quick and easy way to plant tomatoes

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I tried a different way to plant tomatoes today. A lot of you probably know about this method but I haven't seen it mentioned.

What I tried is to use a post-hole digger to dig the holes for the seedlings. With 2 people working together tomato planting goes very quickly. One person takes a quick bite with the post-hole digger and moves on to the next space and repeats. The second person follows and plants the seedlings in the holes. We planted about 100 tomato seedlings today in less than half of the time it usually takes.

I can't take credit for this idea. I read about it in Eliot Coleman's book "The New Organic Grower". This is the first time I've tried it and it works great. Hope this helps.

-- Murray in ME (lkdmfarm@megalink.net), June 07, 2001


Hi Murray! We have been planting our tomaoes this way for years. I like to grow my own seedlings--I wait until they are about two feet tall, then I strip all the leaves except the top four branches. We dig the holes deep enough to plant the long stem w/ only the top leaves above the ground-- the seedlings never wilt. I water the seedlings really well before they go to the garden. It is amazing how many you can plant with the post hole diggers! What variety have you planted? GL Debbie

-- Debbie T in N.C. (rdtyner@mindspring.com), June 07, 2001.

I've been planting deep with post hole diggers too. Another thing that I do, although not organic, is put a fruit tree fertilizer spike next to each plant. They cost about 50 cents each but it's amazing how healthy the plants stay all summer, bearing heavily until frost. I break the spike in two and put a piece about 3 or 4 inches away from the stem on opposite sides.

-- Don (hihilldon@yahoo.com), June 07, 2001.

Plant tomatoes with as much stalk under ground as you can; with the base horizonal and 4 leaves vertical; tied to keep them up. Do not waste your time planting tomatoes when the tempature rises above 85 degreese; tomatoes will not pollinate when the temp is above 85 degreese. ....

-- mitch hearn (moopups1@aol.com), June 07, 2001.

I learned as a kid to dig the hole deep and fill it with water, twice. Later on we started using manure tea for one fill and you could see the difference. Liked the posthole digger idea.

-- Kelly Miller (kellys_plants@hotmail.com), June 07, 2001.

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