This is one of the most important points when starting a tomato crop since if it is not approached correctly, it can be one of the main causes of the incidence of diseases, late-ripening, and poor yield. How far apart to plant tomatoes?
If the distance between plants is insufficient ―very high density―, it is very likely that the incidence of diseases is higher due to low aeration while the plants will compete with each other for light, water and nutrients, causing growth to be slower, lower productivity, tomatoes will be smaller, ripen more slowly, and less uniform in size. Also, the crop tasks, such as hilling, pruning, or trellising, will become more difficult due to the lack of space between the plants to work.
How far apart to plant tomatoes?
On the other hand, if the distance between plants is too great, the soil will be very exposed and, therefore, more spontaneous herbs will grow and faster. Simultaneously, space is wasted – unless the tomato crop is associated with others such as the onion or lettuce.
The distance between plants should be greater in humid climates and growing seasons, in which solar radiation is scarce. However, in dry climates or growing seasons with high insolation, tomato plants can be planted closer together since light will not be a problem and diseases will not be a problem either – due to the low humidity.
The chosen variety
The different varieties of tomatoes have different characteristics in terms of vigor, the width of the crown, and the density of the foliage. Therefore, before planting, it will be necessary to find out the shape it will have and space each plant will occupy.
Based on this, the distances will be adjusted to make the most of the space and allow adequate development of the crop.
When managing the distances between tomato plants, it must be taken into account that they need tutors …
In outdoor cultivation
In outdoor table tomato crops, the distance between rows varies between 1.2 and 1.6 meters. The distance between plants between 30 and 50 cm considers the environmental conditions during the growing season.
The sowing density, in this case, would be 1.4 to 1.6 plants / m 2.
In humid climates, it is preferable to separate the plants further to improve aeration and reduce the much dreaded fungal diseases.
The greenhouse tomato is usually planted in two different ways:
– In simple rows separated from 1 to 1.4 m between them and leaving between 30 and 50 cm between plants.
-In double rows, 50 or 60 cm apart and 40-50 cm between plants in the same row, leaving aisles of 80 to 100 cm between every two rows.
Following this arrangement, densities of between 2.2 and 2.5 plants / m 2 are reached.
Since tomato cultivation is one of those that can suffer the most health problems, especially about fungal diseases – highly favored by high humidity and scarce aeration – it is highly recommended to use wide distances between plants, at least 50 cm – better between 80 cm and 1 meter. If possible, plant the rows at least 1 meter apart.
✔ All these attentions are important for the tomato plants to develop healthily and give good tomatoes, but 3 of them are essential.