How Deep should I Plant my Tomatoes?

How deep should I plant my Tomatoes?

The best answer is as deep as you can and still, allow some of the top of the plant to be above ground.  I recommend 1/2 the plant underground and 1/2 above ground which will allow your plant to have a great root system to support lots of tomatoes to grow.

When planting tomatoes you want to do one of two things to get the strongest root system to grow the most productive tomatoes possible.

All along the main stem of the tomato is hair-like fibers that will become roots if buried.

To prep the tomato plant for planting remove the lower branches so that you can bury the plant deep up to the first stems that you leave on the plant.  You want to keep at least 4-6 stems off the main stem or the top 1/3 of the plant so that it will be above ground.

Option 1

Dip a hole deep enough to cover the main stem about 6 inches deep, all along the main stem your plant will send roots out that will promote strong growth for the plant.  To help the plant’s roots get started add a handful of rock phosphate and place the plant in the hole right on top of the fertilizer.  Water the plant thoroughly to get it off to a good start.

Don’t be concerned that your plant is much smaller above the ground and the majority of the plant is below ground.  It will take off in a few weeks growing a plant that will be stronger and produce much more fruit.

Option 2

Dig a trench about 3-4 inches deep which is the length of the plant root system and stem so that you can lay it in the trench.  Before laying the tomato plant in the trench add a handful of rock phosphate to the trench to fertilize the roots.  Once you cover the plant you will need to water it thoroughly.

By planting in a trench along the surface of the soil the plant’s roots will be much warmer encouraging the roots to grow more quickly.

Once the plant begins to grow you can train the plant to grow upright.


Tomatoes are heavy feeders that will need to be fertilized every 1-2 weeks to produce a strong plant and lots of flowers to set fruit on.


It is critical to mulch around your tomato plant to help the plant retain water for the roots and to keep bacteria from splashing onto the leaves which can cause diseases.


Be consistent with your watering, every 3-4 days providing 1 inch of water a week unless unusually warm.  Do not water the leaves, it is best to apply the water to the roots through a drip or soaker hose.

Support for your Tomatoes

There are two ways to support the growth of your tomato plants the first is a cage that is strong enough to support the plant and fruit as it sets on all summer.  Keeping the fruit off the ground to avoid pests and diseases.

The other option is to grow indeterminate tomatoes vertically up a string.  See articles on this method of string tomato growing.

This method allows you to grow more tomatoes in a smaller space and produce a large crop that is supported off the ground.

Enjoy your abundance of tomatoes that you will grow using these methods no matter what variety you decide to grow by planting them deep to encourage root growth.

Recap How Deep to Plant My Tomatoes?

Plant them deep removing leaves that will below the surface to allow all the hairs along the main stem to root.

Muck in your plant to provide good moisture for your plant to survive the transition into the garden.

Put a good organic fertilizer in the hole when planting.

To grow large tomato plants that are loaded with tomatoes it all starts with how you plant them to build a great root system that will support the plant.

I had nearly 100 tomatoes on one Celebrity tomato plant and it all started with proper planting, watering, and fertilizing.

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