Planting Tomatoes

The weather is being cooperative here in Garden zone 8, and thus I am beginning to get the tomato plants into their respective beds.  This is how I do it:

  • I weed the bed and redig it
  • I then add my own compost that I made over the winter, plus complete organic fertilizer, and dig it all in well, breaking up any remaining large soil clumps
  • I rake it smooth
  • Then I gather a couple of supplies.  These include more complete organic fertilizer, and compost tea.  This I make myself in a large plastic container with a lid.   I put a bucketful of my compost in the container and fill it with water, then I let it sit for a week.  Then it’s ready to use, and I take a bucketful of the stuff along with a quart measure to where I am planting tomatoes.
  • In the prepared bed, I dig a deep hole, then I put three handfuls of the complete organic fertilizer in and cover it with a bit of backfill soil.  The COF contains lime, which tomatoes need to help prevent blossom end rot from occurring.
  • I put the tomato plant in the hole, and I take a quart of the compost tea and pour it around the plant’s roots.  I then quickly backfill the hole with the dirt to fill it.  This is a technique that I learned from Steve Solomon’s excellent book, Gardening When It Counts, and it helps to prevent transplant shock in newly transplanted plants,because the moisture goes right to the root zone, and the backfill becomes a muddy slurry which conforms perfectly to the plant’s roots, so the roots don’t become stressed.

I put a tomato cage over the freshly planted tomato, create a little moat around the plant to help keep the water in place, and then I water the plant.

That’s all there is to it!  We’ll see how soon it will be to the first ripe tomato!



  1. Mongkut said,

    June 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I read in an old gardening book that gardeners used to put a dead fish in the bottom of a deep planting hole for nature’s fertilizer. Coulda been a waste of a good fish.

  2. June 4, 2010 at 3:27 am

    […] If you want to know how I plant my tomatoes, let me refer you to this post on the subject from last year. […]

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