How to plant Tomatoes

My friend has been very successful every year wih his vegetables. He really knows a lot about gardening. He used to work on a tomato farm. He said they never used cages. The plants fell over but still yield many tomatoes. He also said they were not planted on top of each other.
He told me that when he plants his tomatoes, he buries the plant in the ground with only one set of leaves above ground. He says that gives it a great root system and produces a great yield. He said it takes a drop longer for the first fruit but when if comes it comes strong.
Ever hear of that?
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we do something very similiar but when we plant it it is at an angle. I don't use cages either mostly because the plants outgrows them. We use sticks about 5-6 feet tall to stake our tomatoes. Mine are all started from seed ,except 8 plants that I bought. I lost them due to a cold wet early summer. everything here was about a month off.( I am just now getting my first crop of yellow beans)
BTW we use the tomato cages for the cucumbers plants. that way I can plant more than what my little space would allow for without going over onto the lawn
--
:) Lynn
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I'm wondering: If your tomatoes are growing on the ground, wouldn't they get full of bugs that would eat them? And Lyn, how do you keep all your tomato plant branches on one stake? I tried the same thing this year, but there was too much foliage to put on one stake and i had to squish all the branches on to three stakes (which still didn't work very well). Next year, i'd really like to grow more tomatoes, but cages seem like the best thing, becasue the foliage will grow inside the cage and it won't touch the ground. Any thoughts?
Ben
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All sorts of things will happen to them if they are growing on the ground. If you are a small time tomato farmer, then you will want to get a high yield from what few plants you have. Cages are the answer here. If you are larger scale, than it is possible to take the hit with the plants on the ground as your yield will still be substantial. Quantity through numbers.
Yes my tomatoes do outgrow the cages. Not a big deal. My biggest problem with loss is the birds! I have built a structure that allows me to drape bird netting around the tomatoes. I believe that I only lost one or two tomatoes this year as compared to previous years where the loss was substantial even a kluged netting process.
Kurt
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LOL no, they are not growing on the ground. My plants are now about thigh high and only the main stock is tied to a stake ( not too tight), when I said I trimmed off the bottom leaves and planted up to the top leaves it was way early in the spring when I had them in the house moving them to a bigger pot before setting them out into the garden.( I started them from seed) It gives the plant better root system and makes the plant not to be to skinny. Wish I had a page to show you what I mean but you can get some info by doing a google search or try here http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/hort/g06201tomato.htm
So untie those tomatoes branches and let them have a bit of breathing room happy planting
--
:) Lynn
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BenGman wrote:

The first year I grew tomatoes the snails got more than we did then the birds took over. Now I use either cages that support the lower growth along with stakes to support the higher growth or the tomato ladder. I grow all my tomatoes vertically now and have had no problem with snails. I like growing the tomatoes vertically as the crop is a lot more productive.
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Lynn,
Planting on an angle is interesting. you have to support the plants right from the beginning, well once the come out of the ground. Your roots are closer to the surface and the water from the roots doesn't have to climb as him. What's the angle you use and generally how is your yield?
Actually, here's a question, what's a good yield per tomato plant?
On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 22:29:36 GMT, "Lynn"

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It is not that much of an angle. once I am ready to plant it in the garden it is only about 45 degrees. and yes I support the plants right of the bat. but it grows straight up like other plants. Last year our plants were about 5 feet tall with thick stalks. my plants were planted very close together as well ( too close) and I had way more than what I could eat, make chow, make salsa , freeze (still have some of last years in the freezer) and give to neighbors. This year I don't know yet. our summer was about a month off this year due to cold and wet weather ( Nova Scotia). I never actually counted tomatoes per plant but I will this year :)
I found the instructions for this in a book library. it was from an older book I am going back today so I will look up the book for you. It was very interesting esp for a small garden like mine. My garden is raised beds about 12 feet long 3 feet wide.
this might explain a little on how I did it. notice how after the plant gets going that they snip of the first leaves and plant to it? https://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/grow-tomato.htm
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:) Lynn


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I'm on Long Island and I'm just getting the early tomatoes now because I planted around June 8th. Mine are also too close together and my garden is 25 ft by 5 ft., with not enough direct sun because it's on the side of the house.
The plants are growing very high, now over 8 ft. but I'm not sure if I'm going to get the yield, which might be a blessing. I planted about 25 tomato plants. The plum tomatoes and peppers, in this one bad row are doing lousy, but the plants behind that row are doing Ok.
I've cut off lots of yellowed branches. The plants got so big that they are growing into each other. But the biggest mistake is that I didn't plant them deep enough. On some of the tomato plants you can see what looks like little green bubbles towards the bottom. Something tells me that should have been underground.
alan
On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 13:10:42 GMT, "Lynn"

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

Mine are close together too but still going strong.

I hear you on the yield. I have almost 30 tomato plants. You can never have too many tomatoes :) I have one bed not doing as well as the others but maybe that's because this bed had tomatoes in it last year.
Have you tried pole beans? I need a ladder to harvest mine and they need picking a couple of times a day :(

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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 18:16:09 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

There are *lots* of commercial tomatoes grown in my area (not market tomatoes) and cages aren't used. However, these seem to be a very low growing tomato. The plants don't get very tall at all before harvest. Hmmm. Probably not more than 18" to 2'.

The directions for the cheapy Wal*Mart tomatoes I plant say to bury them quite deep. I use 4' cages but the tomatoes have far outgrown them. Those danged plants are all over the place. Sue
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Sue,
On that commercial tomato farm, what does the yield look like?
My friend told me that the plants on the farm he used to work on fell town but the yield was very good. Some touching the ground had worms but that was the cheapest and most efficient ways to plant, albeit no the optimum way for us.

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On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:57:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

If I knew it would be in tons per acre - the only thing that counts around here. :o) My gentleman friend has grown tomatoes in the long ago past. If I remember I'll ask him. What I can see from the roads as I drive by the fields is that the plants are short and compact. Bushy. I just can't tell you how long the "branches" (or whatever they're called) grow. I've never looked up close. The tomatoes around here are grown for sauce - we have lots of canneries. I have one tomato that isn't in a cage (I ran out) and it's not more than 1' tall but spreads out about 3 or 4 feet. This is a Sweet One Hundred - the best cherry type (IMHO) - sweet as can be.

From what I can see they don't actually fall down. I'll try to remember to ask. Sue

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OK. I remembered to ask. The commercial field plants get about 2' high and *do* have long vines that just grow along the ground. However, there is some machine that goes through the field that pushes the vines into the plants (I don't remember what it's called). Commercial tomatoes are bred to flower and then fruit all at the same time unlike your garden tomatoes that stagger this process. As for yield I didn't both to ask because, as I said, the answer would be in tons per acre. The worm problem is solved by spraying but some do rot a bit. Sue

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Well, after reading some of your posts, the next post and after talking to my friend Ed, who worked on a tomato farm, I realize what to do for next year and that going deep, at the very least, is a must. The angling makes lots of sense from what you said and from what Richard said in the next post, by keeping the root ball near the warmer surface.
I probably should have gone deeper with all my plants. The peppers, we had little ones early and then they all disappeared, look unhealthy with long thin dry looking stems.
We have sand underneath the soil so the angle planting might also have had advantages in that the roots would have been fed by soil, not sand.
Perhaps all my yellowed leaves and dead branches are because I didn't do any of the above. I'm still getting plenty of tomatoes but for a garden that is over 150 sq. ft., I should be getting more.
I had to make these mistakes to get to the next level.
Thanks again.
alan
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Tomato plants will form roots along the stem (adventitious roots), so by planting most of the stem underground you provide a larger area for roots to form and then supply nutrients to the plant.
Planting at an angle (or planting horizontally, bending the tip of the plant up above the soil surface) is done to keep the original rootball in the uppper, warmer areas of the soil early in the season. Otherwise the rootball would be planted in colder soil than if it was shallow planted, and it will slow down the growth of the plant, until the soil warms up.
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Thanks Richard,
I think I know what to do for next time. I will definitely go deeper and angle, as per my last posting to Sue. I had no idea about determinate and indeterminate flowering. I think the "tiny green bubbles" I saw at the bases of the stems would have been these adventitious roots. Unfortunately, they never had the soil to grow into.
What I should have done was come on here in early May with a "How Do You Plant Tomatoes" posting or looked it up on the net.
My friend told me to try to build up the area around the bases of the stems with mulch, top soil might have been better, but unless I got tons of it, it would all fall away.
Next year.
Thanks again,
Alan

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Richard wrote:

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