How deep to plant Tomatoes? A quick guide

How deep to plant Tomatoes?– Tomato seeds should be planted at least 1/4 inch below the surface. If you have a tomato seedling then make a hole to fit at least 2/3rd of its height. Proper depth is very important for tomatoes and today we are going to discuss that. Keep Reading…

How deep to plant Tomatoes
How deep to plant Tomatoes

Check out my previous post: Is Sugar Water good for plants? Pros & Cons

How deep to plant tomatoes seeds?

Tomato seeds are tiny and delicate, still, they can withstand difficult conditions. A tiny tomato seed can stay alive for more than 8 weeks in the soil before sprouting. So what about sowing the seeds. Is it safe to just spread them out in soil?

I think no, maybe some of those will germinate but most will not. Other than that birds and insects may feed on them. Therefore it is better to sow the tomato seeds in the right depth in the soil.

Ok, What is the right depth to sow tomato seeds? – 1/2 to 1/4 inch is ideal depth to sow any kind of tomato seeds.

If you wanna be precise then adapt according to the texture of the soil. Put the tomato seed  1/2 to 1 inch below the surface of the soil if it is light and porous. Else just 1/4 inch will do the job. If the soil is like clay then place the seeds above the surface and cover with a thin layer of cocopeat or compost.

Always remember the layer of soil not only helps in seed germination but also keep it safe and strong. A seed in the right depth can give you the best of all tomato seedlings.

Check out: What size grow bag for Tomatoes? Know the Tricks

How to prepare tomato seedlings?

The tomato seeds start germinating within a week. It only requires regular watering and warm temperature. A little care would be great.

It probably takes 5-7 days for the tomatoes to germinate. After that, the seedlings will be ready to transplant within 25 days.

Meanwhile, you have to feed the baby tomato plants. Tomatoes are fast growers and heavy feeders. At this stage, you should feed the seedlings with nitrogen and phosphorus-based liquid fertilizer. Keep the concentration less than 1/2 as recommended. Be careful overfertilization can be dangerous to the seedlings.

Apply any contact fungicide once in every 15 days. This will prevent tomato plants from fungal diseases.

The tomato seedlings will be ready to transplant once they reach a height of 5 -6 inches. This may take anywhere between 25-30 days after germination.

What is the ideal height for a tomato seedling to be transplanted?(8-10 inches) The best time to transplant a tomato seedling is when it reaches a height of 8 inches. A seedling of this height must have some well-developed root system. Also, it is easier for a big healthy seedling to survive outside.

Also read: Are Tomatoes Fruits or Vegetables?- True Answer with Facts

tomatoes to grow in summer

Nursery Tips for Tomato seedlings

  1. Select only the best quality seeds for germination. Check out my favorite Tomato seeds on Amazon
  2. Sow the seeds in the right depth at right time.
  3. Feed the seedlings every week after germination.
  4. Separate the seedlings in small clay pots or grow bags once they reach 5-inch height.
  5. Move the healthy seedling to a bigger container after every 10-12 days.
  6. Once the tomato seedling grows to a height of 8-12 inches, move it to the final big container.

Selection and separation are the keys to healthy fruit production. This will save you time and space. Also, this method improves the fruit quality of every healthy tomato plant.

Check out: Are Rainbow Tomatoes real or fake? Something to know

How deep to plant tomatoes in a raised bed?

A healthy tomato seedling should be buried deep enough to cover 2/3rd of its height including the rootball.

Your seedlings should be ready to transplant within a month. Once they are ready, you should prepare the growing area. I like to grow tomatoes in raised beds but they also do well in containers.

Now its time to pot the seedlings. I think your soil and container is ready. So what next- what is the right depth for the tomato seedlings to grow in a container or raised beds? Ohh it seems a lot to decide, isn’t it?

No probably not so complicated if you know the right way to grow tomatoes. Tomato plants have adventitious root nodes on their body. It looks similar to tiny grey hairs. These roots can develop and provide extra support to the tomato plants.

Burring too deep is bad for most of the vegetable plants but not for tomatoes. You can grow tomatoes really deep. If the seedling is 10-12 inches big then you should burry it at least 6 inches deep. Always take care, the soil below the rootball should not be hard as a brick.

How to prepare Raised beds for Tomatoes?

  1. The soil should be soft, porous, and rich with organic matter.
  2. You can make holes or angled trenches to grow tomatoes. Both methods will do the job. It is just a matter of convenience that makes them different.
  3. Makes holes at least half the size of the seedlings including the rootball. The ideal depth is 2/3 the size of a tomato seedling.
  4. For alternatives, you can make angular trenches with depth enough to fit 2/3 rd of the seedling.  The trench method is best to grow multiple tomato plants in a single row. It is also more convenient than making multiple holes with different depths.
  5. Place the bigger plants slightly angular in the trench. This will help the seedling to get maximum soil cover and the top portion can get the maximum heat for rapid growth. Don’t worry about the tilted body, the tomato plant will grow straight on its own.
  6. Check out: Everything to know about raised garden beds

Tomato plant spacing?

Tomato plants are fast growers and they need a lot of space. Especially if it is a creeper variety then a single plant can cover up to 3 feet or 40 inches in the ground.

In an ideal case, you should keep at least 12 inches or 1-feet space between each seedling. It is simple, the proper spacing will result in a higher yield of fruits.

In commercial tomato farming, it is always suggested to keep at least a 15-inch distance per plant in a row. Also, you should separate each row from others by 24-30 inches.

You should grow only 1 tomato plant in an 8-10 inch container and a maximum of 2 plants in containers bigger than 18 inches.

You may like this: How to remove lectins from Tomatoes or Potatoes

Impact of depth on Tomato plants?

It is true that most other plants cannot survive the 2/3rd depth of their size, but tomato can. A tomato plant can develop roots all over its body. The presence of an adventitious root node has made this plant ideal for deep growth.

These seedlings will develop a better and stronger root system. Tomato plants with deep root systems can stay healthier and keep fruiting till the end of the season. The availability of water deep down is also good for the plant.

The only negative impact of depth on a tomato plant that I found is- it becomes really hard to pull off at the end of the fruiting season.

Overall, tomatoes love going deep down. It not only makes the plant-strong but also keeps it healthy and fruiting for the entire season.

Final words

I know growing tomatoes is a matter of pride, passion, and dedication. If you love gardening then you definitely have those. Just follow my experience with your efforts and you will have your all-time favorite tomatoes.

How deep to plant Tomatoes? what is your opinion? write your suggestions and queries in the comment section.

Keep reading keep gardening!


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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