If you are growing tomatoes in a raised bed then you can easily maintain the soil. Well-drained and rich soil is needed for the healthy development of your plants.
Make sure, your tomato plants get full favorable conditions so they will be able to provide you greater yield. The raised bed makes it possible to maintain the right conditions for tomatoes. In this article, we are going to explain and everything related to growing tomatoes in a raised bed.
Raised beds make kitchen gardening easier for you. The first thing you should think about is the perfect size for your raised bed.
PERFECT SIZE OF RAISED BED FOR ROWING TOMATOES
One drawback of a raised bed is that it will cost you but if you have skills you can build a raised bed. The width of the raised bed should be less because if the raised bed is wider then you will not maintain the plants at the center.
You can grow 3 plants per 4 feet of row. It is best to grow 5 plants in a 4 × 4 raised bed. One plant must be grown in each corner of the square raised bed and one in the center.
Read More: HOW MANY TOMATO PLANTS IN A 4×8 RAISED BED?
PREPARING THE SITE FOR YOUR RAISED BED
Choose the site in your garden for your raised bed that is free of debris. The surface of the ground should be leveled where you are going to build or fix your raised bed. You can use a tiller for losing the soil. For the hard ground, you can use a spading fork for breaking up the hard soil.
The spot of the raised bed must be closed to the water source. It will make it easy for you to water the plants. Some plants need more and regular water and if you are growing more than one raised bed then you can arrange a drip irrigation system.
If you can’t arrange a water system for your plants then make sure your plants get water daily. A sunny spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight is suggested.
FILLING RAISED BED
This is a great option in a raised bed where you can add all the organic nutrients to the soil. Avoid using garden soil in the raised bed. The light topsoil will work great in the raised bed.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders, that’s why they need rich and organic soil which is full of nutrients. At the top of the soil, you can add a 3-inch layer of compost or aged manure. Use the rake to make the soil smooth.
Read More: How To Improve The Soil In My Raised Beds?
WHEN TO PLANT TOMATOES IN A RAISED BED?
Climate is very important in growing any plant. Tomatoes are summer fruit and like hot weather. When the danger of the frost passes then this is the best time to plant tomatoes.
You can cover the plants for protecting your plants from unexpected frost. You can also use plastic bottles for making a mini greenhouse to provide shelter.
You will get all the information on the packet of seeds about the best time of planting. If you are using fresh tomatoes for planting then you can get all the information from any local nursery.
BEST VARIETIES OF TOMATOES
Tomatoes like to grow in the summer season. There are different varieties of two matter which you can grow in your raised bed. The variety of tomatoes depends upon the purpose for which you are growing tomatoes.
For example, some varieties are best for canning and some are best for eating raw. If you want to avoid diseases then you should choose disease-resistant varieties.
Diseases of tomato plants can weaken the plant and as a result,t you will get low production. Here are some varieties which you can easily grow in your raised bed.
The color of this variety is red and the shape is round. Every single piece of this variety weighs about half a pound. They need support to grow because their height can be 5 feet high. You will get mature fruit within 70 days.
BLACK CHERRY TOMATOES
The color of this type of tomato is black. If you like smaller varieties then this variety is best. The important fact is that despite its small size you will get a high production of fruit.
The maturity time of this type of variety is about 65 days. This will give a great taste, especially in salads. The height of the plant can be 6-8 inches. If you use trellis for growing this juicy fruit then you can easily maintain the variety.
This is the most common type of tomato which most gardeners like to grow due to their great size. This variety has a dark red color and amazing taste. The maturity time of this variety is 85 days. If you want high-quality tomatoes then this variety should be your preference.
This variety can be seen commonly in the stores due to its high flavor. If you provide at least 6-8 hours of sunlight then you will get delicious fruit. The maturity time of this variety is 81 days. The height can be 6-8 feet so arrange any support for your plants.
This is a medium size of tomatoes which are found in red color. The maturity time of fruit of this variety is 70-75 days. Vertical support is needed for supporting this 5-8 feet high plant.
PLANTING OF TOMATOES
You can grow tomatoes from seeds or transplants. Both ways are perfect for starting tomatoes in a raised bed. If you want to grow tomatoes outdoors then you should first prepare seedlings for transplant because they will take more time for germination, especially in cooler climates.
If you want to grow earlier then transplanting is the best option.
Whether you transplant or grow from seeds, the best time is when the danger of frost is passed.
If you are transplanting then the depth of the hole in the raised bed must be the same as in the pot in which they came in from the nursery.
HOW FAR APART TOMATO PLANTS SHOULD BE PLANTED?
The space between the tomato plants in a raised bed depends upon the variety. If you are growing a determinate variety then the space between two plants must be 2 feet and for indeterminate varieties, the distance should be 3 feet apart.
If you are growing tomato plants in a 4 × 4 raised bed then you can grow 16 tomato plants easily in it. Proper support will provide extra room to your plants.
Read More: How Many Tomato Plants In A 4×4 Raised Bed?
STAKE YOUR TOMATO PLANTS
Whether you are growing tomato plants in raised or ground beds, in both cases, your plants need support. The best time of staking your tomato plants is when you are planting them.
Don’t think you will stake them when they need it because when you stake them at that time then the roots of the plants will be damaged. For supporting your tomato plants, you can use trellis, stake, or ages. All these supporting structures will help to maintain the plants.
The supporting structure depends on how high your raised beds are. They will provide better air circulation and picking your fruit will become easier. If you leave the plants without support, they spread on the ground or raised bed then your plants will become food for pests.
Read More: HOW TO STAKE TOMATOES IN A RAISED BED?
You can use straws as mulch around the base of your tomato plants in a raised bed but leave a few inches of room for the plants so they can breathe easily.
A layer of mulch helps to retain the moisture in the raised bed. At the same time, it will provide warmth to the tomato plants. Another great benefit of mulching is that it will protect your plants from weeds.
Tomato plants require a lot of water but the amount of water needed by your tomato plants depends on the climate. If you are living in a hot climate then your plants need more water.
If the humidity in the air is high then your plants need less amount of water. Remember, when your tomato plants will settle in the ground then you can decrease the amount of water.
Don’t use a garden hose for simply spraying water on the plants. In this way, the water will not reach the bottom of the roots. If you install a drip irrigation system then your plants get water properly.
If you can’t do this then water regularly and make sure the water penetrates the soil.
Read More: Self Watering System for your Raised Beds
AVOID PESTS AND DISEASES IN A RAISED TOMATO BED
Raised beds can save your plants from many problems but if you see pests and insects then the following tip will be helpful in this case.
PESTS AND INSECTS
Although there is less danger of pests and insects as compared to in-ground beds. But these little monsters can get into these raised beds and damage the plants.
If you are using garden soil in a raised bed then cutworms are a big problem for you. You can use this simple hack for solving this big problem. You can place cardboard or metal flowers for protecting your tomato plants in a raised bed from pests.
If you want to protect your plants from pests then you should keep an eye on the plant. If you see any sign of discoloration or withering of plants then at once take action. You can also use insecticide against these pests and insects. Many simple home remedies can be used for tackling this problem.
Not only pests but some diseases are also a big issue. You will not get healthy production of your tomato plant if any disease attacks your plants.
Whenever you see ripe fruit then pick it for use whether you need it or not. The main diseases which are a serious problem for your tomato plant are a blight and fungal diseases.
HARVESTING OF TOMATOES
When you see the color of the tomatoes is even it means the plants are ready to harvest. You can also enjoy green fruit even if the color of the fruit is not red. Green tomatoes can be used in salads and different dishes. They also give you the best taste. Try to eat the tomato when it is fresh.