At the end of April / beginning of May is getting warmer and pre-grown tomatoes can slowly move to the open ground. If you want to plant young tomato plants in the garden, mild temperatures are the most important prerequisite for success. Therefore, wait until the soil warms up to 13 to 15 / 55 °C to 59 °F before planting. Below that, growth stops and the plants set fewer flowers and fruits.
A foil tunnel usually offers better conditions for growing tomatoes than the open field. There, the heat-loving fruiting vegetable is protected from wind and rain and the blight fungus is less likely to spread.
Step by step: planting tomato plants correctly
- As tomato plants need a lot of space, you should first plan enough space, about 60-80 centimeters (24 to 32 in), between each plant. After that, you can dig the planting holes. They should be about twice the size of the root ball of the tomato plant and enriched with a little compost.
- Then remove the cotyledons of the tomato plant. The small leaves are susceptible to rot, because they are very close to the surface of the soil and often get wet when watering. Besides, they would die over time anyway. After that, carefully unpot the tomato, so as not to damage the root ball.
- The potted tomato plant is now placed in the designated planting hole. Plant the seedlings a little deeper than they were in the pot. Then the tomato plants develop additional roots around the base of the stem and can absorb more water and nutrients.
- For grafted varieties, make sure that the thickened grafting point is still visible. If you put different tomato plants, you can additionally mark them with a marker to better tell them apart. After all seedlings have been placed in the soil, they should still be watered. By the way, in the first three days after planting the tomato plants are watered daily.
How to build a climbing support for tomato plants
So that the long tendrils of tomato plants also grow in height, they need climbing aids as support. To do this, simply attach a cord to the frame of the foil tunnel. Each tomato plant is assigned a string as a climbing aid. Tie the string around the first shoots of the tomato plant. If you do not have a foil tunnel, tomato poles and trellises also perform well as a climbing aid. To protect your tomato plants from fungal diseases such as blight, you should protect them from rain both in the open bed and on the balcony. If you do not have your own greenhouse, you can also build a tomato house yourself.