Posted on 24 March 2009 by

How Deeply Should You Plant Tomatoes?

Tags: ,

tomato-depthBy Michelle Fabio

A recent question to the Master Gardener asked whether you really should plant some of a tomato plant stem below the soil.

A resounding yes was the Master Gardener’s answer, and we agree.

You can increase your chances of strong tomato plants by burying them with part of the stem in the soil and only about six inches above ground, with the leaves pinched off on that part; tomato plants will shortly root along the stem underground, giving you a larger, stronger root system–always a good thing.

Do you use tomato plants or do you start from seeds?

7 Responses to “How Deeply Should You Plant Tomatoes?”

  1. deb Says:

    I posted about this yesterday. If you tip them over on their sides the day before planting, they reach for the light and are easier to plant.

  2. Anita Says:

    Love your site! Tomatoes!!!

    I start my plants from seed – It helps the last part of winter move faster. Plus I try to sell some.

    I have found that starting them in coir plugs is easy and, through bottom watering, I have no problems with damping off.

  3. Rene' Says:

    This is my first year planting a garden. In the above article it says “with the leaves pinched off on that part” – what exactly does that mean? The picture doesn’t show leaves being pinched off. Do I measure 6″ from the top of the plant, remove the leaves from that point down, and plant at the 6″ from the top mark?


  4. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for the tips Deb and Anita!

    Rene’, the leaves should be pinched off on the part that goes underground. Sorry for the confusion!

  5. MG JB Says:

    Lets not forget about mixing ph’s with the bottom yellow tipped branch by placing this branch into a seperate container with different ph soil and nutrients.
    Consult youtube for further study about 2 ph’s for 1 plant.

  6. MG JB Says:

    p.s. You basically can just keep growing the tomato plant, backfill it a 1\5th of an inch per day or 2 and watch it re-root deeper and deeper but you will want to eventually let it final-flower so you should stop doing this after maybe a few weeks of root training.

    I don’t lay mine down sideways, I dig deeper or add soil to top and make 2×8 white-stud framed boxes 1.5 feet square and 8 inches is pretty much the max i will train these if season is long, indoor etc. Usually just a few more inches though; then the rest of box height is filled with parsley and other edible weeds to retain moisture in box and protect the tomato plant and topsoil.

  7. MG JB Says:

    p.s.s about Suckers.
    Let those suckers stay and pickup the Sun Rays..
    When you begin to see small tomatos pick those suckers and watch the nutrients jump to flower mode and create the best ever tomatos.
    Some cherry tomato plants i have tried many things with and one year my best luck was keeping the suckers to make the plants grow height then when i wanted to make the tomatos show up i picked the suckers and within a week i had tomatos like crazy. Its best to time it when you think they are about to start or when you see them begin.

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments