Moving Tomato Plants

shellie_wnj(5)June 13, 2009

I am a VERY novice gardener. This is my first year trying anything, and I don't remember my mom having a garden growing up, so I am basically doing this first year as a "test year" and learning by doing. (Poor plants!) :)

I have a container garden - I live in the mountains, and the ground is so rocku I couldn't figuire out how to cultivate it to accomodate plants. So containers it was. I put too many plants in each container and now they are suffocating each other. I need to move a few, one of the ones that needs to be moved is a tomato plant. It was bought at a nursery, and transplanted about 3 or so weeks ago. It is starting to flower, but you can see it is stressed and it is suffocating other plants. Would I be able to move it into it's own container? How would I do that? At the very least, I have learned that each plant needs a good amount of room!

Thank you for any advice you can give me!

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I would take the plant out without worrying about roots comeing with the plant. better to tear off the roots.

Move the plant with a few roots to a new pot. Put into soil wet and leave in the shade to grow roots. It will come on late. but the plants in the old container will keep growing. If you tear up the roots of all the plants you will set them all back. this saves one plant to grow as fast as possible.

if you are in a warm long season area then you can chop off all the branches and make a new rooted plant from each branch.

where do you live. if you are in canada you probably do not have time for this and can just cut it down and throw away. It takes time. If you are south or california then this is a great way to make more plants for the fall crop.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 11:18PM
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If you used potting mix, then use your hand and push your fingers down to the original root ball and lift the plant out. This will minimize root loss. The previous post is correct. Don't worry about breaking a few new roots. the plant will replace them in its new home.

After moving, give it some shade (indirect sunlight) and keep the watering even. Movement will shock the plant and you'll probably lose most of the blooms, but maybe not all. If any fruit are set, they'll be fine.

So, "GIT 'ER DONE!!!"


    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:16AM
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I am in PA - in the mountains. It gets cold sometime late september here. It's still cool now, the growing season isn't very long - last frost was last week sometime. At least I hope it was the last frost! I am getting tired of pulling all the containers in every time there is a frost warning! :-) I did use potting mix, I am going to try what Ted said tomorrow when I have some time, we'll see how they do! Thank you!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:02PM
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Hi Shellie,

You did not say what kind of tomato it was or how large your container is. I am new this year too and I know you have to have at least a 5 gallon pot for each plant and if it is a beefsteak or some other large tomato you would need at least a 20-29 gallon. I hope this helps. Give it a pot as big as you can have room for:)
Our Beefsteak and Goliath are 8 feet and still growing and I see some roots coming out of the drain hole and the pots are between 20-30 gallon.
Check out the link to view them.


Here is a link that might be useful: my pool container garden

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Dusty, I am growing Bonnies tomatoes! LOL The kind you can buy at walmart. I think they were called garden tomatoes, to tell you the truth. I will see if I can find the band that was around the pot. It's a 32 gallon rubbermaid tote container with a bunch of holes drilled into the bottom :) We needed to be about as frugal as can be, so that was it!

Your garden looks AWESOME! What do you think of the topsy turvey? Someone gave me one for Christmas, but I wasn't sure, so I didn't plant in it.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Shellie, you're going to be fine. Let me know how you do.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 4:26PM
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We have two tomato plants growing nicely in 2 gallon pots but they require frequent watering. I harvested three ripe romas off one yesterday. The other is a larger round tomato whose name I don't remember.(Fiesta I think). We're going to have fried green tomatos off it in a few days. I have 25 Rutgers plants in my garden and they're just sarting to bloom.
My neighbor has a tomato growing in a topsy turvy and has harvested a few ripe ones from it. he has it on a shepards hook about four foot off the grownd The plant has reached the ground. They work fine and are only about 2 gallons.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 5:37PM
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Well, I decided to move out the parsley and basil. The basil doesn't look like it is going to survive. I didn't notice until I heard the "riiiipppp" of roots that they were already interconnected. The tomatoes still look ok, although I just did it this morning. The basil is not faring as well. It was already dying, and now it's droopy and the leaves are falling off. The parsley is faring well so far, it is reaching for the sun, so I think it will be ok.
As for the pepper, it was so intertwined with the tomatoes, I had to leave it be. We will see if it suffocates. Thanks guys for your help :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 5:56PM
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ditnc(7 NC)

shellie, strongly suggest (it may be too late) that you put the transplanted plants (i.e. basil) in the shade for a few days and let it de-stress from its transplant shock. It might just make it. But direct sun will shock it further right now...ditto for anything else you to keep it in the shade for a few days.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Thank you for the compliments:) I love the TT it is somewhat of a gimmick if you think about how maters don't really like water on the leaves and it is watered upside down so the water drips all over it. I have 4 early girls coming on the one on the left and lots of blooms on the BHN640 on the TT on the right. Good luck on your move.


Here is a link that might be useful: my pool container garden

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:39PM
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LOL on the shade comment. I don't really have a choice. We haven't seen the sun for well over a week now! I think that may be part of the problem with all of my plants.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 10:30AM
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My move is coming up in a little over a week! :( I still have no idea what i'm going to do with my hanging basket Cherry toms. One is a little over 6 feet tall & the other is a bit over 5 ft tall. They have a 2 ft ring main stem "stake" & 2-3 bamboo stakes currently supporting the main stem out to about 4-5 feet. Other than that, no cages, etc...since they are in the hanging basket. Any ideas?? I'm worried since they are producing heavily now. I don't want all the maters to fall off even though it's only like a 2 mile trip. When I take the hanging basket off the bracket I have it on, the plant needs support just so it doesn't break. Any help appreciated. I can provide a pic if needed.

Thanks! - Steve

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 10:40AM
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