl and spread. However, if you've been reading this forum, you will see lots of comments from people with staked up tomatoes about taking the bottom leaves off, to avoid soil born diseases where the leaves touch. And if a tomato (the fruit) sits on the ground, it will almost always rot where it is touching the ground. So it seems like an unstaked tomato would have lots of problems like that. But I've never tried it. You can always do an experiment- leave one wild and cage one and see how they do. We are always learning! :)

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I'd search for a determinate variety rather than indeterminate. The determinates usually only grow 3-4 feet high. There are several varieties that grow on smaller bushes, but just cause it's a bush doesn't mean less maintenance. Like was said earlier, don't let fruit touch the ground, and keep the lower part of the plant leaf-free to avoid disease.

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