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Old 02-11-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Tomato Planting Question

I picked up a couple of Celebrity tomato plants yesterday from the nursery. Celebrities are recommended for this area. The plants are about 8" tall, not including root ball. I put them in the ground this morning.

Then I remembered an article called "Tomato Basics" from my Texas Gardener magazine. The writer said when planting, he laid the plants on their side and turned the ends upward as he covered the root ball and lower stem with soil. He said the plants will form roots all along the buried stem.

Does anyone else plant tomatoes this way? Should I replant?

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Old 02-11-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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I've heard of that, but I've never done it. Does he say what the benefit would be?
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:22 PM   #3
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GotGarlic, no, he does not state the benefit. I understand the need for a strong root system, but having prepared my soil well, I don't understand why he suggests this.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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I wouldn't replant then. They should be fine.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'm going to leave them.

The writer may be a tomato planting perfectionist. I am not.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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I have heard this as well. We don't lay them down on their sides but I plant them up to their second or third set of leaves for just this reason. Our soil is good but I keep thinking the more roots, the better. When I pull them out in the fall, they are rooted all the way up. I also think it helps them balance better during the summer. We get some gusty days in early summer and then our share of t-storms with lots of wind. They tend to stand well.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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At just 8" tall, your plants will be just fine as is.

Planting tomatoes in a trough on their sides like that is really for plants that are overgrown & spindly. Planting them on their sides with just the tips protruding will give them a much better chance of growing in a more sturdy fashion. And yes, roots will grow out along the buried stem.

While I've never had to do the sideways planting, I normally trim off the lower leaves & bury my tomatoes deeper than they were originally growing in their pots if they're not as thick-stemmed & bushy as I would like, or if I've been lazy & haven't repotted them as often as I should have.

But your guys should be just fine. :)
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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I've used this method many times. The only advantage I've seen(all things being equal) is you don't have to dig as deep a hole. The stem(underground) will produce roots no matter its orientation is my thinking. I've not noticed any difference in growth rate or yields. So anothelr vote for they will be fine!
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:55 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. Southern gardening has been. and continues to be, a steep learning curve for me.
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplicity View Post
Thanks everyone. Southern gardening has been. and continues to be, a steep learning curve for me.
A quick Google search turned up this site: http://www.burger.com - by Donald Burger, Houston TX The site owner lives in Houston. Bad news: He recommends not planting tomatoes outside till the first week of March. They don't like to be cold and shouldn't be planted until after the last average frost date (March 8 in Houston, according to this site) and the soil temp. is consistently above 55* at night.
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