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A Timely Tomato Tip for Spring

Did You Know???
Timely Tomato Tip

by Zeak Rice

For those who don’t know, tomato plants have a big secret that you can’t see: A tomato plant will grow roots all along the plant’s stem that is buried in the soil. “So what?” you might say. “That’s interesting, but how does that affect me?”

Well, if you’re a gardener, it can be of benefit (if you can get yourself to do it.) It took me 2-3 years before I tried it.

Here’s the catch: You go to the store and buy a nice tall tomato plant, say, 15″ tall. It’s beautiful! Then you go home and bury all but the top four inches or so. Now that’s crazy, right? You now have a 4″ plant rather than that nice tall 15″ plant.

This puts you way behind in our short Pacific Northwest growing season. (If you have a short plant, you can plant it in a hole; as it grows out of the hole, cover the stem with dirt.)

Remember that the tomato plant needs to have a fair amount or many leaves out in the sunlight to have photosynthesis, creating food for growth. You don’t ever see the whole stem is developing gobs of roots, and the plant enjoys all the extra water and nutrients it can now take in.

The end result? You will still have plenty of “maters” to eat!


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