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Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

Posted by nancy_east Zone 6 NC (My Page) on
Thu, May 14, 09 at 12:22

So I just planted my tomatoes this past weekend and I did them according to Mel's book but they just seem SO close! Is it really possible to grow them one per square foot? I also built the trellis the book recommends so they'll grow against that and I plan on pinching off the suckers as diligently as I need to so they'll not get too bushy, but I'm still skeptical. Anyone have any horror or success stories to share with doing it this way?

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

There are numerous threads here about this issue. I personally don't grow them this close.


RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

Mel's method is to prune to a single vine. I don't do that, but I effectively grow 1 per SF by placing 2 plants in 2 SF and let them grow how they will. It's a mess but I don't care.

Hope that helps.

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

I grew tomatoes on a trellis one year, one plant per one foot. It worked, but it was a lot of work constantly pruning them. The next year I started growing them one plant per two feet. There was still a lot of pruning to do, but it was noticeably easier. The link below is to a picture of my plants one per foot.

Here is a link that might be useful: One plant per square

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

And here is one per square foot-its not difficult or time consuming to pinch off suckers, and its worked for me for 9 years now.

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

I have mine 2 per 4 ft w/ one basil a few borage and nasturtiums in between.

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

Yes, it is possible to grow indeterminate vines that you prune to 1 main stem 1/sf. Determinate (bush) tomatoes, should not be pruned so they need much more space.

I grow ind. tomatoes 1/sf pruned to 1 stem and trained up a string. I don't have alot of space but want to grow as many different varieties as possible. It works well for me, I find it easier than caging or staking.

Good gardening, Mary

RE: Can you really do 1 tomato per sq. ft?

Last year I did 1 tom/1 sf and trained them up a trellis, but the trellis was made from 1/2" PVC and 6" net. The trellis didn't fall, but did become pretty unstable, the one with my cantaloupes did fall and I had melons all over the ground. I didn't do much pruning, just removed the suckers and the odd branch that got cumbersome. I had a good mess of tomatoes last year.

This year the trellises are made of 1/2" conduit and nylon netting. I'm hoping to keep it all off the ground this year.


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