Posted on 07 September 2007 by

Tomato Crop Rotation: Can You Replant Tomatoes in the Same Bed?

Soil Sampler: Feed Your Tomatoes Well - TomatoCasual.comBy Amelia Tucker

While you are putting away seeds from this year’s garden, be sure to write down a basic map of the plants locations so you do not replant anything from that family in the same area the following year.

This is referred to as crop rotation and it does apply to your small backyard garden just as much as the large fields of veggies grown by a big producer.

The basic idea is that you do not plant the same family of plants two years in a row.

Ideally, you should try to go three years between repeat plantings. For tomato gardeners, do not replant your seeds in this year’s plot.

Also, do not plant potatoes or eggplants in the place where your tomatoes were. These plants, are all in the nightshade family. They use the same nutrients from the soil and also attract many of the same insects. Plants from the same family can pass disease between each other as well.

The first line of defense is to rotate your crops. An example of this would be to plant sections like tomato, pepper and lettuce the first year. The second year try pepper, lettuce and tomato. The third year try lettuce, tomato and pepper. Then you can go back to the original order of plants.

This is a simple way to keep your plants as healthy as possible and to enjoy those perfect tomatoes for many years to come.

14 Responses to “Tomato Crop Rotation: Can You Replant Tomatoes in the Same Bed?”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Good tip. Because of space, I rotate on a two year schedule but I heavily amend my soil with compost, manure and green sand. So far, no problems with insects or diseases.

    This year I planted 24 tomato plants so it’s hard to keep finding a new home for them. 🙂

  2. AmeliaMT Says:

    Nice! If you can keep up with tilling and amending then you are two steps ahead of most gardeners. I can use my own compost too, which keeps my garden healthy-I have a barn.
    Let’s see if we can come up with some ideas to use those tomatoes for you. 🙂


  3. Tomato Casual »  Should You Compost Your Tomato Plants? Says:

    […] Tomato plants can harbor diseases that will wipe out entire crops the next season. Even if you are rotating crops you are going to mixing the composted material in throughout the garden-possibly spreading disease […]

  4. Andrew Perkins Says:

    You may also try compost rotation, if you have flower and vegetable gardens. Anything from the flower garden goes into the compost bin for the veggies next year, and all the veggie waste goes to the flower compost bin, with the kitchen and yard scraps going into both.

  5. Amelia Tucker Says:

    Now THAT is excellent advice, Andrew. Thanks for the tip and I will pass it on.


  6. Caryn Says:

    This is more a question than a comment. I grow my tomatoes in containers up strings on my deck in NJ. Will cleaning the containers with soap and changing out the soil help to prevent the transfer of disease between tomatoes and hot peppers or should I rotate the containers as well?

  7. A Jeanroy Says:

    Yes, washing your containers should suffice. You can let them air dry in the sun for even more natural sanitizing.


  8. Graeme Says:

    I’ve grown toms in the same beds for 15 years without a single problem. All I do is rejuvenate the soil every year.

  9. Jeanne Brady Says:

    Dear Graeme,
    I have a small plot and have planted my tomatoes in the same spot for two years and want to do it again this year. You said you rejuvenate the soil every year. What do you mean by this? Thanks,

  10. Jeanne Brady Says:

    Dear Graeme,
    I would also like you to explain how you rejuvenate. I don’t really have the ability to rotate and I also try to do a no till, organic Heirloom garden (no pesticides and insecticides). Many in my area do none of these things so they can’t give me advise. I would appreciate any advise in these areas.


  11. zorkan Says:

    my garden is 20 x 20 if i plant 4 crops each in a 10 x 10 space can i rotate the crop or will it be a waist of time being how its so compact?

  12. Frank Says:

    What would be the best type of vegetable to plan where I usually had planted tomatoes, to rejuvinate the soil ?

  13. crankhandl Says:

    Plant peanuts or some legume (peas, beans, or stuff of that family) the off year will suffice and these will return the soil to its former glory for a one year rotation. these plants are nitrogen fixing and will enhance any soil.

    Personally i grow tomatoes in the summer and broad beans, in the winter and that does the job.

  14. Graeme Says:

    Sorry I’m 3 years late with a reply to rejuvenating the soil for toms. I wasn’t notified of the replies. Maybe my fault for not ticking the little box.

    The most common tomato diseases in the domestic garden are fungal. Fungal spores arrive through the air on the breeze. Once they’ve settled on the leaves they can and will fall onto the soil beneath the plant.

    That’s why it’s a good idea to keep 12-18″ of fresh air between the soil and the lowest foliage. Watering can splash the spores from the soil back up onto the plant and reinfect it.

    In terms of the following season, the old spores can survive on top of the soil. The soil isn’t poisoned, per se. The old spores can only do harm if they find their way back up onto the new season’s plant, usually splashed up by watering.

    I turn the soil over well, effectively burying the old spores. They can’t do any harm underground. I also dig in some fresh compost and other organic material for the new season. Bearing in mind that toms aren’t big feeders, they don’t need overly-enriched soil.

    If, unfortunately, you happen to end up with a soil-borne virus, and they’re not all that common in domestic gardens, you’d need to think of planting elsewhere.

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