How to Plant Shady Lady Tomato Plants


Shady Lady tomatoes received their name because their large leaves shaded their fruit, preventing the tomatoes from becoming sunburned. Like all tomatoes, Shady Lady tomatoes need friable (loose and fluffy) soil rich in organic matter. Shady Lady tomatoes are a determinate variety, meaning they have a finite height and only produce one crop of tomatoes with all their tomatoes ripening within 75 to 80 days of planting. Shady Lady tomatoes are resistant to verticillium, fusarium and tobacco mosaic virus, making them good candidates for gardeners who have trouble with these bacterial diseases.

Step 1

Choose Shady Lady seedlings that are as wide as they are tall with dark-green healthy foliage and a straight stem. Do not choose seedlings with flowers or fruit.

Step 2

Choose a planting spot in full sun where members of the nightshade or Solanaceae family, like eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes, have not been planted for at least 2 years.

Step 3

Spread 4 to 5 inches of compost over the planting bed. Till into the top 12 inches of soil. Rake the bed smooth.

Step 4

Use garden scissors or small pruning shears or you can carefully pinch off the leaves from the lower half of your Shady Lady tomato's stem. Leave four to six leaves on the top portion of each plant.

Step 5

Fill a bucket with water. Leave your Shady Lady seedlings in their pots. Place them in the bucket of water and allow to soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 6

Use the hand trowel to dig holes deep enough to leave only the leafy part of your Shady Lady tomato seedlings above ground. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in rows 4 feet apart.

Step 7

Throw a handful of bone meal into each planting hole. Remove your Shady Lady tomato seedling from its pot and place in the hole. Backfill the hole with soil.

Step 8

Give your Shady Lady tomato seedlings 1 to 2 inches of water after planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use crop rotation to ensure bacterial diseases and insect pests do not become entrenched in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shady Lady tomato seedlings
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Garden tiller
  • Rake
  • Garden scissors or small pruning shears
  • Plastic bucket
  • Water
  • Hand trowel
  • Bone meal


  • "The Garden Primer;" Barbara Damrosch; 1988
  • "Reader's Digest: Organic Gardening for the 21st Century;" John Fedor; 2001
  • "Step by Step Organic Vegetable Gardening;" Shepherd Ogden; 1992

Who Can Help

  • Tomato Growers Supply Company: Vegetable Seed and Plant Catalog
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