Perhaps you are new to this, or maybe desire to go over the basics, but if you want to grow tomatoes I would like to help.
This is an in depth look at the details of actually planting your tomato transplants into the ground (or container).
CHOOSE A SPOT WITH SUN
In my own gardens I always grow within the vegetable garden plots, but with my grandson I planted a mini veggie garden in a large container, which he could move to a good spot in the yard.
Prepare Your Soil
Before you even begin to put a plant into the ground, prepare the soil to support good growth and productive fruiting.
Most plants do not need perfect conditions, but the closer to their liking, the better they grow of course.
- Soil pH around 6.0 to 6.8
- Organic matter, humus or compost
- Calcium in the soil.
- CultivatedÂ six to eight inches deep.
- Good drainage
I find they aren’t picky about clumps in the soil, so long as there is lots of loose organic matter. These plants can be greedy feeders, so fertility is important. Compost adds nutrients, and well buried fertilizer is a good idea. Alternatively, use a transplant fertilizer to give plants a boost before you fertilize in earnest with your “every two week” program.
Get Them Into The Ground
Whether you use a garden space, a raised bed, or a container, recommended practice is that you bury deeply so that the stem can produce extra roots. Those good root systems support a big plant and are needed to produce lots of fruit.
If in the garden, laying the stems sideways underground for some inches is a good idea, in containers just plant deeply up to the first set of leaves or so.
Stake at the beginning to reduce chance of damage to the roots.
Young vegetable plants, including tomatoes, are sometimes ruined by cutworms. I have a cheap easy trick that I use to protect the new plants. Collect toilet paper rolls, those cardboard tubes, and place one around each stem of first planted seedlings. Just gather leaves in your hand and slip the tube over the plant to cover the stem and secure the end of the tube in the soil.
For me, clay drainage pipes do the same thing, but I don’t have enough to use on my cucumbers, so I use the paper rolls for them. You can use the paper rolls for your tomatoes, peppers. squash, eggplant, and cucumber starts.
Good Soil for Container Growing
First, what not to use: don’t use garden soil. It is too heavy and compacts, and may harbor problem organisms.
Do use potting mixes. I personally like to add mushroom compost or other commercially available compost to the potting soil.
Simple instructions with pics @ Renee’s Garden
Fertilizer For TomatoesOrganics Rx Sea Kelp 100 Seaweed Fertilizer, 32 fl. oz.
When first planting into the ground the seedling gets a shock to its system, called “transplant shock”, which cannot be avoided, but can be reduced.
Use Kelp solution, or any seaweed solution as a mild way to feed the plant and ease its way into growing in its new “digs”. (Use 1 quart per 1000 square feet annually)
Do not use regular fertilizer, or you may accidentally kill or damage your new plants.
After the plant is established and starting to grow new leaves, fertilizer ofÂ 5-10-10 or similar can be used. This means smaller amount of nitrogen (N) and larger amounts ofÂ phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
Natural amendments that are good for your tomatoes:
- you can useÂ Epsom salts
- Coffee grounds
- Fish emulsion
- Aged chicken manure
- Bone meal
In A Nutshell
- Plant your seedling/transplants deeply.
- Fertile, well drained soil with organic matter is good for tomatoes.
- Water regularly, and use kelp liquid fertilizer for transplants.
- Protect from cutworms with collar.
- Train up a trellis or stake.
Finally… here is a simple trellis system to use.