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Tomato Spacing Question

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Tomato Spacing Question

Post  HieronRemade on 5/16/2011, 3:42 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'll be transplanting my tomatoes from their cups into my new SFG soon, and one thing that confused me when I read the book was with regard to the spacing for different tomato types. I'm guessing Roma is a bush type, but I also have an heirloom mix, chocolate cherry tomatoes and Nonna's Prize hybrids. Does anyone know if these are all bush types, as I'm guessing? And as far as spacing, has anyone successfully grown tomatoes in 2 SF? I planted my Romas 2 ft. apart last year in my regular garden and they did fine, but I don't know if the 6" depth would change that. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  martha on 5/16/2011, 9:42 pm









Chocolate cherry tomatoes are indeterminate. Romas are determinate (bush types.) According to Mel, you need 9 SF!!!! for a bush type. I believe indeterminate varieties require 2 SF. Last year, my back was in tough shape in the spring/early summer, so I needed help setting up my boxes and installing my tomatoes. My plants ended up with about 1.5 SF each. They did fine - well actually, they did great, but I did feel that I was pushing my luck. They were all crowded together which greatly increases the chances of many tomato diseases.

I am not familiar with the 3rd type you mentioned - Nonna's prize hybrids.

I love tomatoes! glad you\'re here

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  vinny09 on 5/16/2011, 10:44 pm

According to the book, you could grow 1 indeterminate tomato plant per square foot. Just stake or trellis and prune to a single stem.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  HieronRemade on 5/17/2011, 3:29 pm

@martha wrote:Chocolate cherry tomatoes are indeterminate. Romas are determinate (bush types.) According to Mel, you need 9 SF!!!! for a bush type. I believe indeterminate varieties require 2 SF. Last year, my back was in tough shape in the spring/early summer, so I needed help setting up my boxes and installing my tomatoes. My plants ended up with about 1.5 SF each. They did fine - well actually, they did great, but I did feel that I was pushing my luck. They were all crowded together which greatly increases the chances of many tomato diseases.

I am not familiar with the 3rd type you mentioned - Nonna's prize hybrids.

I love tomatoes! glad you\'re here

I'm sorry, I meant 2 x 2 = 4 sf, lol. I figured I would just put 2 rows in my 4' wide bed. So I could do the cherry tomatoes in 1 sf w/ a trellis then? That would be great.

The Nonna's are a pretty new hybrid I think, supposedly the best sauce-making tomatoes ever, or so Gurney's and a lot of the people who bought them there said. I just want something larger than the tiny Roma's I grew last year; it's pain enough to make homemade pasta sauce without the tomatoes being so small. O.o

Anyway thanks for the info guys! I appreciate it.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  dikster on 6/19/2011, 12:42 pm

how about beefsteak tomatoes? any ideas?

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  HieronRemade on 6/19/2011, 1:33 pm

I believe most if not all beefsteak varieties are indeterminate, so you'd do one per square and prune to one stem that you'd train up a trellis.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  Denese on 6/19/2011, 1:43 pm

According to the Gurney's website, Nonna's Prize is indeterminate. I always plant my Roma's 1 per square, but then again, my boxes are only 2 ft. wide and 9 ft. long, so that's probably why I can get away with it. There's plenty of air circulation for each plant.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  camprn on 6/19/2011, 1:52 pm

Try the link in this thread and it should give you a pretty good idea.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7983-garden-wiki#72870

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/19/2011, 2:04 pm

Roma's are both determinate and indeterminate, just depends on the specific type you have. You should have that info on your seed packet or plant tag.

Keep us posted!

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  HieronRemade on 6/19/2011, 2:13 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:Roma's are both determinate and indeterminate, just depends on the specific type you have.
I knew it! I had never heard before that there were indeterminate Roma varieties, but just based on how mine continued to produce throughout the season instead of all at once last year I was sure mine must be indeterminate. Too bad I already used up 4 squares for each one, lol.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  Denese on 6/19/2011, 3:04 pm

There's an indeterminate Roma?!! Shocked Wow! I've been growing them for years, and never knew that! Sure hope the ones I bought this year are determinate! Usually, I buy them a local nursery that always had plant labels, and they've always been determinate. This year I purchased them from the local farmer's market, and there wasn't a plant label. He just had a sign in front of them stating they were Roma's. My cages I use should hold them, either way, but I prefer the determinate variety. Next year, hopefully I'll have my own starts, and I won't have to worry about it. Smile

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  camprn on 6/19/2011, 3:34 pm

I don't grow romas but I do grow gilbertie paste, an indeterminate paste tomato. They got to 10 feet last season, with lots and lots and lots of fruit! They are equally good for table eating, not pithy.



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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  HieronRemade on 6/19/2011, 3:59 pm

Wow 10 feet! That's awesome! I wonder how those are for making pasta sauce? And are those an heirloom?

Now I'm wondering if I should prune my Romas to one stem like my other tomatoes...they're already 3-4 feet tall though with suckers almost as large as the main stem...This would also explain why last year they produced plenty of tomatoes, but most were about half the size of a normal Roma tomato...

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  camprn on 6/19/2011, 8:18 pm

I cannot speak to the tomatoes that you currently have, but look them up in the Plant Wiki I posted earlier in the day for info about that variety. Let us know what you find out and end up doing with your romas.
The Gilberties are heirloom, OP, indeterminate paste style tomato BUT the skins are very thin and the meat of the tomato is almost beefsteak like. They taste delicious and make terrific sauce and juice. The only place I know to get the seed is www.highmowingseeds.com. I have some seeds from tomatoes that I grew last year and will keep seeds again this year. PM me if you would like some for next season.

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/26/2013, 11:00 am

Having limited space and too many tomatoes started indoors this winter, what do you think of this spacing:


Top is 2x2 box, bottom is 4x4 box. I will do that lay me down method with the circles being the leaf end. I'll also be giving some away...

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Re: Tomato Spacing Question

Post  quiltbea on 4/26/2013, 12:04 pm

A determinate tomato produces its fruit to harvest within a 3 week period so you can get plenty to make your sauces when you grow Romas. You do not cut off the suckers because you need all the growing tomatoes you can get in that short space of time. That's why they need more room than the taller inderterminates that you can prune to one stem.
I grew 3 Oregon Spring (deters) in a 4 ft long space together. They did very well since they could spread their branches out in the open space to the north of them. I feel a 2 x 2 space for them works fine.
Now I plant my deters in pots with cages so they have lots of room all around them for growth. I leave my beds for the indeterminates.
Note to those in warmer climes than my zone 5a.........I didn't remove those Oregon Springs after harvest. Those early toms developed new blossoms in Sept and if my season had been longer, I think I could have got a 2nd harvest from them. Pic below: Those same Oregon Springs with green fruits on Oct 10th but too late for me to get a harvest here in Maine.

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