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Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

Posted by NickRose Z9 San Mateo, CA (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 22:04

I'm planting 14 Tomato plants along my backyard fence and also planning on planting Mammoth Russian Sunflowers between each tomato plant. The tomatoes are 9 San Marzano, 2 Red Siberian, 2 Beefsteak and 1 Cherry (all are Indeterminate). I will have the tomato plants spaced 2-2.5' a part and the sunflowers will be in the center. The tomatoes have already sprouted so I'm guessing they will be in the ground within a month or 2.

Anyway I have a question about when to start the sunflowers. I would like to plant the seeds now but by the time the Tomatoes go into the ground the Sunflowers will have established themselves and I feel the Tomatoes would have a tougher time establishing themselves. So should I wait until the tomatoes are in the ground and have grown a few feet tall and then plant the sunflowers?

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RE: Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 22:45

You might want to research the allelopathic properties of sunflowers. Your plan would normally be considered detrimental to the tomato plants. Put the sunflowers in their own section of the garden away from any other crops.

Plus in your zone, why such late planting for your tomatoes?


RE: Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

Well I have no other spots for the Sunflowers and I have read on how people use them as supports. I assume those people would be planting them inches a part, where as I'll have them 1-1.5' a part.

I started them late again, for some reason I always do that. But last year they did great. I got them growing to about 10'. But those seeds were taken from a grocery store tomato. Hopefully they will do just as good. But like with any garden its really a experiment to see what works.

RE: Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

Since I'm experimenting I could always divide the crop in half and do one section the way I described above and then the other half put nursery pots into the ground and plant the sunflowers in those. That way I can see which crop has a higher production.

RE: Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

If you are in an area that gets days of over 100 degrees then planting them on the south side of the tomatoes may be of some help. I know they say tomatoes should grow in full sun. In areas that get over 100 if something is on the south end to give a bit of shade in the evening it can help tomatoes. The two plants that gave me the most tomatoes last year were shaded in the evening. The plant was still getting 10 hours of direct sunlight.

RE: Tomatoes near Mammoth Sunflowers

I think, as long as their(sunflowers' and tomatoes' ) roots do not get tangled up, it should be fine. Probably 1.5 apart is good enough.

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