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Laying tomatoes down in containers?

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Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  hruten on 4/24/2012, 8:49 am

I have a nifty planter that is 24 in long and 20 in wide. I have it slated for 2 tomato plants. I was wondering if I could trench them laying parallel to each other? In other words, their original root ball would overlap a bit. My planting date is still several weeks off, so I wanted to get the story straight before I tried.

Thanks!
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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  chjbr63 on 4/24/2012, 10:38 am

What type of tomato plants are they? determinate or indeterminate.
How are you planning to support them?
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Indeterminate

Post  hruten on 4/24/2012, 10:51 am

I have a roma, brandywine, and triple L to plant 2 will go together, and the other gets its own 16" pot. Anythoughts on which ones should be container mates?

I bought "tomato cages" from gardener's supply for supports. The cages are abour 4' tall and they stack. The containers are 12in + deep.

Thanks
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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/24/2012, 11:07 am

@hruten wrote:I have a nifty planter that is 24 in long and 20 in wide. I have it slated for 2 tomato plants. I was wondering if I could trench them laying parallel to each other? In other words, their original root ball would overlap a bit. My planting date is still several weeks off, so I wanted to get the story straight before I tried.

Thanks!

That's a 20 gallon tub.

I suspect it will work. I made a self watering /sub irrigated / Earth box out of a 20 gallon tote, and it's doing fine (hopefully i can say the same thing come July.

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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/24/2012, 11:20 am

hruten, your tomato plants should do just fine as you've described. Last year was a wet, cold summer (aka 'green tomato summer') here, and the four tomatoes that gave us ripe fruit by middle of July were all container grown. The tomato plants in long bed next to fence didn't have ripe fruit until September!

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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  Hoggar on 4/24/2012, 11:29 am

I plant my tomatoes side by side one to a square. Last year we
had 6 plants and a bumper crop, Probably the best tomato year we've ever had. 10' tall plants and yellow pear tomatoes the size of romas.
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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/24/2012, 11:52 am

@chjbr63 wrote:What type of tomato plants are they? determinate or indeterminate.
How are you planning to support them?

Somehow you sound like a father meeting the boy who wants to be your daughters man. Makes me grin.

To the OP.....why do you want to trench them in a container? More heat? Tradition? Bigger root ball? Leggy plants (this one would be my reason)?

I'll bet they will be fine planted that way. You are still only feeding two plants in nearly 2 sq'.
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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  chjbr63 on 4/24/2012, 11:59 am

Good one, Lavender Debs

I don't grow any of those type but I think the roma is a determinate and would be better in the 16" pot. As for the others, depending on how big they are when you plant them and the 12" depth of your box you shouldn't have to trench them. If you do need to just angle one towards the back and one towards the front. I would set the cages in place to see where the center is then dig down and over if needed. Plant tomato's and set cages. I would also suggest securing the cages to the planter or something with string as both of those tomato plants can get very big and heavy.
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anxiety assuaded

Post  hruten on 4/24/2012, 12:29 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

I feel better about it now. I really wanted to trench to get a bigger root ball, but I tend to get a little over anxious about doing things the "right" way.
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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/24/2012, 1:14 pm

If you would like the extra anchoring & root system trenching provides, you can still take off the lower leaves and plants them DEEPER into the pot since it's 12" leaving just a few leaves above ground.

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Re: Laying tomatoes down in containers?

Post  Lindacol on 4/24/2012, 4:13 pm

You might want to look at this thread:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4156-tomato-roots
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