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How to Plant Tomatoes on a Farm

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How to Plant Tomatoes on a Farm

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Overview

Tomato plants thrive in the growing conditions on a farm. Tomato plants can reach 5 to 6 feet in height and sprawl the same distance on the ground when they are unsupported. Tomatoes on a farm do well if grown on stakes or in tomato cages. A farm environment provides adequate room to grow tomato plants of many varieties. Growing tomatoes on a farm has the advantage of using companion planting techniques for pest control. Crop rotation prevents many tomato disease problems.

Step 1

Plant tomatoes 18 to 24 inches apart in a row. Place one metal stake next to every other tomato.Place the stake 3 to 4 inches away from the plant's base on the side away from the bloom cluster.This prevents trapping the fruit between the plant and the stake.Tie the plant to the stake as it grows. Plant tomatoes 3 feet apart for tomato cages. Place one cage over each plant, pushing stems into the cage as it grows. Caged tomatoes do not set fruit as early as staked tomatoes, but caged tomatoes are less likely to crack or sunburn.

Step 2

Determine which plants to use as companion plants for tomatoes. Companion planting creates a mutually beneficial growing environment that helps control insect pests and diseases.The onion family, nasturtiums, marigolds, asparagus, carrot, parsley and cucumber are good plants to put with tomatoes. Grow these plants among the tomatoes or in rows next to them.

Step 3

Rotate the tomato crop to a new location each year. The verticillium wilt fungus and bacterial canker that attack tomatoes live in the soil for many years and will re-infect the crop. Fusarium wilt and root knot nematodes also remain in the soil once they have gotten hold. One successful crop rotation plan is to plant corn, tomatoes, cabbage or broccoli, and then peas or beans in succession on one site. Each plant family has chemical qualities that help the soil for the next crop rotation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Irish potato, fennel, and the cabbage family are incompatible as companion plants for tomatoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Shovel
  • 5-foot to 6-foot metal stakes
  • Tomato cages

References

  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information: Organic Tomato Production: Managing Insect Pests
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use

Who Can Help

  • University of Arizona Extension Service: Tomatoes
  • National Agricultural Information Service: Companion Planting
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Vegetable Rotation, Successions, and Intercropping
Keywords: farm tomatoes, grow tomatoes organically, tomato care

About this Author

Joan Norton, M.A., is a licensed psychotherapist and professional writer in the field of women's spirituality. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene; "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine:Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene," and "The Mary Magdalene Within."

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