Weeding Tomatoes: How to Control Weeds in the Tomato Garden

If weeding is your least-favorite garden chore, grow tomatoes. Weeding tomatoes is rarely a headache for the tomato gardener. Here’s why!

Before setting tomato plants out

Preparing your soil is an excellent preventative measure against weeds. When you till or cultivate the area in which you will plant tomatoes, remove weeds and debris.

Weeding tomatoes in the early season

Tomatoes are set out in the garden fairly close together, about 24-30” apart. (Follow these steps to plant tomatoes in your garden.)

Many gardeners find that these first few weeks are the only time they pull weeds around their tomato plants. Because tomato plants are still small, there is enough room in between them for weeds to emerge. The tomato patch isn’t too crowded yet, and you can get in between plants to pull weeds.

But you’ll only have to do so for a short time. Mulch your tomatoes when they have been in the ground for 3-5 weeks. Mulching tomato plants keeps down weeds.

Tomatoes in straw with Tomato Dirt

Weeding in mid- to late-season

Tomatoes grow rapidly. Before you know it (within a few weeks), the space in between plants fills in. Soon, the dense foliage blocks and smothers weeds. Healthy tomato plants actually prevent the need to weed!

If you find weeds spring up between your more mature tomato plants, cultivate around the base with a hoe. Work the soil only deep enough to kill the weeds, being careful not to damage the plant’s root system.

See more about controlling weeds on our Pinterest board.

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