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Old April 10, 2018   #1
Lukasrl
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Default How deep is too deep

Hello,

I was discussing planting tomatoes deep to a couple of coworkers today and one of them said they think I'm planting too deep.

A little background. I have roughly 15 plants growing. I started them from seed in a seed starting tray. Once they outgrew that, I placed them in the bottom 3rd of a 1 gal pot. As they grew, I placed more dirt in the pot and clipped off the lower branches. I now am transplanting them into 5 gal grow bags. They look awesome and he roots are growing wonderful. I planned on doing this until it's warm enough to plant outside. So the question is, if done graduall8, can you plant too deep?
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Old April 10, 2018   #2
TexasTomat0
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Default How deep is too deep

I do virtually the same thing (including removing leafs to reveal more stem to bury) just on a smaller version (seed tray, small cup, 1 gal pot) as my seedlings progress before plant out. I use the extra re potting to apply mycorrhizae each time which also helps root growth. I don’t see any problem with what you’re doing.

I wouldn’t go bury the first cluster of fruits, but besides that I say plant them deep. I have, and have had no issues.


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Old April 10, 2018   #3
SueCT
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I don't think they know what they are talking about. If the plants are healthy and growing and putting out roots, what is the problem? Ask them what happens if you plant "too deep" and how they determine how deep is too deep. Doubt they can answer but It would be interesting to see. The only thing you might be doing is slowing down top growth as they concentrate on putting out more roots, but you also could end up with much sturdier plants with more extensive root systems that will be much better at feeding the plant as it grows. Gee that sounds awful.
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Old April 10, 2018   #4
SueCT
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OK, I take that back. If there are no green leaves showing, you are planting them too deep.
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Old April 10, 2018   #5
Lukasrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
OK, I take that back. If there are no green leaves showing, you are planting them too deep.
Lol they have leaves haha
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Old April 10, 2018   #6
MissS
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Those plants look absolutely beautiful. I would keep gradually filling them up to the top but stop going any deeper there so that your first blossoms will not be laying their fruits on the soil. You don't want to lose your first flowers nor do you want fruit on the ground. Explain to your coworkers that the plants develop roots on their stems if the stems are in contact with the soil. Big roots = big healthy plants.
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Old April 10, 2018   #7
ScottinAtlanta
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I don't think you can plant too deep in a pot, but in the ground, every inch down is cooler soil. I prefer the trench approach rather than going straight down to keep the roots in the warmer soils.
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Old April 10, 2018   #8
Lukasrl
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Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
I don't think you can plant too deep in a pot, but in the ground, every inch down is cooler soil. I prefer the trench approach rather than going straight down to keep the roots in the warmer soils.
I does this temp change make a huge difference if I'm planting in a 2.5 ft tall raised bed. I have trenched in the past and I like that method, however I get nervous with the tap root being that close to the top of the soil. It hasn't happened yet but I keep thinking if I miss a watering or 2 on a hot sunny week, I could risk losing the plant. As I said, it hasn't happened yet but there is a first time for everything.

Thank you all for all your comments. This is my first time growing from seed and I want to make sure I do everything the best I can. I would hate to lose all this hard work and have to buy from the big box this year.
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Old April 10, 2018   #9
AlittleSalt
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I don't see how you could grow them too deep in the way you have described.

I agree with Scott - if you were growing them in the ground - a whole lot of other things come into play.
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Old April 11, 2018   #10
Gardeneer
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I don,t think that planting too deep has benefits. The roots themselve should go as deep as necessary. Good soil is usually on the top portion in the garden.that is where the root system will grow better. Plus, if you plant too deep in a soil that does not have good drainage (clay soil ) then there will be a risk of water logging
I personally burry up to a bit above cot leaves , even when/if they are lanky.
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Old April 11, 2018   #11
imp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
OK, I take that back. If there are no green leaves showing, you are planting them too deep.
++ agree, LOL.

Planting deeper tends to depend on where you are at and your weather, too. I sometimes plant more deeply, into cooler soil as here, In north Texas, we get seriously hot and dry both. Tomatoes generally like heat, but there is a point for everything. People make those choices and what works for some wil not be so great for all.

Some years, I tend to plant my back-ups or fall crop tomatoes more deeply than my earlier ones as the temperatures here climb into the 100's plus, and I am planting in the ground.
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Old April 11, 2018   #12
PhilaGardener
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In the garden (raised beds) I tend to plant leggy ones on their side like Scott - but I lay the plants down a few days ahead so they naturally turn up 90 degrees before planting so I am not trying to bend the stem too much - too many broke on me before I started doing that! I think having the roots closer to the surface helps them get nutrients and air, but it might make them a bit more sensitive if we have a drought. (BTW, am in PA, not further South!)
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Old April 11, 2018   #13
SQWIBB
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From the picture you posted, if I was gong to plant them right away, I would plant them about an inch from the lowest sturdy stem.

If you are not ready to plant I would top the soil to about an inch below the lowest sturdy stem and plant at the same soil level when planting out.

Those are definitely not leggy and don't need trenching.
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Old April 11, 2018   #14
gdaddybill
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Maybe put them a little closer to the lights till planting time--6 to 8 inches away should be good as long as there are no incandescent lts. involved.
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Old April 11, 2018   #15
Tormato
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15" deep on a 14" plant does it for me.
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