Raised Bed Tomato Gardens
Eastern & Midwestern Regions
There’s nothing quite like a homegrown tomato! Store bought simply can’t compare to the exceptional freshness, quality, variety, and, most importantly, taste of a tomato that you grow yourself. Raised bed tomato growing makes the whole process, from soil to table, convenient and easy for the home gardener.
Why Raised Beds
Raised bed gardening offers a number of advantages over growing in the ground, these include:
- Improved soil conditions
- Earlier planting
- Easier maintenance
- Decreased garden pests
- Higher crop yield
Preparing Raised Beds
Growing vegetables in a raised bed is essentially the same as growing vegetables in any container, and did you know that a high-quality soil builder that is packed with compost and is nutrient rich, is your best choice for a raised bed garden?
We recommend filling your raised bed with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder, which is specifically designed for the Eastern and Midwestern Regions. This product contains natural, power-packed, soil components that feed the soil that feeds your tomatoes!
Don’t forget the fertilizer! In addition to using Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder, we suggest adding Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Tomato and Vegetable Food at planting time, and on a regular basis, to ensure that your tomatoes are getting everything they need to grow and fruit to their full potential.
You can grow the best vegetables ever this year! With Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® products, you are guaranteed the best soils and plant foods available anywhere, making it possible for even the newest gardener to obtain outstanding results.
Tomatoes for Raised Beds
When selecting tomatoes for a raised bed garden, we recommend looking for bush and tumbling varieties. These designations should be listed on your plant tags at your Master Nursery® Garden Center; the staff will be happy to help you in your tomato selection beyond the list provided in this article.
Bush tomatoes are compact growing, non-vining tomatoes that economize on the limited space that a raised bed garden offers. Bush tomatoes also require less care than their tall vining partners as there is no need to prune them, and they are easily supported with a standard tomato cage. Bush style tomatoes are perfect for slicing to use on sandwiches.
- Better Bush
A medium sized tomato with a great flavor, borne on a strong, bushy plant.
A flavorful, medium to large sized fruit, perfect for slicing, on a 3 – 4 feet high plant.
A small but very productive, compact plant, about 2 feet high, with smaller yet tasty fruit to match.
A well know and highly prized sauce tomato, Roma, a pear-shaped Italian style is less juicy than other tomatoes making it perfect for freezing too.
A very productive heirloom tomato, Rutgers is known for its large, red, super-tasty fruit.
Tumbling tomatoes, also referred to as cascading tomatoes, are vining tomatoes, usually cherry or grape style, and make the perfect addition to a raised bed tomato garden. Plant this type of tomato along the edge of the raised bed allowing it to tumble or cascade over the side for easy access to the fruit. No need to stake!
- Juliet Roma Grape
A very sweet, grape shaped variety, great for summer kabobs.
- Black Cherry
Round, dark, and flavorful, perfect for snacking right off the vine.
- Sun Sugar Yellow
Super sweet, orange colored tomato on a heavily producing plant, Sun Sugar Yellow tomatoes will sweeten your summer salads.
- Super Sweet 100
This tomato’s claim to fame is its high sugar content that creates its unsurpassable sweetness.
- Tumbling Tom Yellow
Perfect for containers and hanging baskets, as well as raised bed gardens, small, yellow, delicious fruits are borne in abundance on this tiny tumbler.
Planting in Raised Beds
Tomatoes, even bush type, should be planted deep by burying about two thirds of the plant’s stem with the first leaves just above ground level, this means that all leaves below the soil level should be removed at planting time. If tomato plants become leggy before being set in the ground, they may be planted horizontally as roots will continue to develop on the planted stem.
Ongoing Care in Raised Beds
Water and fertilize at planting time and adhere to a regular schedule for both. A well adhered to watering schedule or routine will ensure a good fruit set, a high yield, and avoid blossom end rot disease.
In addition to fertilizing at planting time, established tomato plants should be fed every 4-6 weeks through the growing season with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Tomato and Vegetable Food. Nutrients can be leached from the soil due to excessive rainfall and regular watering. Fertilizing with this exceptional product will feed your plants with all the macro & micro-nutrients that they need, including calcium for preventing a common tomato problem called blossom end rot.
Growing in a raised bed makes getting quality tomatoes to your table a whole lot easier, giving you more time in the summer to enjoy a good tomato sandwich!