Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

The Right Way to Weed Your Tomato Garden

Weeding tomatoes gently with a hoe

When it comes to weeding, tomatoes are one of the easier crops for saving time and effort pulling up weeds.

Properly preparing your soil is an excellent preventive measure against the emergence of weeds. When you till or cultivate the area where you’ll plant tomatoes, remove weeds and debris. You’ll likely find that the first few weeks after planting are the only time you’ll be pulling up weeds in your tomato garden. After planting and initial weeding, place mulch no later than three to five weeks after planting to further deter weeds.

Once your tomato plants have started growing, the space in between plants will fill in—and that will smother most weeds. Healthy tomato plants actually prevent the need to weed!

If weeds come up between your more mature tomato plants during the season, work the soil around the base of the plants with a hoe—only deep enough to kill weeds and not damage the plant’s roots.

Do you have problems with weeds in your tomato garden? How do you handle weeding—and preventing weeds in the first place? Please tell us how you handle weeds in your tomato garden.

  • Shannon L.

    I wet newpapers and cover with well rotted wood chip mulch. This improves the land for future use. The next season my okra loves where the mulch enriched the land.

    • Norann O.

      Shannon – thanks for the tip. Newspaper is consider a high carbon source and the decomposed wood chips provide nitrogen and a few other micronutrients. Your okra obviously loves this combo.

      Happy Gardening!


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