spacing for tomatos

rj_hythloday(8A VA)January 28, 2009

I've read the faq but this is very confusing

''Tomatoes bush-type: 4/4sqft (see special grid); vine-type 1/sqft (in row of 4 on trellis) ''

I am planning 6 4x4 raised beds. I want to plant 2 of the same variety tomato per bed. I plan on only planting basil, borage, and nasturtiums directly around them.

Would 2 plants per 3 squares be ok. Maybe a basil in between or just borage and nast in between?

These will all be indeterminate. I was hoping to have a square cage around both plants, but it seems like it's going to have to be an individual round crw cage around ea.

Thanks for any tips.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

rj - I can only share my thoughts and opinions, for whatever they may be worth. Anyway, here goes...
I planted 2 better boy plants (evenly spaced), against a trellis, and the soil area was 1ft x 4ft. No pruning....just let them grow as they wished, and kept the vines tied up. By the time they grew large, there was no room left on either side, or between, for growing something else. These were the best plants I've ever grown. I hope this helps.

EG

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolynp(z7)

I would think 1/3 sq ft is perfect, imho. I'm concerned your "in between" plants won't get much sun. I grew four pepper plants between my tomatoes last year and only one even produced a single pepper. The gypsy and purple beauty in the front produced solidly until fall, so I am fairly certain lack of sunlight was the culprit.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jleiwig(6)

Try a self-watering container. My tomatoes in the SWCs were much better than anything I grew in the ground last year.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Thanks for the replies, The in between are just companion plants to deter pests. I think I'll stick w/ the nast and borage and have the basil outside to allow a bit more room.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bdobs(8b or 9 SF Bay Area)

I agree with the 2 plants in the 4'x1' area on a trellis

As you can see here, there are only two babies in the 4' width and they are all ready cramming. A couple of months later they were fighting eachother for space

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

These Toms are growing in 1 plant per 5 sf. of 100% compost.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dutchess_9(8b)

jbest-what is that growing in front of the tomatoes?

Here is a link that might be useful: How my garden grows!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

That is zucchini also at 1 plant per 5 sq ft.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I have an interest in small tomato plants that I can grow indoors and in pots to give away. A cut and paste list of the some of the varieties I've found to date is over on the Small Spaces/Urban Gardening forum,but it might be helpful to some of you SFG folks, too.

Jan

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Tomatoes

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 11:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anniesgranny(6b)

Jan, thank you! Copied and saved ;-)

Granny

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
peel(z6 CT)

John, are those prehistoric plants? Do you live in Bedrock with the Flintstones? Those plants are MONSTERS! If ever there was a photo displaying the benefits of growing in 100% compost.... Nice job!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

Thanks peel, sometimes my mind goes to Bedrock but then I remember that was before toilet tissue so I think I will stay where I am. ;o)

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeremyjs

holy cow that's a big zucchini. Around here the Squash bugs get all of them before they get that big. They usually stay alive just long enough to get 5-10 zucchini then they are overwhelmed.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
posturedoc

Back to the topic of the original message in this thread. RJ, there is obviously more than one way to grow tomatoes in a raised bed. Some folks on this thread advocate one plant per two squares growing up a trellis. This spacing works fine, but if you want to grow more varieties and have a trellis, you can certainly use Mel's 1 tomato per square spacing. It's not easy though, but it might be worth the effort for the increased variety.

I say it's not easy because you have to stay on top of the tomatoes by only allowing 2 or three vines per plant to grow vertically up your trellis and pinch out all of the side shoots as they develop. You will have to perform this task every three or four days, depending on the variety and how vigorous it is putting out shoots. Sometimes you can get away with waiting a week. Sometime you miss a couple at the bottom of the plant after it has matured a bit and you suddenly find yourself with a bunch of new growth you didn't expect and the possibility for even more tomatoes and to heck with the basil, borage and nasturtiums you planted in the adjacent squares.

I did it last year in two different beds with around 10 different plants in as many squares. As the season progressed and a couple of different vacations took their toll on my shoot pinching vigilance, several of the plants got away from me. Fortunately, it didn't really matter if a few vines flopped into adjacent squares as I wasn't planning to plant any fall veggies in them and what I had planted was large enough by then to fight for their own light.

I'm going to give it a go again this season with the 1 trellised plant per square and with even more plants and varieties, so we'll see how well I control their vigor.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Wow! There sure are alot of new people in this forum! Cool! Anyway, to the original poster - try different ways/spacings, and see what you like. All of us do it a little differently, and all ways are correct.

EG

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I say it's not easy because you have to stay on top of the tomatoes by only allowing 2 or three vines per plant to grow vertically up your trellis and pinch out all of the side shoots as they develop.

I agree with posturedoc. The issue comes at the bottom, where the side shoots from the axils pop up and a week later you have 2 feet of vine and 40 flowers and you don't want to pinch out. The bottom leaves really need to be taken care of so they don't shade out neighbors, as I like carrots underneath & both compliment each other. It is also easier for pests to commute the closer the spacing...the other side is that you have to rotate your toms so the closer the spacing, the more options you have for new areas next spring.

Either way, I make it work because I like toms. This year I'll have 9 containers with toms in them - cherries and determinate - in addition to ~ 6 in the raised bed. If you do a SWC, I've found you need 3 extra holes in the lid for a cage (to tie off so the wind doesn't thrash stems).

Dan

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cave88(5)

Great info everyone. Here is what I want to try. I will have a couple of 8' x 32" inch raised beds along the south side of a north privacy fence. How far apart should I space the tomatoes in this configuration? I have some of the round wire cages I was planning on using for support. I would like to plant carrots, lettuce and some peppers in front of the tomatos. These plants will have almost all the sun light possible in NE Indiana. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

every 2 feet

EG

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ming001(8)

I was ready to try Mel's method for tomatos but I am starting to over think this and get scared into indefinite research and inactivity!

I live in Atlanta. I have 2 8X3 beds. One is trellised along the 8' side. I have 8 tomato plants. Initially I was going to checkerboard them along the trellis. Then I thought I'd just go for it and plant them in a row. Now I am wondering if I should put in a second trellis in the same bed and checkerboard them along 2 trellises and just plant the exterior squares with other things and sacrifice the extra squares.

I can't plant tomaotes in the second bed because of the sunlight the garden will receive (18' diameter tree against house in southern exposure, trees on eastern exposure etc).

I've searched this site and tried to find general 'real' information via google but still not sure what way to go with this. Any help appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Cold Weather Covers
I made a cover for a 4x4 box going off the instructions...
mtnrunner
pine vs cedar for raised bed
I am building 2 4'x8' raised beds. Last year I built...
rersoap
staining wood for raised beds.
I'm wanting to build a raised bed and first went out...
johnmcd348
Attic Insulation Vermiculite safe?
I am starting my SFG this year and just picked up some...
jcoenen
Vining plants and selection for beginner.
So glad to have found this resource! I am starting...
GreenFox
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™