Tomatoes have to be America’s favorite fruit of the garden. Yes it is technically a fruit, even though it has been widely accepted for years as a vegetable. This post is not about whether it’s a fruit or not but rather about how to plant a tomato plant, the most delicious fruit of the garden, the best way possible.
When to Plant Tomatoes in the Garden
When planting your tomatoes in the garden be sure to wait until all danger of frost has passed. It also helps to have nighttime temperatures in the 50’s on a regular basis.
Here in Tennessee it is generally safe to plant tomatoes outdoors after April 15th. You may even want to wait a week or two after that date for the soil to warm. That’s not a guarantee but as a general tomato planting guideline it works out well.
How to Plant Tomatoes
First you have to understand that tomatoes love to grow roots all along the stems. Virtually anywhere that the stem touches the ground could sprout a root. The suckers can be removed and make whole new plants just from what you might be tempted to simply discard in the compost bin (Tomatoes branches will root easily in water). If you assume that tomatoes like to grow roots then what I’m about to say won’t sound like rocket science.
Plant your tomatoes deep!
The deeper the stem of your tomato is the more roots it can grow along that stem. Cut off all leaves except for the ones at the top of your plant. Then bury the tomato plant so that the leaves are just above the ground. In the first picture you can see one of our tomato plants. I removed the first set of leaves then planted like I described.
This is how I’ve planted my tomatoes in pots for several years now and it really does work. I also recommend using a good layer of mulch around the tomato plant to help retain moisture in the soil. Tomatoes enjoy moisture in the heat of summer. The only difference this year is that these little plants are going into my raised bed vegetable garden.
Why does this help? More roots mean the tomato can absorb more water. More water means happier and healthier plants. Happier and healthier plants mean more tomatoes, and more tomatoes make a very happy gardener!