We are often really busy in the months where the tomatoes are busy growing. Therefore, we aren’t always as good to repot as we would like. Maybe you are also busy with greenhouse preparations and pre-germination.
Lanky tomato plants can be saved by planting them deeply when replanting and repotting. Actually, no matter how often you repot your plants, it is always a good idea to plant your tomato plants deeply. This way, the tomato plants will form additional roots on the stem, which will make them more robust, and you may also save some water - pretty clever.
Read this step-by-step guide on how to transplant your tomatoes.
Guide: Plant deeply and get robust tomato plants that require less water.
(1) Before you plant your tomatoes outside, it is a good idea to harden them off. This way, they slowly get used to the outdoor life with cooler temperatures and direct sunlight. Also, this often speeds up the growth and the wind helps to make your plants more robust. To harden off your plants, put them in your greenhouse or garden for a couple of hours each day and then bring them inside again. Make sure the first couple of days are a little clouded, so they slowly get used to the sunlight. Prolong the greenhouse- or garden stay bit by bit, but make sure to take them inside at night, when the temperatures drop.
(2) When there is no more chance of night frost (around may), you can start to plant your tomato plants in your greenhouse – either directly in the ground or in a plant box or large pot. Smaller sorts may also grow in hanging baskets. If you want your tomato plants outside of the greenhouse, wait until mid-May or the beginning of June. At that point, the nights have become a little warmer.
(3) Dig a hole. The hole should be deep enough for your tomato plants to be covered with soil up to the first staying leaves. Are your tomato plants a little lanky, remove the bottom leaves and place the plants even deeper into the ground.
(4) Fill the hole with water and wait for the water to seep away.
(5) Carefully take your plants out of the pot and place your tomato plants in the hole. If necessary, remove the bottom leaves. Cover the roots and stem with soil up to the first leaves.
(6) Water frequently with fertilizer and water, as tomato plants require both. Do not water the leaves, but the soil instead. However, by planting them very deep, we basically don’t have to water the plants – but they still need fertilizer.
(7) When your plants grow bigger and all-over sudden stand very close to each other, it is a good idea to remove some of the lower branches to provide more air and avoid mould. If your plants are the indeterminate ones (the ones that grow and grow), remember to keep cutting back any side shoots, so your plants don’t use all their energy on forming leaves, but on developing flowers – and then tomatoes – instead.
(8) Most tomato sorts become quite tall and therefore require support during the summer, for example in form of a plant spiral or a simple stick– here only your imagination limits the possibilities.
(9) Your tomatoes are now ready to be harvested all summer long – until the frost arrives.
(10) If you want, harvest seeds from ripe tomatoes and let them dry to be used for next year’s tomato cultivation. You can also share and swap the seeds with other tomato lovers.
If you have some green tomatoes that are not yet ripe, take them inside and place them on a platter, where they will continue to mature and can be used even when the tomato season is over.
Happy tomato cultivation!
Behind the Danish company TagTomat (in English ‘Roof Tomato’) is a skilled team whose passion is to create green communities and inspire to green do-it-yourself and do-it-together projects. Today TagTomat sells organic flower seeds and vegetable seeds, which are packaged with our seed packaging machines from 1895. It all began in 2011 in the heart of the neighbourhood Nørrebro in Copenhagen with just five self-watering plant boxes on a wheelie bin storage. You can read more about TagTomat at our website TagTomat.Get to know TagTomat
- Current blog posts
- Three tips for the greenhouse
- For the plants to grow it takes fertilizer but which one?
- Sterile soil is not good for the plants
- Greenhouse plants also get sick
- Hens in the garden
- Provide shade for your plants
- The philosophical gardener’s theory of perennials
- Create good living conditions for animals and insects in the garden
- The golf courses great secret
- What you need to be aware of when growing in plastic