How to Plant Tomato Vines


Gardeners can start tomatoes from seeds, but for the average home grower, purchasing established tomato vines from a local garden center provides a simpler and faster way to establish the plants. More than 4,000 tomato varieties exist, and almost all planted in a similar manner. Always adhere to the planting instructions for your specific vine, but in general tomato vines need a sunny location, good soil, some fertilizer and adequate water to thrive. Consider staggering your planting by a week or two for a prolonged tomato harvest.

Step 1

Create a rich, fertile planting bed for your tomato vines. Till the top 8 to 12 inches of the soil and incorporate 4 inches of organic matter, such as compost, leaf mold or peat moss.

Step 2

Spread fertilizer over the soil bed. Use a granular fertilizer labeled either 10-10-10 or 16-16-8 and evenly broadcast about 4 to 6 cups for every 100 square feet.

Step 3

Plant the tomato vines after the last anticipated frost of the year. Dig holes that are just as deep, but slightly wider, than their current containers. Take the plants out of their containers and set them in the holes. Backfill the soil and pack it down with your hands lightly. Space multiple vines 2 feet apart and separate rows by 2 to 3 feet.

Step 4

Water the plants with 1 to 2 inches of water and repeat weekly.

Step 5

Provide support for the vines after planting. Place a tomato cage around each plant or drive a wooden stake 18 inches into the soil about 3 or 4 inches away from the plant. As the vines grow, tie them to the cages or stakes with a soft cord, such as twine. Do not allow fruit to lie on the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Organic matter
  • Fertilizer
  • Trowel
  • Stake or tomato cage


  • Utah State University: Tomatoes in the Garden
Keywords: plant tomato vines, growing tomatoes, planting tomatoes

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.