How to Plant Heirloom Tomatoes Sideways

Most heirloom tomato varieties grow as indeterminate plants, meaning they continue to place on height during the growing season and can grow up to 6 feet or taller. These varieties take a strong root system to support the heavy top growth and ensure optimal fruit production. Like most of tomatoes, heirloom varieties can create roots along any section of the stem that’s buried. Planting the stems sideways in the soil increases the number of roots and can lead to healthier plants. Planting heirloom tomatoes also will help cure lanky growth caused by insufficient sunlight during the seedling period.

Dig a 10-inch extended trench in the garden bed to get each tomato seedling. Slope the trench so it’s 8 inches deep at one end.

Lift the chili sauce seedling from the nursery pot. Pinch off all of the leaves growing across the bottom 8 inches of the stem.

Establish the origins of the seedling in the deepest section of the trench, laying the plant on its side. Gently curve the stem the wave up in order that the plant is bent erect once it emerges above the dirt.

Fill in the trench with dirt. Firm the soil around the foundation of the tomato plant with your hands to help anchor the stem erect.

Water the newly planted tomato seedling until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is moist but not soggy. Expand a 2-inch layer of straw mulch over the bed to keep down weeds and retain moisture during the growing season.

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