They’re also smaller, which means you can plant them closer together than you would indeterminate tomatoes. Hello tomato. If only true love were that simple. Construct a frame around your tomato row by driving wood or metal stakes at either end of your row and every 3-4 feet within the row. Successive plantings may be desirable with determinates to keep the harvest coming through the entire season. When you use stakes or tomato cages to support your plants, allow 1 1/2 to 3 feet of space between plants. When choosing string for tying the plants to stakes, jute or sisal is ideal since this type of string is biodegradable. Bush tomatoes grow for a shorter season, setting and ripening their fruit during a concentrated period. For example, a recommended plant spacing of 18″ (46cm) apart with row spacing of about 48″ (122cm) apart, can be planted in 56″ (142cm) square grids. Determinate tomatoes are generally small, compact, stout-stemmed bushy plants. Hi, I'm Kevin. Typically plants are set about four feet on center in double rows with a spacing of 14 to 16 inches between plants within the row. For my trellis I cut an 8 ft section of cattle panel with bolt cutters & installed 2 T posts to hang the cattle panel onto. Not only do trellises keep vining plants off the ground, protecting them from a variety of pests, diseases and foot traffic, they also ensure plants receive adequate circulation and sunlight. Most determinate tomato varieties ripen their fruit over a shorter period of time. Tomatoes are the quintessential garden crop…but they can also be one of the most confusing! This prevents the seeds from sprouting whilst inside the tomato fruit. 18, 24, and 36 inches of tomato plant spacing was found perfect. Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow, flower, and fruit until the first hard frost. Stakes should be at least four feet tall and set no less than one foot deep. Simply put, you run weatherproof garden twine between two stakes, weaving it around and back so there’s twine on either side of each tomato plant. Smaller varieties of tomatoes do well in these cages, but taller varieties will need additional support as they outgrow the cage. Tomato cages reduce the need for tying your plants to stakes, wire, string or a frame. (Remember those dense, thick skinned, flavorless early hybrids? To keep the cage upright as the plant grows, you’ll need to drive a stake woven through the wire and into the soil on either side of the cage. The string is held in place, and the tomato fits into the opening. You can do some creative interplanting to maximize your output from your garden. In contrast, vining or indeterminate varieties will grow and set fruit throughout the season. Mesh openings in stand allow the tomato vines to snake through. 4. Spacing tomato plants any closer than 24 inches (61 cm.) The larger, indeterminate varieties often need more space, at least three feet, while you can plant smaller, determinate varieties closer together. Heirloom tomato varieties are almost all indeterminate. Use a thin rope or twine to tie the stem to the trellis. This is the style of tomato clip we use. Worked great for me. Recommendations for plant spacing within rows varies as shown below: An alternative scheme for spacing tomatoes uses an equidistant square grid plan (like Square Foot Gardening) that averages the recommended space between plants and rows. The plant is then trained around the twine as it grows. Place each stake about 2-4” away from the base of the plant. Construct a frame around your tomato row by driving wood or metal stakes at either end of your row and every 3-4 feet within the row. If your tomatoes are outdoors, practical options include: Best for determinate varieties (because this system makes pruning difficult), this method sees string running horizontally across a frame, forming a string support on either side of each plant. 3″ wide cedar boards were drilled and attached horizontally to the T … Should you store any for the winter? If you’re planting different tomato varieties, you should separate the distinctive varieties of tomato plants by at least 8 feet (2.44 m) to avoid any cross-pollination if you want to let your tomatoes ripen, ferment, and save seeds for next growing season. How many do you want to eat? Proper support of plants via stake, cage, or trellis; Ease of harvesting; Tomato Seed Sowing Method. Planting densities over one plant per five square feet will reduce yield per plant and may increase the risk of botrytis and leaf mold in the crop. You can plant tomatoes a bit closer together if you stake them or use tomato cages. So, go slow – you’ll soon get a feel for it, once you get to know the plant. The goal is to make sure the tomato plant is propped … Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. The increased spacing of 48, 60, 72 inches produced larger tomatoes but low yield. It’s a plant cage designed to support a couple of tall tomato plants. A stake is driven through the cage for extra support as the plant matures and becomes heavy with tomatoes. 4+ Ways to Trellis Tomato Plants to Maximize Your Garden Space Any variety of vegetable plant that sprawls across the ground is a candidate for trellising. A piece of wire fencing attached to a garden stake makes a strong and simple trellis for individual tomato plants. The first thing to consider when planning your tomato trellis is whether you are growing vine (indeterminate) or bush (determinate) tomatoes. Generally, tomato plants need at least two feet of space between them. Instead of having to separate the strings from the plant stalks and branches, you can toss the whole works into a compost pile where it will all degrade together. Instead, consider constructing a frame that will accommodate a length of fencing or netting as tall as your plants are likely to grow (6-8 feet is common). They also require a little infrastructure. Another option for trellising tomatoes is the stake-and-string method. While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? Shannon Cowan is the blog editor at You will want to space plants 18-24 inches apart in the row and drive a stake in every other plant or every three plants. Connect the posts across the top with a single strand of high quality wire. Another easy option is to use a tomato cage, a wire frame that surrounds the plant and keeps it upright. Indeterminate tomato plants require a cage that is from 18 to 36 inches wide and 6 feet tall. Determinate tomatoes can be planted 1.5-2′ (0.48 – 0.61m) between tomato plants, and space rows 2-3′ (0.61-0.91m) apart. Not only do trellises keep vining plants off the ground, protecting them from a variety of pests, diseases and foot traffic, they also ensure plants receive adequate circulation and sunlight—two necessities to help reduce disease and hasten ripening. How do Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes, Tomato Spacing If Planting Different Varieties. This article contains incorrect information, This article is missing information that I need. Even their color was washed out!). Right after planting, pound in three 4′ tall wooden stakes near each tomato.One stake goes right next to the plant, the other two go about 10-12 inches on either side. If it physically pains you to leave so much space between your tomato plants, fear not! (Stakes can be approximately four feet, depending on your tomato variety). You can also make your own custom wire tomato cages by cutting lengths (about 5’ – 6’) of galvanized page wire, available at any store that sells wire for fencing. An empty tomato cage (foreground) and behind is a tomato plant in a cage. This is very convenient. The basic concept is that the t-posts go into the ground, the rebar goes across the top, and then you run twine up and down the frame. If you have the space, the square grid layout tends to give each plant an equal share of light, air, moisture, and soil nutrients. This makes bush varieties excellent for canning. As the tomatoes grow, we snap the clip to the garden twine string where we want to secure the plant. I first learned about it while reading Raised Row Gardening by Jim and Mary Competti who run Old World Garden Farms. Make a loop at one end of the string, wrap this around the stalk and draw the other end through. These cages are set over the young seedling and as the plant grows its branches will grow through the cage and be sufficiently supported. Answering these questions will help you sort through the options and choose what’s right for you. Home » Tomato Plant Spacing: Everything You Need to Know. The first determinate varieties developed had inadequate foliage cover and taste, but they ripened very quickly. She lives on six acres of land with her husband, daughters, and backyard poultry flock. Don't wait to stake and trellis your tomatoes until they are large! Manufactured from 9-gauge wire crafted into 6-inch squares, concrete mesh is intended to reinforce concrete in construction projects. Tino recommends staking at the time of planting (which avoids piercing the roots) using 3 to 4 stakes to surround the plant. Determinate vines are easier to control and support during the growing season. This is a big help when you’re clearing the plant skeletons after harvesting is complete. Similar to the vertical hanging trellis above, this method involves pounding a wooden stake next to each plant when your tomatoes first go into the garden. Choose Your Tomatoes. The tomato trellis is ready for planting tomatoes! For those who do grow indeterminate varieties, tomato trellises are an important addition to the garden. Five metal, 7′ long T-posts were each driven 2′ into the ground and spaced 5′ apart next to each bed (so 10 posts in all). For plants too tall for traditional tomato cages, you can try using Vine Spine. Perhaps the simplest way to vertically support a vine is to tie it to a frame or other support using pieces of string or twine. You’ll then tie the twine to the base of the tomato plant. Used outside, concrete mesh works well with a freestanding frame and is versatile enough for most pruning methods. The ideal space for the plants would be of 1 and a half to 2 feet apart, while the optimal space to leave in between rows would be of 2 to 3 feet. Pound in a stake or post at each end of the row and also at about 5-foot intervals along the row. Each time your plants grow a foot, it’s time to weave a new row of string. With so many options available for supporting your tomato plants, it’s easy to conclude that tomatoes are more trouble than they’re worth. will reduce air circulation around the plants and may result in disease. Here is more about our approach. Once you do this, the under canopy of your tomatoes will be free to plant with a variety of amazing crops. With wooden stakes, use a hatchet to taper one end of each stake to a point, and be sure to drive the stakes into the ground when the plants are young to avoid damaging any roots that spread laterally when the plants are more developed.