Let's Talk Spacing (Please?)

jessicabauer84(Arkansas 8A)April 19, 2013

Hi all! I have a tomato spacing question (as is obvious from my subject). I have one 4x12 raised bed dedicated to growing them. I am going to try Celebrities, Whoppers, Super Fantastics, and Sweet 100s. (I've grown tomatoes for three years and are all new varieties to me)

My biggest question concerns the cherry variety. I was thinking of doing two rows of five tomato plants (giving them about two feet of space all around). From what I'm reading, though, the cherries get to be big. Would two Sweet 100s fit in a 4x3 or so space or should I nix that idea and just do one there?

And while we're at it, any comments/reviews of the tomatoes my husband blindly picked out for me this year? I've always wanted to try Celebrity, but I'm not sure about the others.

Also, I hope you're having a good evening. Thanks for reading and happy planting season, y'all!

- Jessica

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You could easily fill the 4x12 bed with a single sweet 100 plant. Or cover a 30x20 area of unwanted boxwoods if you so desired (see pic).

Aside from the sweet 100, I think you'd be better off with a single row of 5 in the bed. I only do 4 in my bed that size and none are prolific hybrid types.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I agree that 10 plants in a 4x12 bed will be very overcrowded. That is unless you plan to prune them extensively and heavily. Not only over-crowded but competing for nutrients and water heavily, and perhaps even more prone to disease because of poor air circulation.

I'd put 6 plants, slightly staggered and offset from each other and yes, only 1 Sweet 100.

Often with tomatoes, planting less plants gets you much more fruit than if you'd planted many more plants.

If you have some 10 gallon containers put the Celebrity in them and save the garden space for the others.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:50PM
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jessicabauer84(Arkansas 8A)

Thanks to both of you!

Dave, you really hit the nail on the head. I planted 8 toms (all indeterminates) in about a 4x8 raised bed space last year and thought that was enough room to breathe. I did eventually have trouble with disease and overcrowding.

I'd much rather have fewer healthier plants and more fruit than the mess I was wading through last September. Plus our third baby is due mid-July and the less plants I have, the less I have to tend.

And good advice on the Celebrity, I had only read about how they were good producers, until just now when I read they were more of a determinate type. I assume they will do better in containers as they're more of a bush than a vine?

Thanks again, my plan seems to make a little more sense now.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:24PM
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My raised beds are 4 ft wide. I put 2 sweet 100 side by side at one end and 2 sungold at another end.

Yeah they grow like crazy. I use 7 ft tall CRW cages and let them drape over the sides and ends of the bed.

If you grow them like this, you will need a small ladder in the fall.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:06AM
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