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Planting Tomato Seedlings
Container Sun Soil Water Temperature Depth

Container growing?

Tomato plants can be grown in containers. The larger and deeper the better. 5 gal containers do work for one plant. The container should be well drained and filled with rich topsoil. Regular feedings of organic fertilizer every 3rd week helps improve fruit production. Cherry tomatoes need a minimum soil depth of six inches. Standard tomatoes need a minimum depth of twelve inches. You can even take the plant inside for the winter if you have a full sun location indoors.

How much sun?

They like full sunlight. Avoid shade. Each plant needs about two feet in diameter.

What temperatures?

Don't plant outside until after the last frost. The temperature ranges depend on the tomato variety. Cooler temperatures than 56 degrees stop growth. Covering at night can help. Plants can also stop growing when temperatures are warmer than 90 degrees.

What kind of soil?

Fertile, well drained soil high in organic matter is preferred. Animal manures, compost, wood ash and bone meal are good sources of organic matter. Fish fertilizer emultion or bone meal can supplemnet soils with less organic matter. Over fertilization can encourage foliage growth instead of fruit production. To much nitrogen content can cause blossoms to drop off (losing the fruit) but produce healthy green plants.

How to water?

Plants need about 1 inch of water a week. Don't let roots sit in water. If the plant and leaves are drooping it is past time to water. heavy soaking once a week is better than several light sprinkling. Well drained soils need more frequent watering than heavier soils. Don't wet foliage any more than necessary.

How deep?

You can bury some leaves and stem when transplanting the seedlings. Taller seedlings can be transplanted by laying them on their sides in shallow trenches only a few inches deep. This increases the root growing capacity of the plant. The buried stem will turn into roots. Leave only 6 inches of the plant above ground. This increases the root growing capacity of the plant.