1. Harden off your indoor-started tomato seedlings first so they don't get shocked by sun, pick an overcast day, or plant in the morning or evening so you aren't planting in full sun.
2. Amend soil where you will be planting with homemade compost if you have it. You can also put some compost deep into the planting hole.
3. Pinch off some of the lower leaves.
4. Remove seedling gently from it's container and gently loosen the roots.
5. Bury tomato plants deep!
Bury your tomato seedlings deep as the parenchyma cells along the stems can grow into roots! So a leggy tomato seedling can actually work, as you can bury them deep. Remove the lower sets of leaves and leave a couple sets of leaves at the surface and watch the tomato take off. This doesn't work with all plants, but tomatoes benefit greatly from being planted deep – it allows them to grow much deeper roots which help to improve drought tolerance and wind resistance.
Keep this in mind too, when transplanting your tomato seedlings into larger pots before transplanting outside, the more often you transplant, the more opportunities you have to bury the stem deeper for an extensive root system come spring planting time.
Plant them deep to allow the stem to develop more roots!
This tomato plant above was quite a bit taller, but we pinched off the lower leaves and buried it up to it's neck. It will soon grow roots along the deep buried stem which will help it grow faster and stronger.
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