How to Plant Tomatoes to be Strong & Healthy
This year begins my 3rd year in planting my own garden and I have learned a lot since the beginning – the hard way unfortunately. I tried this way last year and it worked really well so I thought I needed to share so you can have healthy tomato plants too. I know there are all kinds of tips, steps, instructions etc listed on pinterest and other various sites, but I can speak from experience this way worked well for me.
Before I begin though, I will admit, I tried for the first time this year, starting my own plants from seed since tomato plants are so expensive – failure. That’s another blog I will be sharing.
Yesterday, I put 25 tomato plants in the ground. Make sure when you purchase plant the roots are healthy. If not, they will be weak not thrive in the garden or even die. Healthy roots will be a white-creamy color.
I chose to go with the 4-pack of plants because I was planting 24 and cost is always an issue, they were very healthy and will grow quickly, the plants were approximately 8 inches tall. Remember, I tried to start my own seedlings this year.
Normally you will place only the roots under the soil, but with tomatoes you want to go much deeper than that. You will want to place your plant deep-deep into the soil, approximately two-thirds of the plant will be underground. Dig a hole as deep as your plant is tall. Remove the plant from the pot and place into the hole, without putting the soil back in to make sure it was deep enough – if not, remove and dig deeper.
Remove the lower leaves leaving the top one-third of the leaves.
For my 8 inch tall tomatoes, I left about 2 inches out to soil. This means I placed the plant into a 6 inch hole.
Roots will grow from the tiny white hairs you see on the stem making the plant stronger and allowing it pull more nutrients from the ground. A plant with a deep root system is more able to withstand drought conditions in the summer as we have here in the Tennessee Valley.
Once the hole is deep enough, I add to the bottom of the hole the following:
A handful of good organic vegetable fertilizer (I use Epsoma)
A handful of bone meal (I use Jobes)
A handful of worm castings (I use Natures Solution)
A handful of Crushed egg shells (I crush my own)
A handful of Fish meal (I use Alaska Fish) mix according to instructions on container. If you have access to actual fish heads, even better, use them.
2 cups of compost tea (I make my own)
And 2-uncoated, crushed aspirin (any brand)
Below is a collage of ingredients to add to the hole to give you an idea of my measurements…
Tomatoes are susceptible to disease and the aspirin will help to boost the plants immune system. Place your plant into the hole and fill back up with garden soil. Tomatoes like to be in 7-8 hours of full sun and need about 2 inches of water per week.
The plant will begin to grow straight up in the next few days. It will need support throughout its growing time so be sure to place a cage around it for support.
As I wrote earlier, I have had success using this method, but I am always looking for better ways. What do you do when you plant tomato plants? Feel free to leave comments below…