Posted on 17 May 2010 by

The Tomato Chronicles: The Move to a New Home

tomato4By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Tomatoes are pretty easy to transplant to a container or garden.

Actually the deeper you plant and the more “teased” the roots are the stronger the plant will be for the growing season.

As stated before one of the most important decisions one needs to make is location.

Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of full sun per day. If that is not possible then red plastic needs to be used as a “landscape cloth” to maximize UV light. Another factor that needs to be considered is water.

If where you plan to plant your tomatoes is not near a water source then accommodations need to be made. Inconsistent watering has caused the loss of many tomatoes to bottom-rot. Once these decisions have been made planting your tomato plant is simple.

Materials for Garden Planting

  • Epson salt, or liquid seaweed fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Rotted or cured manure

1. Dig one hole per plant. The hole should be deep enough to hold tomato plant upright except for the top 4 leaves. If hole is not deep enough or depth cannot be reached then dig a trench and bend stem to fit trench without breaking plant.

2. Before placing in hole or trench remove all leaves that are in the hole or that touches the ground. If this is not done the leaves on the plant will cause rotting and disease.

3. Then mix a potting mixture that you will use to fill back in the hole. This mixture is made up of 1/3 soil you just dug up, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 rotted or cured manure. This mixture will create a rich growing medium for your tomato plants.

4. Place about 1 cup of Epson salt in hole or pour about 1/2 cup of seaweed fertilizer in hole. Both of these will help with transplant shock.

5. Place tomato plant in hole and fill in with homemade potting mixture and lightly tap soil with foot.

6. Water in making sure that all air bubbles are removed from hole and fill in again if needed.

Materials for container

  • Container
  • Epson salt, liquid seaweed fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Rotted or cured manure


1. Clean container in 1 gallon of water to ½ cup of bleach. Let sit for 30 minutes, rinse, and let dry in the sun.

2. Place a potshard, coffee filter, or rock in the bottom of container to cover drainage hole.

3. Cover bottom of container with potting mixture that consists of 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 rotted or cured manure.

4. Place tomato plant deep in container while making sure all leaves are removed that are in or touch the soil.

5. Place ½-1 cup of Epson salt or seaweed fertilizer in container and fill in with homemade potting mixture.

6. Water in until liquid come out of the drainage hole.

We have now covered how to grow tomatoes from seed, transplanting to pots, getting the garden bed ready, and now how to move your tomato plants into their new home. Next time in The Tomato Chronicles we will cover different forms of tomato support.

One Response to “The Tomato Chronicles: The Move to a New Home”

  1. Nancy Bond Says:

    Great instructions — I’ve never used Epsom salts, but I’ll give it a try. 🙂

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