Grow Tomatoes in Raised Beds: You Need To Know

6 Min Read

Raised beds allow you to work with the natural soil composition rather than trying to create ideal growing conditions for your tomatoes.

Gardening is more enjoyable and easier with raised garden beds. This is a comprehensive guide to growing tomatoes in an elevated bed, both healthily and with pleasure.

Tomatoes Plant Overview

Common NameTomato, garden tomato
Scientific NameSolanum lycopersicum
Days to Harvest50-100, depending on the variety
LightFull sun
Water1-2” per week
PestsAphids, spider mites, whiteflies
DiseasesEarly blight, late blight

Tomato Planting in a Raised Bed

Tomato Planting Raised Bed.jpg

When to Plant

There are numerous approaches to achieving tomato seed germination. A few weeks before the last frost, sow seeds indoors under grow lights. When your tomatoes reach at least 4 inches in height and the temperature at night stays at or above 50 degrees, it’s time to harden off your plants in preparation for planting them in the garden.

Raised beds allow you to extend your growth season because the soil there tends to warm up more quickly than in-ground beds. It is possible to protect young plants from weather-related harm by using a cold frame.

Where to Plant

A good raised bed allows you to arrange plants exactly where they should be. Tomatoes require full sun exposure and may benefit from some sort of wind block. To ensure that your trellis or tomato cage doesn’t unintentionally shade other plants, think about where it will work best.

An elevated bed makes it possible to grow tomatoes practically anywhere, which is a great advantage.

Your best option might be an elevated garden bed if all you have is a concrete patio. Put some premium dirt on top of it and let it grow any way you want! If you’re renting, cover the concrete with a sheet of plastic to prevent soil stains.

How to Plant

You must plant your tomatoes with supports in place. This becomes very crucial as your tomato plant gets bigger!

Another problem is the distance between tomatoes. Tomato plants need to be separated by around 18 inches to allow their roots to extensively expand. With one plant in each corner, a 4′ by 4′ raised bed should offer enough space for four plants to thrive.

As the tomatoes develop more roots along the stem, plant them deeply. Your raised bed should have a minimum depth of 12″. The tomato plants will have an easier time absorbing moisture from the soil in your raised bed the more roots they develop along their stems.

Tomatoes Plant Care

Tomatoes Plant Care.jpg

Tomatoes are surprisingly low-maintenance plants that thrive. Your most time-consuming tasks will be preparing garden soil or performing other preceding planning. Join us as we explore the ideal growing conditions for tomatoes!

Sun and Temperature

Tomatoes thrive when they receive eight hours or more of direct sunlight each day. Temperatures between 70°F and 85°F are ideal for tomatoes. If it is over 90 °F in the afternoon, they will benefit from a shade cloth until the temperature drops.

Tomatoes can be grown in USDA zones 3 through 10, though they can tolerate prolonged cold below 60 °F. Until the weather warms up in your garden, a cold frame can help protect early-season plants from winter harm. Cover tomato cages with plastic to construct a makeshift cold frame that will protect tender plants from abrupt frost.

Water and Humidity

The earlier in the morning that you water the tomato plants, the better, as this will help them dry out if their foliage becomes damp. Water with a soaker hose or drip irrigation at the base of the plant.

Since most raised beds employ a well-draining soil combination, yours drains more quickly than an in-ground bed. You might, therefore, need to water more regularly.

You will undoubtedly need to add more moisture in the summer to keep the plants from drying out. The moisture content of your soil should be your guide when aiming for 1-2 inches of water every week.


Rich, fertile, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter is what tomato plants require. Start with sandy loam and add more organic matter to help retain moisture, or use a ready-made raised bed mix that has everything your plants need to thrive. You may also make your ready-made mix better by blending in some compost.

Soil that ranges in pH from 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal for tomatoes because it is somewhat acidic. Every year, test your soil to find out what nutrients it lacks and how to add amendments for the following year.

Good crop rotation is advised, especially in raised bed gardens, as common tomato fungi that may be present in the soil will have time to disappear.


When you first plant tomatoes on an elevated bed, fertilize them. Later in the growing season, when plants begin to set fruit, for best results, start with a high nitrogen fertilizer (10–5) and then transition to a high phosphorus and potassium fertilizer later on for fruiting.

Raised beds work best with organic granular fertilizers that release slowly. Throughout the growth season, tomatoes usually require regular fertilization, particularly if your soil isn’t rich. Examine the manufacturer’s suggestions and adjust them to fit the demands of your garden.

Pruning & Training

Tomato plants require pruning. In raised beds, vegetables tend to be closer to one another than they would be in the ground. You must ensure that there is sufficient aeration. If your plant isn’t getting enough air, diseases like blight can spread throughout it.

Remove the lowest leaves from the tomato plant as it grows. To reduce the need for additional cutting, it is usually advisable to remove suckers. Suckers are easy and quick to remove from gardens, so regular gardening maintenance should involve keeping an eye out for them.

Plant ties are used to secure garden plants to cages or trellises. To offer your plant support, space the fruit that is bearing fruit about one to one and a half feet apart.



You can be sure that your plant is experiencing problems; this is a common part of growing tomatoes. To protect your harvest in the future, let’s discuss some of the things you should prepare for.

Growing Problems

Problems can arise from both excessive and insufficient watering. Fungal root rot and tomato splitting might result from an excess of water.

If there is insufficient water, the plant will become less healthy and vigorous, and its fruit production will decrease. Serious withering could also result from insufficient water during the summer. When tomatoes reach temperatures above 90°F, they may lose their blossoms. Overall, your production will be reduced.

Plant development can be aided, and yellow flowers may be saved from dying off in the summer by using shade cloth. For the best defence against your tomato blossoms, look for anything that offers at least 40% shadow.


Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites all feed on plant sap. For these two annoying insects, neem oil or insecticidal soap are effective solutions. Many pests in infestations can be eliminated with pyrethrum. Additionally, handling these keeps them from interacting with other vegetables!

Nematodes called “root knots” reside in the soil and consume roots. Yellowing foliage may be a clue to their presence, yet the only evident symptom of them is in the root system, where large nodules grow as the plant tries to heal itself. Beneficial nematodes will eat them in their underground home, stopping the harm that root-knot nematodes do.


The fungus known as “early blight” can cause bullseye patches, yellowing leaves, and stem lesions in fruit. Crop rotation, resistant cultivars, and good plant care can help prevent this disease. If it appears, you can treat it with an OMRI-rated copper fungicide.

Septoria leaf spot is a fungus that produces yellowing leaves with tiny dark dots. Due to spores splattering up from the ground, it normally starts low on the plant and is more prevalent in environments that encourage late blight.

Similar circumstances may also encourage the development of a bacterial spot caused by Xanthomonas species. While these issues can be successfully addressed with copper fungicides, proactive measures will keep them at bay.


In what size raised bed—a 4 by 4—can I grow tomatoes?

In a 4′ by 4′ raised bed, you may plant four tomatoes—one in each corner. There should be roughly 18 inches between each tomato.

What is the ideal depth for a tomato garden-raised bed?

The ideal depth is 12 inches or more. This provides plenty of room for deep planting, which promotes stronger root growth.


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