How to Plant Tomatoes the Best Way | Gardening Advice and Tips | Roots and Refuge Farm

hey y'all it's Jess welcome back to

Region refuge farm there's a beautiful

spring morning here and today I am going

to be putting in the rest of my tomato

plants for the 2019 summer garden I've

been getting a lot of questions lately

about planting tomatoes I've shared them

to pass some of my tips and growing

advice for growing tomatoes I love to

grow tomatoes it's my favorite thing to

grow in the garden and so today I just

wanted to do a quick video showing you

guys my methods for planting tomatoes

and just answer some of these questions

that I've been getting a lot lately

first things first let's go ahead and

put this little guy in the ground and

then I'll talk to you a little bit about

spacing pruning and trellising


how you put your tomato plant in the

ground this is pretty universal I'm

gonna talk to you here in a minute about

the pruning and the trellising and those

things may vary based on your gardening

style where you're gardening but

planting your tomato plant in the ground

no matter if you plan on pruning it down

to one stem or just letting it

completely Bush out and go wild putting

it in the ground is the same tomato

plants like to be planted deep if you'll

look here up close with this plant

you'll see these little bumps and

nodules on the stem of this plant as

well as these very tiny hairlike fibers

and if you'll notice these fibers go

all the way up the stem of this plant up

here to the top Tomatoes actually if you

let them grow on their own if you don't

intervene if you don't trellis them

stake them up tie them up they actually

grow along the ground and they are a

vining plant at least indeterminate

tomatoes are like this one and like most

of the ones that you're going to be

purchasing to plant to grow in your

garden and basically the way they grow

is that everywhere that their stem comes

in contact with the soil like whenever

this plant grows up and falls over and

grows along the ground they root all the

way along the stem that's what those

little fibers are those our future roots

so whenever you have a transplant like

this which I started this from seed in

my greenhouse a couple of months ago and

I pull it out of the cup you can see the

root system all in here and and this is

obviously as a healthy transplant but if

I were to just plant it in the ground to

here this is the only root system that

it would have and it would it would stem

off from this and it would probably do


however the deeper that I plant this I'm

giving it this much more space to create

that healthy root system healthy roots

are going to make for healthy plants

that's the more nutrients they can take

in more water that they can take in so

basically any time that you're

transplanting a tomato plant it's best

to go ahead and pinch off the bottom

leaves and I like to do this all the way

up to the

top crown and I'm gonna dig a really

deep hole where I can put to just plant

in up to here now one trick you can do

and obviously did not do it this time if

you want to come out like the day before

you're planning on transplanting or two

days before and you want to lay your

plant down sideways in the bed just like

that tomato plants will always grow up

towards the Sun so if I leave that plant

laying on its side right here in the bed

you want to make sure it's well watered

before you do this because it can dry

out quickly in a day or two this stem

will be bent upwards so if you're if

you're planting in a bed maybe like a

raised bed where it might be difficult

to dig a hole that's 12 inches deep if

you if you do that trick laying them on

those side and letting them grow up

towards the Sun you can actually lay

them in the hole sideways and get that

stem under the ground without having to

worry about the stem breaking from you

bending it because you basically just

give it the time in the situation to

bend itself however I have no issue

digging a hole to the bottom of my

raised bed so I'm just gonna go straight

down with this guy today

so the soil in my raised beds the bottom

half is very mediocre topsoil it's

honestly pretty heavy and it's not great

however we don't till these beds we just

add a few inches of compost every year

and we have great success with that so

as you can see here I've got all this

compost on top I've dug the hole down

deep and basically even though the soil

is not great at the bottom of my bed I'm

gonna put my plant down in there and

then I'm gonna scrape all this compost

that's up on the top and over it so it's

gonna be surrounded by compost now my

single tomato trick the one thing that I

would say I always do with all of my

Tomatoes it's not from planting them

deeply is the egg and the whole trick I

don't know the science behind this I was

told years and years ago by an old man

that had garden in this area for 50

years to put an egg in the hole

whenever I plant my tomatoes and I did I

just just listened to him he seemed to

know what he's talking about a few years

ago however one of my Instagram

followers decided to do a little bit of

a test and she planted several tomatoes

of all the same variety same soil same

growing conditions and half of them she

gave the egg and half of them she didn't

it was the only variable that changed in

those plants and there was a marked

difference in the ones that had the egg

larger plants more fruit better

production I don't know it's one of

those things I've always done you know I

don't change it because I just imagine

you know the year that I don't put the

egg in the hole would be my first bad

tomato year I've ever had so I in the

past I wouldn't crack these and for the

most part when I would go to pull the

tomato plants up I might find a few

pieces of shell because the root system

would crack it however last year I did

have an egg that remained uncracked and

when I went to pull my tomatoes up it

was just a completely traumatic

experience so this year as I've dropped

these eggs in the hole

I've taken my shovel and not just

completely smash them but just to kind

of a little bit of a crack in the shell

to make sure that they have a little bit

of a head start

breaking down and again I've got the

leaves all broken off so this tomato

plant is going to go right down in that

hole and I'm going to push the compost

in all around it I'm going to go ahead

and take off the extra leaves so I've

just got this top crown of this plant

sticking out now one thing that

sometimes will happen when you are

planting and if you're not careful about

this it can cause issues with Tomatoes

you know sometimes you dig your hole and

like here as you can see there's a

little bit of a dip here and what I want

to avoid is is creating a situation

where water is going to be able to pull

up around this tomato because tomato

foliage is really susceptible to

sickness whenever it gets wet so

basically what I'm going to do when I

put this tomato in is I'm going to kind

of build the soil up right around it and

I'm actually going to dig out a little

bit of a moat around this plant not a

lot of big deal just a little bit to

create a bit of a hill so that when it

rains instead of the water pulling up

right around my plant it's gonna go off

here around the edge these basically if

you've created a dip and your Tomatoes

right in the middle the water will pull

up there and then if it continues to

rain it will splash that dirty water

back up on your leaves that's just a

perfect storm to end up with funguses

and and leaf spots and all the kinds of

things that you don't want with Tomatoes

however if you create this little this

little indent in this little moat it

will make the water flow away from the

tomato so you're not going to have as

much splash back but also it's going to

cause that water to soak in six inches

around the tomato and it's going to

encourage the root system to branch out

in order to soak that water up so again

you're encouraging healthier roots as

well as healthy foliage tomato plant in

the ground that tall plant barely any of

its sticking out it'll take a few days

for it to really settle in and then it

will start growing now at this point you

would normally go ahead

and give this plant a little bit of

water being careful to not just splash

it all over the leaves since they are so

close to the soil at this point however

I am going to be planting the rest of

this row of tomatoes here in just a

minute as soon as I'm done with this

video so I'm not going to go ahead and

water this plant right now now really

quick let's talk about pruning spacing

and trellising I live in Central

Arkansas of zone 7b and it's hot here

it's very very humid and it's very very

hot I actually had a conversation with a

man that lives in Ohio a few weeks ago

and we got on the topic of growing

tomatoes and he said that he grows his

tomatoes in big cages allows them to

completely Bush out as no pruning gives

them 4 feet of space all around and gets

bumper crops every year that would not

work here it's so humid here that the

year that I let my tomato plants Bush

out I lost them you by the end of July

they're all gone to blight because there

was not enough airflow to combat the

humidity that's just a reality of living

in Arkansas so I have begun doing my

tomatoes this way and it produces the

most for me and my plants last the

longest I want to encourage you to

experiment in your garden obviously if

you've clicked on this video you are the

kind of person who wants to find the

best way and do it that way

however while I think this is a great

method and it works great for me if you

want to go about doing this if you want

to create cattle panel trellises and you

want to space your tomatoes just like

mine and prune them just like I do do it

I hope that it is just as successful for

you as it has been for me but I do

encourage you to maybe devote a little

part of your garden and try letting it

tomato plant Bush out I did that just to

see well maybe I messed up that one year

let me try this again I let one go

completely last year and I lost it to

sickness so it kind of drove home for me

that this is the way that I need to be

doing it with my conditions don't be

afraid to fail if it means learning a

lesson you have to look at your

gardening success not just as this

and this year's harvest but over the

course of a lifetime developing methods

that work for you where you live in your

conditions in your soil in your weather

so you'll notice here I've got all of my

tomatoes and these are all slicers we

just finished planting these the day

before yesterday and so our next step is

going to be to mulch mulching is really

important when you're putting your

Tomatoes in because it helps with that

fungus thing that I was talking about in

the sickness whenever you put mulch

around your plants and not only does it

help them retain moisture it also keeps

that splashback from happening whenever

it rains another good tip with tomatoes

and just from the very beginning here

bottom water them do not water with like

a sprinkler where it's going to cause

the water to come down the more dry that

you can keep the foliage of your tomato

plants the better for their overall

health my plants here are spaced about

18 inches apart and give or take a

couple of inches I actually didn't

measure it whenever I was putting them

in an 18 inches apart that's that's

pretty close but the way that we prune

our Tomatoes is to allow them to have

one main stalk we use these cattle

panels on T posts to create these

trellis walls and essentially as these

tomato plants grow up I will do a video

later on pruning when I actually have

something to show you they're all too

small for me to show you now but I will

continue to cut off the lower branches

of these plants as they continue to grow

up and essentially once they are fully

grown and they're grown up this trellis

there will be no branches in the bottom

20 inches at least I keep that

completely free of any extra growth

because like I said we want to create

that airflow to keep these plants as

healthy as possible now we allow one

main stalk and I use a tie tape to tie

that to this trellis and I prune off any

suckers and because of the fact that we

do keep them so pruned we are able to

grow these tomatoes 18 inches apart

some Square Foot Gardening methods they

suggest growing them 12 inches apart for

me giving them that extra six inches or

so is airing a little bit on the side of

caution because like I said we do we do

deal with the humidity issue here so 18

inches apart pruned down to a single

stake and tied up to these cattle panel

trellises I do have another video

talking about growing tomatoes sharing

some of my tips and advice and just some

of the research that I've done I will

link that down below and throw a link up

here if you'd like to check it out if

you have any questions you're welcome to

put them below I also want to invite you

to please join our Facebook group it's

just a free group that we've created

it's called Friends of roots and refuge

barb and the idea is to create a

community of people who love gardening

for a support system to answer questions

and to just geek out over things like

tomatoes I do hope that this helps you

thank you so much for watching I bless

you until next time