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.