If you want to grow a vegetable garden for your kitchen. Now you have a lot of variety of vegetables which you can easily grow in raised beds. You can grow plateaus spinach, herbs, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, and more.
Tomatoes are on the top of the list because it is the main ingredient of many dishes and no kitchen garden can be completed without adding it. You can also freeze tomatoes if your plant is producing more tomatoes than your need.
Raised beds are the best option for growing tomatoes. In a raised bed you can easily maintain the fertility of the soil and you can control weeds and pests. Without bending you can manage plants easily.
If you want to keep an eye on your vegetables and maintain air circulation to prevent your plants from diseases then you should prefer raised bed gardening. At the beginning of each growing season, you can add compost or mulch to the soil and you can provide all the nutrients to your plants.
Read More: 28 BEST VEGETABLES TO GROW IN RAISED BEDS
FIGURING OUT SPACING IN A RAISED BED
After building a raised bed for your tomatoes, the next question arises in your mind how many tomato plants are enough in growing one raised bed. It depends upon the size of your raised bed.
Here we are talking about the 4×8 raised bed. You can also get all the information about the plants on the seed packets. There is provided all the information and instructions about the height and width of the mature plants which you are going to grow.
There are space recommendations also which will help you to decide how many plants of tomatoes you can grow in a raised bed. It is a very interesting thing about the raised bed that you can plant veggies more closely together. It is different from the traditional in-ground garden where you have to grow the plants in rows.
It is recommended by many gardeners to follow Mel Bartholomew’s square foot gardening method. In this method, you have to divide the space of the raised bed into a grid of 1×1 foot squares.
After that, you should follow his plan about the number of seeds you can add to each square. Remember this density is based on the variety of plant size which you are going to grow in a raised bed.
It means you can grow one tomato plant but several carrots in a square. This method is very helpful for beginners.
For a 4×8 raised bed, you can easily grow 10 plants of tomatoes without any measurement.
This is a rough estimate. But spacing is very important between the plants so they get the appropriate amount of nutrition from the soil, otherwise, there is a fight between the roots for getting nutrition from the soil.
And another thing is that the roots of each plant can’t propagate easily due to a shortage of ample space. Spacing between the tomato plants is an important part of growing. There are many factors involved in this step.
Here I will provide all the necessary information about all the factors which are involved in the spacing of tomato plants. Each factor is very important and I will discuss each factor in detail so you will get knowledge about it.
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HOW TO SPACE TOMATO PLANTS IN A 4×8 RAISED BED?
It is necessary to provide all the basic requirements of the plants so they will provide you with a healthy yield of tomatoes. As I mentioned above spacing is very important between the tomato plants.
The first factor which is related to spacing is the variety of tomatoes, which you are going to grow in a raised bed of size 4×8. First, you should have complete knowledge about the plant whether it is determinate or indeterminate.
DETERMINATE VARIETY OF TOMATOES
This type of tomato gives the production of fruit for a little time after attaining maturity, after that they stop producing new fruit. They grow for a few weeks and giving their first and last yield, they start to die and will not give you any more new fruits.
This type of tomato is also known as bush variety due to its small height. Bushy plants are not taller, the total length of these plants is about 4 to 5 feet.
As they stop growing so it is not necessary to prune them. As you know, tomato plants need trellis or cages for support but remember it depends on the variety which you are growing.
The addition of trellis to your bed will make it possible that you can grow more plants in it. But you should provide a lot of nutrients to your soil so your plants will not face the problem of shortage of nutrition due to increasing the number of plants in it.
The space between the plants should be 2 to 2.5 feet or 24-30 inches or 60-76 centimeters for the raised bed of size 4×8. The number of plants will be increased to 12 when you use trellis in the bed.
Trellis or cages are the best options for providing support to your tomato plants but you can also leave tomato plants to sprawl over the ground.
Read More: Easy Way Of Growing Garlic in Raised Beds
INDETERMINATE VARIETY OF TOMATOES
They are different from the determinate variety because they give you unlimited yield and don’t stop growing. They are vining plants and increase their length throughout the growing season.
They can reach a height of 12 feet. When the frost approaches, the tomato plants of this variety stop giving you fruit and die. Their production is slow and steady as compared to the determinate variety.
Gardeners prefer to grow indeterminate varieties such as Heirloom, Beefsteak, Brandywine, and Sungold. The ripening process of this type of variety is longer because they spend their energy on growing tall.
As it is mentioned above this variety is vining then you must arrange a cage or trellis. The space between the plants must be 1.5 to 2 feet or 18 to 24 inches or 45 to 70 cm.
It means you can grow 12-14 plants in a raised bed of size 4×8. It is not a good thing to leave the tomato plants to sprawl all over the ground in that case you can only grow 4 to 6 plants of tomato in a raised bed of size 4×8.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SPACING BEFORE PLANTING TOMATO PLANTS IN A 4×8 RAISED BED
If you are growing tomato plants in a 4×8 raised bed then you have about 32 square feet area. You can easily grow a single tomato plant in a 4 square feet area, this calculation shows that you can easily grow eight plants in a 4 × 8 raised bed.
TIPS FOR GROWING TOMATOES IN A 4 × 8 RAISED BED
In any vegetable garden tomatoes are an important part. If you are a tomato lover then you want to grow tomatoes juicy, sweet, tangy, aromatic, and blemish-free.
Best Variety: First, you should choose the best variety and control problems before they happen. Here are some tips which will help you for growing tomatoes in a raised bed of size 4×8.
Good Soil: The first and important thing before planting tomatoes in a raised bed is the quality of the soil. When you decide to grow tomatoes in a raised bed then the soil should be acidic and the pH of the soil 6-7.
If you want to know about the soil of your raised bed you should perform a soil test before plantation. The result of the test will help you what to add to the soil according to the need of your plant.
Fertilizers: Remember tomato plants are very heavy feeders so they need a good amount of nutrients to reach the maximum height. To get a high yield from the tomato plants you have to use organic fertilizers, in this way, you will get better results. The amount of fertilizers depends upon the number of plants you are growing in a raised bed.
Pruning: If you are growing an indeterminate variety of tomato plants then pruning is necessary. The maximum height of an indeterminate variety of tomatoes is about 12 feet which will cover all the area of the raised bed.
Regular pruning reduces the competition among the plants for resources. They will get the nutrition according to the need.
Watering: Water is an important factor in the growth of any plant so you should always check the moisture level of the soil and don’t let it dry. The best time for watering the tomato plants in the morning or before sunset is to make sure your plants will get water deeply and slowly.
Never water from above and avoid spraying water with the help of a garden hose. Water deeply so the roots of the plant will get water. In this way, each plant will get enough water for a drink. The best Irrigation system will help you a lot for this purpose.
Sunlight: Select the best location for your raised bed where plants get full sun exposure so your tomato plants will thrive properly.
Trellis: Make it possible that tomato plants train on a cage or trellis so they will grow fast. Trellis makes it possible that your plants get full air circulation and harvesting becomes easier for you.
If you let your plants sprawl on the ground then you can’t protect them from pests and they will become victims of many diseases.
When you see your tomato plants reach at a height of 3 feet then remove the leaves from the bottom foot of the stem. These leaves are old and they will become the reason for spreading the fungus.