Saturday, May 30, 2009

Planting tomatoes in graves

Originally uploaded by rarichard
This year I'm trying a new technique when I transplant my tomatoes. I remove all but the top set of leaves from the plant. This leaves the plant looking straggly and pathetic. Then I lay it down horizontally in a little grave-like hole. I bury the plant except for the topmost leaves, which I try to push up a bit vertically. The bare stem is supposed to root all over the place and make an awesome healthy plant. So far the ones I have done this to look great once they start putting on new growth.

The strategy I've tried in the past is to bury the plant up to the top set of leaves. So this involves digging a deep hole. I like this horizontal method better. Plus the roots start off in the top soil where there are more nutrients.


  1. Our green thumbs are very similar. I too planted my leg'y tomatoes horizontally this year for the first time instead of just digging a deeper hole because the lightbulb lady (she actually likes you to call her this) who I bought my grow bulbs from suggested it. My tomatoes are looking great. I notice that horizontal as opposed to vertical makes for a much leafier plant. Makes sense -- don't know why I didn't figure it out myself! Now I need to figure out if tomatillos can root out of their stems as well -- we have a couple light starved ones. How many other veggies do this??

  2. I have been wondering as well what else I can plant this way. I halfway experimented with an eggplant. Since I only have a few eggplant plants I was a little afraid to kill it if it didn't work out, so I didn't remove quite as many leaves. Verdict is still out. I think you should try tomatillo for sure, they seem like tough little plants.