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Grow Stockier, Bushier Tomato Plants This Year
Home & Garden
Tomatoes, unlike many plants, will grow roots right along their stems if the stem is buried. So, when transplanting to a larger pot indoors, you can practice what is called “trenching.” It means turning the root ball of the plant on its side in the new pot, then gently forcing the stem upwards, and staking it if necessary. With each successive planting in a larger pot the soil comes right up to the bottom branches, resulting in a stockier, bushier plant when it comes time to plant outdoors. If you practice this, your tomato plant will have a thick stem by the time it’s warm enough to plant out
Step One (below): Start with a tomato plant that needs a larger container.
Step Two: Tap the bottom corner of the pot on a hard surface to loosen the plant. If you need to pull the plant out of the container, pull gently by the lower leaves, not by the stem. (Leaves are more dispensable than the stem if you happen to damage one.)
Step Three: Lay the plant in the larger pot sideways.
Step Four: Bend the stem up gently.
Step Five: Fill in soil around the root ball and the stem. You can stake the stem if necessary, but I didn’t need to.
Step Six: Water with a weak solution of fertilizer.