Transplanting container tomato into ground?

alexshrugged(10 (Sunset Zone 23))June 13, 2012

I have a Black Sea Man plant growing in a 5 gal pot which (not for lack of trying) looked doomed. I was trying to grow all organically, and it wasn't working in the small pot. I thought it was diseased or dead, and was ready to throw it out, but then I used some MG fertilizer on it, and it miraculously came back to life (pun intended). Problem is, it's top heavy -- the bottom is still pretty bare and sad, and the top is lush and happy, and already loaded with a couple tomatoes.

All my in-ground tomatoes (grown organically) are doing amazingly, and I think I can make room for one more. I'd love to move this one into the ground, since I seem to have a greener thumb there than in pots. Also, I thought I could plant it really deep, since the bottom half of the plant looks kind of leggy and sad anyway.

Problem is, it already has tomatoes on it. I'm worried that if I transplant now, it'll drop the tomatoes and blossoms it already has, and I risk losing a substantial portion of the harvest, especially since it is a Determinate plant.

I'm really new to gardening (as in, this is the first year I've picked up a spade), so I'd love any advice on what to do!

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wertach zone 7-B SC

I have never done it with a black sea man. But I very carefully transplanted a really big better boy from a 5 gallon bucket, with fruit, to the garden this year. It never lost a single one and is doing very good.

I let it get very dry so that I could get it out without losing the soil around it. I dug a 5 gallon hole, set it in, covered and watered very good for the next few days.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:05PM
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This year I had fruit plus a 2nd set of blossoms already on an Early Girl & it transplanted just fine last month even with our cool weather in WA state. Now have 2 more sets of blossoms and those fruits are growing nicely.

Try trench planting it. Dig your hole at an angle big enough for the bucket to fit. Test it using another bucket. I usually do about 45 degrees, but do whatever angle works for fitting in another plant in your space.

Amend the hole with what is recommended in your area. Here we add a handful of calcium carbonate and bonemeal and about 1/2 cup complete organic fertilizer & mix up.

Use a scissor to remove the lower leaves up to the fruiting leaves. Be sure the fruiting leaves won't be touching the soil when planted.

Water with warm water only for the 1st week or so.

This has worked for me.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:31AM
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