Monday, March 23, 2009


So, even though I am really tired, I am willing to do this actual gardening post on sideways tomatoes. We are advised to plant tomatoes deep even remove a few of the lower leaves in order to plant them deeper. Tomatoes will send out roots along the stem. These extended root systems allow tomatoes to grow more vigorously and, hopefully, more fruitfully. This requires a really deep hole. To avoid the deep hole digging, it is often suggested to plant tomatoes on their side, but this could lead to breaking the little transplants. Another solution is to tip the plants on their sides the day before they are planted.
Posted by Picasa
After 24 hours on their side, they reach for the sun and can be planted sideways with the stem below the soil with limited chances of breaking.


  1. Either I'm reading more gardening tips or tomatoes are getting a lot more attention this season. I've seen and heard so much lately about planting tomatoes deep to strengthen stalks. Yours is the first to suggest laying them on their sides so they'll turn up. Thanks for the tip!

  2. So simple, like all of the best ideas!

  3. I've been growing tomatoes for years (years!) and, believe it or not, I hadn't heard about planting them deeper until a few weeks ago! I had never heard of the sidewys planting, but your idea makes a lot of sense, of setting them sideways ahead of time! Because I grow my tomatoes from seeds and winter sow them (no hardening off needed) I can plant them as soon as they have their true leaves (very small) so digging a deeper hole is no big deal!

  4. This is a great technique. I've planted mine this way before, on their side I mean, and had the breakage problem! I'll remember this :)

  5. Now, why didn't I think of that! Thanks, Debbie.

  6. Yup, great technique, Debbi! No stem-snapping this way, either. Way to go!!!

  7. What a great idea! Who'd have thought that one day in the sun could make it turn so much. Call me when you have too many tomatoes and need to get rid of some.
    I wish I'd known your hubby wanted a banana, I'd have dug up one of mine, they tend to multiply and get crowded if you don't have enough room. I love them, though, they lend a nice tropical air to the back!

  8. Yup, awesome tip.
    I do mine that way, but it's because it keeps all of the plant within the top few inches of soil where it's much warmer earlier in the year than even a few inches lower down - That way, I get to push the season. lol.
    Yes, I shamefully admit I'm a 'season pusher', that's why I do hills for cukes, zukes, squash and watermelon - warmer soil much faster.
    ~sigh~ Only 2 months to go.
    :( Zone envy!

  9. I've read that too. I've never grown tomatoes before though, but all this research is telling me a lot of things. Watch me forget it all before my garden even starts to grow.

  10. Thanks Sheila.

    Gardeness, I think vegetable gardening in general is getting more attention with food prices the way they are.

    Thanks VP.

    Monica, I think mine would actually curl up and die if I tried to direct sow them. But, come to think of it, I have a few volunteers every year. If I had more room I would give it a shot.

    Thanks Kim and Victoria.

    Tessa, I hope it helps. I have not had a top snap since I started doing this.

    Thanks Barbee.

    Thanks OFB, stem snapping is right. I've done it before I learned this trick.

    Nola, The banana was an impulse buy. We had a small one which was still dormant, but I wanted a big fancy one to put on his new deck. The tomatoes I have started (two flats) will be on sale at the KCMG Spring Seminar. I'll post about it soon and also send you an email.

    Tina, I never thought about soil temp, but you have a great point.

    Cinj, You could keep notes? Kidding, you will do just fine.

  11. Perfect timing for this post. Thank you. I remember you did this last year but I forgot exactly how you did it. I'm going to put mine in a cold frame this week. Actually---I'm building the cold frame around the plant so I don't have to move it.