How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

Planting seeds too close together can cause them to compete for nutrients and sunlight. This can result in stunted growth or even death.

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

If you want to maximize yields, you’ll need to space out your plants by at least 3 inches (8 cm).

The best way to determine how far apart to plant your tomato seedlings is to decide whether you want to grow your plants vertically or horizontally.

If you plan on growing your plants vertically, you’ll want to space them out at least 4 inches (10 cm) apart. Otherwise, they won’t get enough light and will likely suffer from stunted growth.

If you plan on growing your tomatoes horizontally, you’ll want to keep them spaced at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart. The reason for this is that each row needs to receive its own amount of sunlight.

In this article, we will go into further detail on how far you need to plant your tomatoes and why. 

Spacing Your Tomatoes Plants

When planting tomatoes, it’s very important to understand the relationship between the size of the pot and the distance between the rows.

For example, if you are planning to grow your tomatoes in a 5 gallon container, you should space them 1/2 inch (1 cm) apart.

On the other hand, if you are going to grow them in a 10 gallon container, you should leave them 2 inches (5 cm) apart. In general, the larger the container, the more space you should give your plants.

When planting tomatoes, it’s very important to understand how big the plants will be when they reach maturity.

For example, if your plants are only 12 inches tall when you transplant them, you’ll need to make sure that the soil around their roots isn’t compacted. If you don’t, you could end up with weak stems.

Growing tomatoes in containers can be challenging. It’s essential to remember that you are growing vegetables in a confined environment.

Therefore, you must provide adequate amounts of water and fertilizer. You should also ensure that the soil surrounding the roots is loose and well drained.

As mentioned earlier, the ideal spacing for tomato plants is approximately one half inch (1 cm) per plant.

If you are growing them in raised beds or gardens, then leave around 4 feet between the rows. This allows for plenty of air flow. 

When you place your seedlings in the ground, you should try to avoid crowding them.

Make sure that you allow room for the root systems of your plants to spread out. If you do this correctly, you will reduce the chances of diseases spreading throughout your crop.

Soil Preparation

Before you begin preparing your garden bed, you should remove any weeds and debris.

After doing this, you should add some organic matter such as compost or manure. This will help improve drainage, aerate the soil, and increase the fertility level.

You should use a spade to dig a hole large enough for the root ball of your tomato plant. Then, you should gently loosen the soil so that it doesn’t become too hard.

Next, you should fill the hole with about an inch of topsoil. After this, you should tamp down the soil firmly.

You should now prepare the area where you intend to plant your tomato seeds. First, you should rake over the surface of the soil until it becomes smooth.

Second, soak the area with water until it begins to drain. Then apply a layer of mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting.

Finally, you should wait for the sun to dry the soil before planting your tomato seeds.

Prune Your Plants

Once your tomato plants are properly spaced apart, you need to make sure you prune them. Every 7 to 10 days, you should remove suckers, which helps to promote healthy and stronger plants.

Suckers are easy to identify as they don’t produce fruit or flowers and develop a stem off the main plant and a branch.

You can leave the suckers on, but this will result in smaller tomatoes and a lot more foliage to deal with, which also limits airflow as well.  

Why Is Spacing Your Tomato Plants Important?

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

There are a couple of reasons why you should make sure that you give your tomato plants plenty of space. 

Prevent Disease

If your tomato plants are too close to each other, then there won’t be enough air circularization. This then increases the risk of disease to spread throughout all of your tomato plants. 


Tomato plants are known to renew a lot of sunlight, so that they grow into healthy plants.

As a result, if you overcrowd your tomato plants, they will cast shade over each other.

This will then result in none of your plants getting their required amount of sunlight that they need. 

Prevents Weed Growth 

There is a balance between how far you spread your tomato plants from each other. They need to be far enough away from each other.

However, too much space between them and you are leaving soil free for weeds to grow. You then reduce the amount of space to be able to grow and this then reduces your overall harvest. 

Minimum Competition 

As we have mentioned, you need to spread your tomato plants apart from each other. Otherwise, the airflow between each other will be decreased.

However, by confounding your tomato plants too close to one another, then the plants will begin fighting for nutrients and water as well as air and space. 


Tomato plants are very easy to grow and take up little space. However, they do require a lot of attention and care.

So, when growing tomatoes, you need to pay attention to detail and ensure that you space them apart from each other.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand how far apart you need to spread your tomato plants and why.