Learn how to trench plant tomatoes and grow bigger healthier tomato plants!
Growing tomatoes can be so rewarding, but it can also be discouraging if you're not getting the tomato crop you expected. Trench planting tomato plants creates bigger stronger and more robust plants that produce more fruit!
Studies show that trench planting tomatoes creates a larger more vigorous root base allowing the plant to absorb more nutrients and water. This allows the plant to grow faster and become more robust.
what is the trench planting method?
Trench planting tomatoes simply means to bury more of the plants stem in the soil. Typically this is done by laying the plant horizontally in soil. This technique works especially well for long and leggy tomato plant starts that (in other words very tall tomato plants), but I do this for all of my tomato starts.
Steps for trench planting tomatoes
- Dig a trench (or trough). this doesn't have to be too deep but should not be overly shallow either. For best results lay your plant out in advance to see how much of the top of the plant you want above ground. This will give you a good idea of how long your trench should be.
- Lay your plant out and snip off any leaves that will be in the trench. I recommend trimming off the bottom two layers of leaves at least depending on how big the plant is. As long as you have some large leaves at the top of the plant (at least two rings) your plant should thrive.
- Be sure you are planting your tomato in healthy nutrient dense soil. Tomato plants need well amended soil to thrive. Plant the tomato on its side (horizontally) and gently pull the top of the tomato up so that it is above the soil.
Gently fill in the trench with soil and press the soil at the base of the tomato stem making sure the tomato is securely in the ground .
There you have it! You have successfully trench planted a tomato! Be sure to water the plant well after planting. It is normal for tomatoes to wilt after planting. If you continue to water well it should perk up overnight.