Tomatoes: Trench Planting Method!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about tomatoes this summer. Remember this post, when I got the actual plants from our friend who grows them in her greenhouse? Everyone has their method or favorite way to plant tomatoes, but what has worked amazingly well for us has been trench planting.

First, lay the tomatoes out where you think they should be planted. Get a visual.

With this method, you dig a trench rather than a hole.

You remove the lower leaves of the plants, leaving the top leaf clusters. Lay the plant on its side in the trench and cover with dirt, up to the top leaf cluster.

The buried stem begins to form roots and within a day, the top of the plant will have righted itself.

This method produces more roots, and the underground stems are closer to warmth, rain and nutrients.

Why trench plant?
The advantage of trench planting is that the tomato plant will form additional roots all along the stem portion that is buried. The tomato plant will be able to take up more water and nutrients and get off to a quicker start.

Cover with compost, then straw.

Here’s a few of our favorites.


Cage the plants – because you want to give the plant a place to climb!

And pray for sunshine and warm weather! I don’t know about you, but our weather has been cold and rainy. It doesn’t even feel like Spring here in Oregon!

Oh, and did I mention … I try to think of others when baking, cooking, even planting in the garden! 12 plants for us and a couple plants for my friend Fiona! I put the good soil in a pot, the plants, cage, and off to another house the pot went! So she can enjoy her own varieties this summer!

I’m looking forward to some of these, in only a few short months!

Are you planting tomatoes this year? Do you have a favorite method? Or do you just buy them at the store or grower’s market?

If you are a new gardener, check out my post, New Gardener Part I: Get Started Now!

Or Part II: Water, Sunshine and Soil!

And don’t forget to link up this Wed. to Home is … and share about what’s on the walls in your home!

   

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22 Responses to “Tomatoes: Trench Planting Method!”

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    Yvonne — May 24, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    Summer tomatoes- the thought of them make my mouth water! I wait all year for them!!!!
    I have never used the trench method, but it makes perfect sense. I do plant my tomatoes deep into the ground with only the tops showing. But I love the idea of putting them on their side.

    So kind of you to plant extra for a friend.
    I hope you share photos of your harvest with us.
    Yvonne
    .-= Yvonne´s last blog ..StoneGable Weekly Menu Plan =-.

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    Tara G. — May 24, 2010 @ 6:21 am

    Sandy, I’m so impressed! I’ve never heard of planting like this and one day I’d love to give it a try! It’s raining here in Kyiv, this afternoon, too! We had hoped to get to the Botanical Gardens because it’s a holiday and my husband is home (got to love getting both nation’s holidays- 4 Mondays off this month!).

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    Sara — May 24, 2010 @ 7:24 am

    I tried your trench method last year – amazing – loved it – my tomatoes were so prolific! Thanks! Planting even more this year.

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    Wendy — May 24, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    Our weather here in Pa is not our normal either. We (or I should say Tony) hasn’t planted our tomatoes yet. What a great tutorial! This is a fun time of year!
    Wendy
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Face Lift…. =-.

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    Shanna — May 24, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    I was doing some research last year for organic fertilizers for tomatoes and thought I would share a secret with you. I add two or three capfuls of cider vinegar to a bucket of water when they are in need of it. Lately, it’s been raining here (in GA) at least once a week so mother nature has taken care of mine on her own. Just thought your readers may want to try it themselves!

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    Fiona — May 24, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    We are so grateful for our tomatoes!!

    We even brought the ‘babies’ inside one night in the weekend when there was the threat of a frost……

    Great info Sandy!
    .-= Fiona´s last blog ..Beneath the surface =-.

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    kirstin — May 24, 2010 @ 8:16 am

    I’m going to plant them….not sure what kind yet, but I can’t wait!!

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    To Kiss the Cook — May 24, 2010 @ 8:16 am

    I am so happy to report that I am a new gardner having freshly reserved a plot in a community garden. This looks like a sound method to me and YES to tomatoes!

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    Elizabeth — May 24, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Okay, I’m going to try this. It is snowing today, here in Northern Utah. We have been tilling, but not planting, thank goodness, or I’d have lost my plants this weekend. So, the tomato plants will right themselves? I haven’t tried this before. I am going to do it this week! Also, I love your idea of planting for yourself and also plant some to give away. I’d like to do that, too. Okay, this is ignorant, but what does the straw do? I’ve seen Martha Stewart do this (on TV) with her whole garden. Does it keep down weeks?

    Have a wonderful and, hopefully, a warm day!
    Elizabeth
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Another Blast of Wintry Weather =-.

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    Gina — May 24, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    Can’t wait for those summer tomatoes! We had snow this weekend over here in Central Oregon, so we’ll just have to keep waiting to plant things in the garden. Usually June 1st is the safe date to plant, keeping our fingers this year! Crazy weather for sure!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Weekly Gratitudes =-.

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    Amy from She Wears Many Hats — May 24, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    Tomatoes! I have baby tomatoes on all of my plants – can’t wait for that first batch of homemade salsa. I’ve never tried the trench method but just may give it a go next year.
    .-= Amy from She Wears Many Hats´s last blog ..White Bean Sauté =-.

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    afarmgirlsdabbles — May 24, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    Great tutorial! I have never seen such a thing! My tomatoes are already in the ground, though, so I’ll have to remember this for next year. Can’t wait for tomatoes off the vine!!
    .-= afarmgirlsdabbles´s last blog ..June’s Yum-Yum Bars =-.

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    Amanda @ Serenity Now — May 24, 2010 @ 10:19 am

    If we can ever get a day where it’s not raining, we are planning on getting our garden going! I definitely want to do tomatoes again this year. Good compost is a must! I didn’t know about cages (blushing) when I started last year, but I put them in and it definitely made a difference.
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Ode to Spray Paint =-.

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    Jenny 867-5309 — May 24, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    How interesting! I’ve never heard of trench planting before. I need to plant 2 more Early Girl plants…going to try it and see what happens. I’ve already planted 2 EG plants and 2 Beefsteak plants. (I LOVE beefsteaks!) We’re also doing some Whoppers…they did great last year.

    Once again…great post!

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    Connie — May 24, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    We planted ours that way and are looking good. Our weather is cool again too for a few days and then it’s supposed to be in the high 70′s next weekend.

    Thanks for all the gardening tips…we go out and just stare at our garden each day watching it all grow. We are easily entertained!! :)

    Connie
    .-= Connie´s last blog ..Garden Update! =-.

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    Holly L — May 24, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

    We eat tomatoes like crazy. We are trying to plant tomatoes this year…we don’t have much sun, but we are trying the homemade topsy-turvy in order to take advantage of the sun we have on one side of the house. I have my fingers crossed!

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    Donnetta — May 24, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    Our tomatoes are already in the ground. (Hope our record low temps aren’t killing them off! We’ve been fighting to keep them warm, but time will tell.)

    When you trench plant the tomatoes do you still allow the same spacing between plants? (approx. 2-3 feet) Hard to tell in the photos.

    Never heard of this. Will have to give it a try next year!
    .-= Donnetta´s last blog ..This Moment =-.

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    Tickled Red — May 25, 2010 @ 3:58 am

    I can’t wait for my tomatoes to be ripe :) We trench plant as well. I usual get my plants from the local feed & seed.
    .-= Tickled Red´s last blog ..Washers for a waffle iron. =-.

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    Jade @ No Longer 25 — May 28, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    I’ve never seen anything like this method before. I’ll need to give it a try. Also I can’t believe you can grow tomatoes outside – that’ll be difficult in the North East of Scotland I think – I really need to get a greenhouse here!

    Have a lovely day,
    Jade
    .-= Jade @ No Longer 25´s last blog ..Ten Thoughts: Books from Childhood =-.

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