Return to the Organic Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Can tomatoes be transplanted?

Posted by stephen_tx 8a (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 12, 08 at 15:46

I've been a little laxed on my gardening duties this year and my tomato plants which I have grown from seed (25) have all sprouted and are about 3' tall now.

The only problem I'm having is that now that I see how big they are going to be, they're too close and I need to spread them out. With them being so tall can they they be dig up and moved successfully this late in the season?

I'm in the Dallas area so temps are already reaching high 90s in the afternoon, but it's cooler at dusk. With the ban on tomatoes here I really don't want to sacrifice any plants if I don't have to.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Can tomatoes be transplanted?

I have done this, but was extremely careful to not water for a few days before or after, do it when as cool as possible, dig wide, carefully separate the entire root ball, keep roots as stable as possible, carry by the thickest part of the stem, unwind knotted stalks instead of cutting them, rebury them deeper than I took them out, stake them very well in their new location, and give them a deep, deep fert drench a day or two later.

Others have given the advice that tomatoes grow like weeds, and if the nutrients in the ground are all right, you can't kill them if you want to. Many stories on GW talk about deer eating them down to the ground or wind ripping them out by the roots, and still getting a fine harvest.

Someone in the past mentioned just cutting half of them at soil level and rooting the base stalk deeply without it's root bulb in place at all. The advantage here is you only risk the survival of half of your plants, instead of the entire crop by messing with the entwined roots.

If I was in your situation today, I might just consider some deep pruning and additional vertical support and leave the plants in place. With indeterminate varieties, you can limit the number of fruits by reducing to a single stalk, but produce better and larger fruit for a longer season.

What variety and how close are they?

Sorry, no hard and fast rules here. I bet you've learned a lesson for next year, though! Check with the tomato forum - there's a lot of 'mater geniuses over there that don't read this forum.

Good luck!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organic Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here