How  I  plant  Tomatoes

 Friday June 06, 2003

 

A few years ago there was a show on TV called  The Joy of Gardening.   I believe it was on that show were they mentioned this tomato planting technique. The fundamental reason for this technique is to get maximum root development; that will lead to a stronger, more vigorous plant.  I donít  recommend this technique for other crops.

 

Step 1 Ė preparation 

            Cut off all the leaves from the tomato plants, except the top cluster.

                 (use scissors, as breaking off the leaves causes runners down the main stem) 

            Give the plants a good drink of  Miracle Grow fertilizer (double strength)  

            From a paper grocery sack cut strips 2 inches wide.

                  (experts say a 4-inch wide strip, but 2 inch works for me)

 

Step 2 Ė planting

            All soil preparation should already be completed. 

            Take about a 3-inch long portion of  the paper strip and gently wrap it around

    the plantís  stem,  near the top.  This is a protective collar for cut-worms. 

Create a small trench in the soil with your hand. 

Lay the tomato plant  HORIZONTALLY  in the small trench, but carefully bend

    its top into a vertical direction.   The paper strip should be sticking halfway

    out of the soil once the trench is filled in.

Last is the mulch.  I prefer to use pine needles but a think layer of  grass clippings

     (no lawn treatment on clippings) works also.   To prevent disease none of  the

     tomatoís  leaves can contact the soil.

Water the length of  the plant. 

 

 

Summary:  By laying most of the plant in a trench, you have created a larger area for roots to develop.   I promise you that this seemly shorting of the plantís height will only be temporary.  Very soon the plant will be taller than it otherwise would ever have been using traditional methods.