How to Plant Tomatoes in Raised Beds

Overview

Many gardeners find benefits to growing tomatoes in a raised bed. As with growing other vegetables, raised beds offer several advantages over traditional garden beds. Raised beds warm up earlier in spring, which allows you to plant your tomato plants earlier. Raised beds also drain more quickly, so tomato plants do not become waterlogged. While tomatoes will spread if given room, you can contain tomato plants in raised beds to maximize space and they still produce a bountiful harvest.

Step 1

Till to the existing soil with a rake or rototiller to a depth of 8 inches, shovel a 1-inch layer of compost on top of the soil and till the area again to mix in the compost.

Step 2

Dig a hole for each tomato plant, about the size of a soccer ball. Space holes 24 inches apart on all sides when using a block-style layout, advises the Colorado State University Extension. The Square Foot Gardening Foundation recommends spacing tomatoes as little as 12 inches apart on all sides.

Step 3

Set tomato plants in the middle of the hole and pack soil firmly around the roots and base of the plant.

Step 4

Place a tomato cage over each plant to keep it contained as it grows and to maximize growing space in a raised bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake or rototiller
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Tomato cage

References

  • Journey to Forever: Plant Spacing Guides
  • Colorado State University Extension: Block Style Layout in Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens
  • The University of Tennessee: Raised Bed Gardening
  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
Keywords: raised bed gardening, planting tomatoes beds, tomato spacing beds

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has worked in the publishing industry since 1997 for nationally known publications such as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living" and "American Baby." Sharon also owns a Web consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.