tomato plant spacing

Can someone please advise me on how to space my tomato plants. I have put 3 plants per gor-bag and lined up the gro-bags directly next to each other lengthwise, giving 3 rows of plants. I have put them in my greenhouse and fitted a drip feed system. I am now worried that they are too close having read several posts elsewhere on the web. At the moment they are looking very healthy and have got several trusses of flowers per plant. I have a mixture of plants ranging through sunbaby, gardeners delight, roma, marzano and marmande.


  • gardengirl6gardengirl6 Posts: 223

    We put our gro-bags next to each other in our greenhouse, too.    The grow fine, though we do remove leaves to let the sun reach the tomatos for ripening.

  • Thanks for that. What a relief!

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    I don't know how it translates to growing in gro-bags, but, in the ground, toms should have at least three feet between each plant.

    gardengirl, toms don't need direct sunshine for ripening. It's warmth that ripens the fruit. They will ripen in shade providing it's warm enough. Indoors even, in a warm spot.

  • gardengirl6gardengirl6 Posts: 223

    Thanks, Italophile.   Yes, I know that the last of the toms will ripen even in a drawer, but it is useful to remove some of the leaves, so that you can actually see when they are ready for picking.     Most grow bags are barely three foot long, but are marked out for three tomato plants.   As long as they are kept well watered and fed, they grow successfully.   

  • summerpotssummerpots Posts: 51

    I think I have planted mine too close once again.  I might have to transplant some.  My friend who has a small holding in Romania grow hundreds of tomato plants in his greenhouse... he almost completely strips the leaves  when they start producing fruit, and takes off unnecessary branches/leaves... I was horrified at first but it seems to work and my tomatoes grew to almost 8ft. high, with llbs and llbs of toms.  I am learning all the time but seem to forget what to do for the next year.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Well, stripping all the leaves undoes photosynthesis so there will be next to no new growth or toms. I can't see it helping the established fruit either, but if it works fror him ...

    There used to be a theory around that toms only needed three leaves per plant for purposes of photosynthesis.

  • mudlarkmudlark Posts: 5

    Oh, I have planted mine in raised beds in my Poly tunnel they are about six " apart. At the moment they are growing well. They are planted in 7 year old rotted compost with rotted manure mixed in. Should I lift some of them out or leave them. I do feed weekly with a good tomato feed.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Six inches apart? They'll throttle each other and compete for the same nutrition, mudlark. Plus, with so much foliage so close together there's little room for air circulation and that can be a recipe for fungal problems. If you can manage at least two feet apart, do so.

  • mudlarkmudlark Posts: 5

    Ok, I will re-plant some of them. They are about 8" apart not 6", but yes, you're right they are far too close.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,363

    Good idea, mudlark.  As Italophile says, fungal diseases are the biggest problem with tomatoes and the more air that can circulate between plants, the better.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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