What is the Finest Strategy to Transplant Tomatoes? 3 Strategies Put to the Take a look at

Google “finest option to transplant a tomato” and also you’ll discover completely different methods touted as the solely option to plant these crops. It’s complicated and intimidates growers earlier than they’ve even began. Concern not, as we have a look at the outcomes of Epic Gardening founder Kevin’s “yard science” tomato experiments and what they imply to your fruits.

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We trialed three strategies for the yard experiment:

  • Burying deep
  • Floor Sowing
  • Trench Methodology

Not one of the tomatoes acquired particular therapy, they usually all grew within the floor in San Diego, USDA rising zone 10b. All have been the ‘Cherokee Carbon’ selection and related sizes on the time of transplanting. Holding their situations equal ensures an unbiased experiment (although, after all, not a wholly infallible one).

I normally bury my seedlings deep, like technique one. As a result of I take advantage of raised beds with mushy soil, the stems profit from further publicity and type roots. These outcomes could differ in your backyard, and making an attempt all of them helps you discover your finest transplanting technique.

The Quick Reply

One of the simplest ways to transplant tomatoes is the technique that works finest for you. Containers, raised beds, and native soils present completely different challenges. Let’s analyze your panorama situations and the way these transplanting strategies have an effect on progress; then, we’ll decide the very best technique to your backyard.

The Lengthy Reply

As a result of all of us backyard in numerous locales, the suitable method for transplanting these fruitful vines is determined by the situations present in our native climates. Every technique impacts progress, and sure varieties excel relying on the method. Let’s have a look at how every technique fared within the experiment.

Methodology 1: Burying Deep

Close-up of a gardener's hands planting a young tomato seedling, burying it deep into the soil in a sunny garden.
Deep planting encourages sturdy root progress however could delay ripening.

The sort of transplanting is widespread in blogs, movies, and books. It depends on the idea that tomatoes develop adventitious roots alongside their stems when uncovered to hospitable situations. Heat, mushy, and moist soil encourages lively progress alongside stems, enabling the roots to attract in water from a number of locations. Kevin buried considered one of his crops deep and named it “Titanic.”

Bury your crops deep by first taking them out of their pots. Depart three or 4 leaves on high, and take away the decrease leaves the place you plan to bury the stem. This helps stop rot and fungi from attacking new progress underground. Roughen the roots up a bit in order that new feeder roots type after relocation. Don’t be afraid; loosen the foundation ball in order that root circling stays at bay.

Is that this the suitable technique for you? If you’re planting straight into the filth, possibly not. Tomatoes want heat soil to sprout new roots, and deep under, the soil is chilly. Quick rising seasons additionally current challenges for this technique, as there’s not sufficient time for the crops to catch up and produce new leaves and fruits.

Growers utilizing raised beds or containers could recognize this technique, because the raised nature of those types encourages the filth to heat hotter than native soils. The place the soil is hotter deeper down than regular, strip the vines of their decrease leaves and bury them the place the solar doesn’t shine!

Methodology 2: Floor Sowing

Close-up of a female gardener's hands transplanting a young tomato seedling with soft, lobed, bright green leaves with serrated edges into the soil using the surface sowing method.
This technique is straightforward and encourages early-ripening.

The most typical and examined technique is floor sowing. This includes eradicating the tomato from its pot, digging a gap, and burying the foundation ball. That’s it! Its magnificence lies in its ease and ease. Kevin named the floor sown specimen “John”—a typical identify for a typical technique!

When you’ve got a brief rising season, are planting dwarf varieties, or would really like early-ripening tomatoes, floor sowing would be the technique for you. Tough up the foundation ball earlier than transplanting by rubbing off the foundation bottoms. This encourages new feeder roots to anchor the plant to the soil. 

Methodology 3: The Trench Methodology

Close-up of a male gardener transplanting seedlings into soil in a dug trench in a greenhouse.
Strive trench burying for sturdy tomato crops with deep, sturdy roots.

Trench burying is a controversial and fascinating technique just like burying the foundation ball deeply. It additionally requires chopping off the decrease leaves and overlaying the tomato stem. Digging a shallow ditch fairly than a gap units you up for a profitable transplant utilizing the ditch technique. Kevin named this tomato “Clown” in honor of the wacky technique.

Tomatoes recognize heat, cultured soil—they set down tons of roots when joyful. This technique could appease this tendency by inserting a protracted portion of the stem in that prime root progress zone. Research have proven that burying them as much as their lowest leaf improves yields.

The place filth is chilly, clay, or laborious to work, the ditch technique helps tomatoes have entry to the diet and air they should thrive. When could this technique not be appropriate? It may not work finest in rising zones with brief or cool summers and laborious frosts throughout winter. This system, like burying deep, requires a protracted rising season so there’s ample time to sprout new roots. 

Strive burying your crops in trenches when you’ve got loads of rising house or in-ground beds, or need to strive a brand new method. Plant two tomatoes and run an experiment of your individual. Plant one floor sown, and take a look at one both buried deep or with the ditch model. Measure their progress, and decide which kind works finest in your backyard.

Bonus Methodology: Upside Down

The tomato plants growing upside down in hanging pots outdoors have green stems and lush, lobed leaves cascading downwards.
Upside-down tomatoes thrive in hanging containers, excellent for small areas.

A cool option to develop tomatoes is the wrong way up! When you’re rising greens in containers already, it is a enjoyable technique for cherry varieties that makes use of hanging pots. It isn’t sensible for all varieties and works finest on small fruiting cultivars.

Develop a sort like ‘Chocolate Sprinkles’ the wrong way up—its lengthy six-foot tendrils will dangle down and produce deep crimson and inexperienced striped fruits that style scrumptious. Do this technique if you’re container gardening, have restricted house, or want to spruce up a porch or patio. Hanging tomatoes stand out in landscapes; your neighbors may ask you what that crazy-looking plant is!

To develop the wrong way up, first discover a hanging container. An alternative choice is to repurpose a container you have already got; collect a chunk of rope, minimize two holes on all sides, and tie the rope on every gap to make the hanger. Then, minimize a gap within the backside that’s smaller than the width of the container base. 

Place your tomato the wrong way up within the gap, and fill the remainder of the container with soil. Water properly, holding your tomato plant in place till the soil settles. It could seem unfastened however will stabilize as roots type within the pot. 

Preserve these topsy-turvy crops by including soil and compost as filth washes away all through the season. Water the container properly, and watch your vines flower and fruit dozens of cherry tomatoes. Decide ripening fruits usually so the crops proceed forming new ones. 

Extra Concerns

Close-up of a gardener's hands in gray gloves tying a tomato plant to a wooden stake in the garden.
Help crops with stakes or trellises for optimum progress.

Another key cultivation methods guarantee you’ve the bountiful harvest you want! 

Pruning and staking assist crops produce extra fruit and fewer vegetation than untreated crops. Somewhat little bit of each all through the rising season ensures your fruits keep wholesome, ripe, and flavorful.

Stake any tomato plant moreover those rising the wrong way up. A stake, trellis, or cage provides unruly vines a assist system as they attain for the solar. On stakes, tie the primary vine to the stake because it grows utilizing hemp rope, plant tape, or the same binder. This may occasionally not apply to shorter, indeterminate varieties.

As tomatoes develop, they create suckers, extra leaves, and unruly stems. Prune leaves touching the bottom at transplanting; this helps airflow attain the middle and will increase illness resistance. Lower yellowing and browning leaves to encourage new progress.

Many types create suckers. Suckers are little sprouts between leaves and stems that shortly enlarge, forming new vines. These sprouts sap power from the primary stem to generate blossoms and fruits. 

Select to have a multi-stem or single-stem specimen. On a multi-stem, choose a number of suckers and allow them to be. Stake them along with the primary stem and also you’ll have one plant with the fruit of many! For a single-stem specimen, prune all suckers as they type. 


Methodology One: This plant grew the shortest of the three and produced 15 fruits after the rising season. The fruits ripened later through the rising season, and plenty of have been nonetheless inexperienced on the finish of the experiment. 

Methodology Two: Widespread “John” outperformed the opposite two tomato crops in fascinating methods. For starters, it grew the tallest of the three, measuring at a peak of 76 inches. It additionally grew extra tomatoes, earlier. “John” had extra ripe fruit than the opposite two crops and was huge and beefy with a number of flowers, leaves, and progress shoots.

Methodology Three: The ditch technique yielded shocking outcomes! This tomato plant, named “Clown,” grew taller than the buried deep one, reaching 72 inches. It yielded 14 fruits, and some ripened faster than the fruits on the opposite two crops. For growers burying stems within the floor with native or amended soils, it is a implausible transplanting method.

Remaining Ideas

The way you transplant your tomatoes is as much as you, though we hope this experiment has helped you determine. Bury them deep or trench them when you’ve got a protracted rising season and need extra fruits. Use the usual floor sow model for a dependable crop with appreciable ripening. 

Irrespective of which method you determine on, you’ll be able to’t go improper rising this crop. These fast-spreading vines add pollen, nectar, and fruit to a panorama. They invite pollinators into the house whereas producing lovely and scrumptious fruits so that you can take pleasure in. Transplant a number of this season and also you’ll need to develop them subsequent 12 months!

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