How far apart to plant tomatoes is a worry if you’re planning to grow tomatoes in your small garden, you must be wondering about the space they need. Spacing tomato plants is a vital consideration that guarantees you provide the plants with optimal growing conditions.

How Far Apart to Plant Tomatoes

Planting tomatoes closely together can lead to many complications, such as stunted growth and diseases. Keep reading to know how to grow them with the correct spacing.

How Far Apart Should Tomatoes Get Planted?

Tomatoes should get planted 18 to 24 inches apart because their spacing would depend on the size that you would grow them, the variety they are, and the way they require the tomato spacing to be in the right range.

Tomato varieties have varying spacing needs since some are bred to be smaller than others. Knowing the specific plant variety you want to grow in your garden helps to ensure you provide ample space for your plants.

– Bush Tomatoes

Determinate species are the bush tomato; they usually grow to a certain height and stop. These varieties perform well when spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart. This is the way that they would grow and thrive in the best way.

Bush Tomatoes Planting Process

However, some determinate tomato plants are smaller and don’t require much spacing. Tomato varieties labeled as dwarf or compact can be planted about 12 inches apart. Some of the common determinate tomato plants are Bush Early Girl, and Ace 55.

– Roma Tomatoes

The ideal spacing for Roma tomatoes is 24 inches or more apart. Correct spacing allows for air circulation and ensures plants get enough nutrients from the soil. Plant spacing also depends on whether the tomatoes are determinate or indeterminate. Leave 12 to 24 inches between plants for determinate types and 24 to 36 inches between indeterminate varieties of this variety as well.

– Cherry Tomatoes

Indeterminate tomatoes are ones that should be planted one to two feet apart, as they would grow six to eight feet in their height; they are the type that would keep on growing. They only stop growing at the end of their season or when pruned. Indeterminate tomato plants can also stop growing when killed by frost.

Growing Technique of Cherry Tomatoes

Since these varieties are larger, they should be planted about 18 inches apart. Indeterminate tomatoes you can plant in your garden include Better Boy and Beefsteak tomato plant spacing.

How To Space Tomatoes By Garden Type?

To space tomatoes by garden type, remember that in containers, 14 to 18 inches apart is needed; on grounds, they must be 18 to 24 inches apart, as well as for raised beds. 1.5 to two feet of space for staked, and unsupported ones need four feet of space.

– Container

Potted tomato plants should be grown in each large container about 14 to 18 inches apart from other seeds. It’s tempting to plant more than one tomato plant in containers to save on space. However, spacing tomatoes in pots is different; these plants do well when they have their own space.

For potted tomatoes, it’s recommended to grow only one plant in the container. This helps to prevent the risk of diseases and ensures your tomatoes get enough nutrients to grow if you are container gardening and would like to save space and grow these vegetables at the same time.

– Ground Growing

Growing tomatoes in the ground give you more space since you can use row spacing. Space the plants about 18 to 24 inches apart and ensure the rows are 36 inches apart to give them the right space.

If you’re not planting the tomatoes in rows, then again, make sure that you give it this space, because you do not want them to grow to a weak potential. You simply need to make sure you have enough space to walk between plants without damaging them.

– Planted in Raised Beds

For a raised bed garden, space the tomatoes around 18 to 24 inches, which is the recommendation for growing them in a healthy way as they are in beds. Keep in mind that the deeper your raised garden, the more nutrients the soil will have for your tomato seedlings.

Planting Tomatoes in Raised Beds

For a square foot garden, consider growing the smaller varieties that won’t take up much space. Moreover, they should also be planted around one foot deep, if the raised bed is nearly two feet deep itself when it comes to how deep to plant tomatoes.

– Stakes or Cages

The tomato type you grow in your garden will determine whether they require support. Remember that in this case, you should grow them around 1.5 to two feet apart when they are the determinate type of tomatoes that you are growing.

On the other hand, the indeterminate variants will do well when caged for support and control, which should be three to four inches of space to have in between. Plant staked will ensure the large indeterminate types get the support they need.

– Unsupported Tomatoes

If you don’t intend to support your tomatoes, the indeterminate tomato spacing demands that you should provide more space for your plants. These plants spread on the ground, meaning you have to provide, on average, four feet of space between each plant.

Why Is It Important To Space Tomatoes When Planting?

It is important to space tomatoes when planting because it will help prevent disease and stunted growth. Moreover, it will help in productivity and fruitfulness; you will also have the ability to manage the plant and, lastly, to make room for other companion plants.

– Reducing the Spread of Diseases

Growing tomatoes close together increases the risk of diseases. Tomatoes are quite susceptible to diseases, and when grown close to each other, it limits airflow and could spread diseases faster. They would also have pest attacks too, such having the worms that live in them, so when they don’t have this space, the worms would easily go from one to another.

– Stunted Growth

Garden plants compete for resources like nutrients, water, sunlight, and soil. These are the vegetables that require plenty of these resources, and growing them in tight spaces makes it difficult to get enough of them. Ultimately, this leads to stunted growth and they will no longre feel safe to grow any bigger.

– Productivity

Proper spacing also helps to boost productivity. When these plants get enough nutrients and other vital resources, it increases potential harvest. A healthy plant will improve the overall fruit yield compared to an unhealthy plant.

– Plant Management

Tomato spacing also helps with plant management, so well-spaced tomatoes will make your life easier. Tomatoes that are too close together make it difficult to inspect, manage and harvest them. On the contrary, spaced tomatoes give you an easier time checking for pests and diseases, applying the necessary treatments, and harvesting.

– Make Room for Companion Plants

Spacing your tomatoes gives you room for companion plant varieties in case you want to have them in your garden.

Making Room for Companion Plants

Marigold, carrot, borage, lettuce, basil, and nasturtium are some of the best plants to grow alongside tomatoes since they don’t take up a lot of space.


You now know how far apart to plant tomatoes and the risks associated with growing them close to each other, so here’s a quick recap about spacing your tomatoes:

  • Provide tomatoes with enough space about 18 to 24 inches apart to ensure they get enough nutrients and yield more fruits.
  • Well-spaced tomatoes prevent diseases, increase productivity, and make it easy to manage plants.
  • These red crops having proper spacing will vary depending on where you’re growing the plants. Container spacing is different from growing tomatoes in the ground.

Essentially, giving your tomatoes ample space is crucial for healthy plants. Use the recommended spacing as indicated to increase the likelihood of succeeding with your plants.

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