How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes: your Tasty Tomatoes Await

BY Shaafay Zia
Last Update:

Have you ever been stumped on HOW FAR APART to plant tomatoes? 

It is like your relationship. If you give your tomatoes too much space, they’ll be in a long-distance relationship. You also don’t want them so close together that they constantly argue.

Don’t worry. We are expert gardeners! We’ve spent YEARS collecting the latest information on growing tomatoes. You can be sure we are the right people to help you give your partner space like a pro! 

Oops, I meant to grow tomatoes! We are here to help you grow tomatoes now! 


You will learn EVERYTHING ABOUT TOMATO SPACING! You’ll know factors that affect the spacing of your tomatoes. Then, how far apart to plant them and the benefits of proper spacing. So let’s start!

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

Why You Should Plant Tomatoes Apart?

Why You Should Plant Tomatoes Apart

Spacing matters when planting tomatoes! Planting them further apart may seem like a chore, but here is why you should do it: 

1. Soil Nutrients. 

Tomatoes planted further apart will access MORE SOIL NUTRIENTS. The roots won’t compete for space and resources. It’s like giving them their own personal buffet

2. Air Circulation. 

Spacing tomato plants properly allows for good air circulation. It helps them with HEALTHY FRUIT PRODUCTION. Your plants need to breathe, you know? So don’t be too stingy with your planting – give them room to reach their full potential!

3. Fruiting in Vining Tomatoes. 

Indeterminate (vining) tomatoes should be farther apart than determinate (bush) varieties. Doing so ensures they have enough vertical space to grow correctly and produce fruit. 

Picture a conga line of juicy tomatoes swaying in the breeze – sounds fun! Using trellises or wire cages reduces tangling together as they climb up.

With the right spacing, your garden will look more like an orderly parade, not a frenzied festival! 

5. Diseases

Spacing tomato plants reduce diseases spreading from one plant to another. There’s less opportunity for bugs or fungal spores to hop from leaf to leaf. So your tomatoes already know about social distancing – who knew they were so savvy? 

6. Sunlight and Water Evaporation 

When tomatoes are too close together, their foliage can block sunlight and SLOW DOWN evaporation. This creates an over-watering situation that can lead to disease or even death! 

Not to mention, it’s just plain annoying when you have a group of tomatoes hogging all the sun for themselves. You don’t want angry tomatoes on your hands! 

7. Pest Management 

Good spacing allows you to ACCESS YOUR TOMATO PLANTS more quickly – like a tomato ninja! [**Makes ninja sounds]. You can check for pest infestations and remove them before they spread. 

8 . Harvesting 

When tomato plants are spaced far enough apart, it makes harvesting a much easier task! You can reach all the juicy tomatoes without struggling or being tangled up! We don’t want your tomatoes strangling you!

Factors Affecting the Spacing of Tomatoes

Factors Affecting the Spacing of Tomatoes

Having established that spacing tomato is the way to go, what will inform your decision? Please DON’T do it blindly. Hahaha. They don’t say growing tomatoes is blind, after all. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how far apart to space your tomato plants: 

1. Tomato Varieties: 

Different varieties of tomatoes require different amounts of space for OPTIMAL GROWTH. Determinate tomatoes tend to need less space compared to indeterminate varieties. 

But don’t be fooled by determinate tomatoes. Even the most compact plants can take over your garden without proper spacing. 

2. Soil Quality: 

Quality soil can help improve aeration and drainage. These are important factors for a healthy plant. Remember the old saying, “A little dirt never hurts anyone.” So if your soil is particularly rich, increase spacing between plants even further. 

3. Amount of Produce: 

Give your tomatoes MORE SPACE to maximize your crop so each plant can produce fruit. So feel free to give those plants a chance to reach their tomato-y potential fully! 

4. Growth Stage: 

How close together your tomatoes are can depend on their growth stage. Tomato seedlings and younger plants need little space, like two kids in a small elevator. But once they reach maturity, it is best to give them more room, like ten adults in an elevator! Otherwise, it can get overcrowded quickly! 

How Far Apart to Plant Tomatoes?

How Far Apart to Plant Tomatoes

Planting tomatoes is like playing poker – you need to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Here are some tips on how far apart you should space your growing tomato plants: 

Plant tomato seeds or transplants about 2 feet apart in the row. That’s like a family reunion but with tomatoes! If using WIRE CAGES, they should be placed 3–4 feet apart. 

Plant seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch deep. Too deep, and you’ll be unintentionally holding a funeral in your garden! 

When growing tomatoes in rows, allow 3–4 feet between each row. This will provide adequate AIR CIRCULATION for all your little veggies to breathe.

Space tomato plants further apart if you plan on PRUNING THEM. This will require more room and encourage LARGER FRUIT YIELDS per plant. The space gives them positive affirmations. It’s scientific! Hahaha. 

Suggested reading: Tomatoes Not Turning Red? Proper Tips For You

Tomato Plant Spacing According to Plant Variety

Tomato Plant Spacing According To Plant Variety

 As mentioned, spacing when planting tomatoes will depend on the TOMATO VARIETY. Here is what you need to know about IDEAL SPACING based on variety: 

1. DETERMINATE TOMATOES are usually bush tomatoes, growing to around 3 feet tall. For these types of plants, leave about 18 inches between each plant for enough space. 

2. INDETERMINATE TOMATO PLANTS can grow up to 10 feet tall. That’s nothing compared to Jack’s beanstalk! They also produce larger fruit sizes than determinate tomatoes. 

When planting these tomatoes, give them 24-36 inches of space. So indeterminate tomato plants have plenty of room. They can spread out their legs and be productive plants! 

3. DWARF VARIETIES may only reach a few feet tall. Please don’t discriminate against them, though! Dwarf varieties still need at least 12 inches between the plants. Anything else would just be rude!

4. CHERRY TOMATOES grow like bush tomatoes. They need around 18 inches of space between the plants. That’s just like determinate tomatoes. 

5. HEIRLOOM TOMATOES should also be spaced about 18 inches apart for optimum growth. They are old school, after all, and deserve some respect and distance from their neighbors! 

Tomato Plant Spacing According to Garden Type

Tomato Plant Spacing According To Garden Type

Also, spacing tomato plants depends on THE GARDEN TYPE. Here is what you need to know about spacing tomatoes in this way: 

1. Raised Beds

Raised beds are a great way to plant tomatoes. 4-inch deep raised beds should have 4–6 inches between each tomato seed or root plug. That is so much better than having them run amuck around the house! 

2. Traditional Row Garden 

Space tomatoes in rows 12–18 inches apart for TRADITIONAL ROW GARDENS. This will ensure optimal growth and productivity of your tomato plants. 

And if you’re feeling extra traditional, why not try planting the tomatoes in a straight line? Just make sure to consider your soil type and other factors discussed earlier.

3. Containers and Pots 

If planting in large containers or pots with at least FIVE GALLONS of soil capacity. One tomato plant should have enough space in it without needing any extra support. 

You can always cheer for them; I hear it helps. You can grow both determinate tomato plants and indeterminate tomato varieties like this! 

Planting more than one tomato per container is possible. Ensure they get ENOUGH SPACE (over seven gallons), so they don’t get too crowded. However, they might have lower fruit production than those in larger garden spaces. 

4. Square Foot Method

When gardening with square foot methods, you can fit TWO MATURE TOMATOES per square. This is enough room for their vines and foliage! Don’t plant more than three tomatoes, or your little veggies will look like ‘square feet.’ 

5. Vertical Trellising Systems

Using vertical trellising systems allows LESS SPACE HORIZONTALLY. When considering tomato spacing in this system, give each vine about 1-1/4 feet. This allows adequate air circulation, which leads to healthy plants! Think of it like playing Jenga with tomatoes! You want the vines to stack vertically, allowing enough space between each one. Mmmmh…Tomato Jenga sounds like a good idea!

Suggested reading: Soil PH For Tomatoes: Expert Tips To Plant

What are the Benefits of Proper Tomato Plant Spacing?

What are the Benefits of Proper Tomato Plant Spacing

 Good tomato spacing comes with many benefits. Here are some of them that will make you do a happy dance:

1. More Air Flow: 

When tomato plants are spaced out properly, there’s MORE AIRFLOW for the roots to breathe. This helps promote optimal growth and strong plant health. So why not give your plants a CO2 boost?  

2. Bigger Tomatoes: 

Having enough space between plants allows the tomatoes to GROW BIGGER. They give you more, unlike that stingy person who never has anything to share! They don’t overcrowd each other or compete for resources like light and water. Who doesn’t love larger, fresh tomatoes? 

3. Healthier Plants: 

The correct spacing between tomato plants PREVENTS DISEASES caused by overcrowding. Remember the famous ‘tomato plant flu’? It also prevents insect infestations. That’s because they won’t be able to spread among neighbors! 

4. More Tomatoes: 

Giving your tomato plants enough spacing means that FLOWERS FORM CLUSTERS. This results in more fruits! That’s something worth celebrating with a big slice of pizza (Remember extra sauce). You need to harvest those fresh tomatoes, though. 

5 . Wide Tomato Variety: 

Spacing tomatoes far apart allows you to MIX DIFFERENT TOMATO VARIETIES. Think mixing heirloom varieties with cherry ones – yummmmmy! A salad could accidentally form in your garden – what a sight! 

6. Optimal Growth: 

MAXIMIZE FLAVOR POTENTIAL by giving your precious little tomatoes plenty-of-room. This way, they’ll have sweeter flavors when ripened because of optimal leaf exposure. The OPTIMAL nutrient absorption per area covered doesn’t hurt these juicy gems!

FAQs about How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

1. What happens if you plant tomatoes too close together?

Planting tomatoes too close together is a big no-no. If you don’t give the tomato plants enough space, they won’t be able to grow properly. The tomato spacing needs to be far apart enough. 
This allows each plant can take in all the air, sunlight, and nutrients it needs! Otherwise, your harvest could be a disaster.

2. Can tomatoes be planted too deep?

It’s a common mistake to plant tomatoes too deep! Too much soil above the seedling can smother it, making it harder for your tomato plants to thrive. So keep them shallow, around two inches or less below the surface. 
Your tomato plants will thank you! Planting too deep could mean missing out on delicious home-grown tomatoes. So don’t risk it – keep ’em shallow and give your tomato plants enough room to flourish and bear fruit!

3. Do tomatoes grow better in pots or in the ground?

Soil goes well with tomato plants – they love to grow in the ground! But don’t forget, if you want to get creative, pots can be just as fun. Tomato plants will thrive with more space and larger pots – it’s all about tomato spacing! 
If you’re feeling adventurous, try growing tomatoes both ways for the best of both worlds. 

What’s Next

We talked about why you should plant tomatoes apart. Then we discussed what factors affect the spacing of tomatoes. We also highlighted how far apart to plant tomatoes. 

Next, we discussed plant spacing according to plant variety and garden type. Plus, we dove into what benefits proper tomato planting can bring.  

Ready to start growing your tomatoes? Why not visit AsterGardening for all the tips and tricks you need?

Our expert team is always here to help with any questions or concerns. So don’t wait – visit us now for all your gardening info!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Article by:

Shaafay Zia

Hi, I'm a fellow green thumb who moonlight's as a writer. Gardening is something that brings me peace and I have been in the sport for many years now. With all of our expertise, we will always bring you the best content which will make you love your garden, even more.