How Many Tomato Plants in A 4×8 Raised Bed?

​Last updated: ​9/9/20

I had always found planting veggies fascinating. However, when it came to planting tomato plants, I was a little lost. I needed to know how many tomato plants in a 4×8 Raised Bed. 

The truth is that it was either I knew all about spacing them, or I recorded poor yields. So, I did some research, and here’s what I found.  

If you have a 4×4 raised bed, you can have as much as five plants. You’ll have four arranged at the edges and the fifth within the center. However, while you could do more with a 4×8 raised bed, it depends on various factors.

In this post, I’ll tell all about spacing and growing tomatoes in a 4×8 raised bed.

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Spacing Tomato Plants in A 4×8 Raised Bed Tips

If you’re looking to space your tomato plant in a raised bed, you’ll need to check out your plant tags. Also referred to as seed packets, it usually provides spacing recommendations. 

However, generally, you can get as much as eight tomatoes within a 4×8 raised bed. This is because usually, you’ll need between 4 to 6 square feet for your vegetables, depending on its type. And a 4×8 raised bed provides you with 32 square feet. 

On the other hand, a 4×4 raised bed provides 16 feet, meaning you can get almost five there.

However, this isn’t always the best for all types of tomatoes.

I have realized that your tomato type plays a prominent role in your spacing.

Let me show you.

Indeterminate Tomatoes 

When it comes to indeterminate tomatoes, they are those that grow for a more extended period. With them, your plants can grow as high as 12 feet. 

Also, they don’t provide yield immediately. If you’re looking to choose indeterminate tomatoes, you’ll have beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, Sungold tomatoes, and Brandywine tomatoes.

tomato plants raised bed

For you to space them, you’ll need to go for spacing of 3 to 4 feet. As such, you’ll need to shoot for around 36 to 48 inches of space between your tomatoes. I recommend you combine this spacing with trellis and cages.

As such, you’ll only be able to grow four indeterminate plants in a 4×4 raised bed. On the other hand, you can get as much as 6 in a 4×8 raised bed.

You should, however, know that when I allowed my plants sprawl, the number reduced. In such cases, you’ll get maybe three plants for a 4×4 raised bed and five plants for a 4×8 raised bed.

Determinate Tomatoes 

When it comes to determinate tomatoes, they are those that yield their fruits in a short time. As such, they don’t get to grow all big compared to indeterminate plants. 

Also called bush plants, they hardly grow beyond 5 feet. For you to space them, you’ll need to go for a spacing of 2 to 2.5 feet. Again, although trellis and cages are a choice, I recommend them. 

So, with determinate tomatoes, you get more vegetables in your raised bed. For instance, in a 4×4 raised bed, you can get as much as six plants. On the other hand, in a 4×8 raised bed, you get as much as eight tomatoes.

Growing Tomatoes in A 4×8 Raised Bed

Just last year, I got quite lazy and didn’t pay so much attention to my plants. Well, the results weren’t the best. I bet you want to avoid this and enjoy a high yield.

Thanks to my experience, I’ve learned some things, and I’ve got some tips to help you. 

So, are you looking to get the best yields from your tomatoes in a raised bed? Here are some things to note.

1. Soil Selection 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about growing tomatoes, it’s that the soil matters. So, you’ll need to ensure your soil is one that’s suitable for tomato growth.

You’ll need a soil that has a pH between 6 and 7 and one with good drainage. So, get some soil tests performed to ensure that your land is fit.

Also, if you’re using a 4×4 raised bed, ensure that you fertilize your plants regularly. This is because tomatoes require essential nutrients. Also, I recommend you go with organic fertilizers.

2. Stake Your Plants Carefully and Early Enough

You’ll need to remember that the subsoil under your raised bed can be quite demanding. And this becomes relevant when you’re trying to cage your plant.

As such, you’ll need to place your cage’s leg into the ground carefully. Also, avoid rushing and place each leg at a time. Then, ensure you put them deep enough.

Also, remember that it’s never too early to start. And while you might be thinking that your plants are too small, you’re mistaken. My experience shows that’s the best time.

Usually, when I wait too long, I tend to snap off some limbs or damage the plant. As such, you would want to get it done as soon as possible.

raised bed tomato plants

3. Don’t Water from Above

You’ll need to water your plants regularly. However, you’ll need to avoid watering these plants from the top. This is because doing this will mean your roots don’t get enough water.

As such, take your time and ensure you get your roots all watered. This way, you can also avoid splashing water on your leaves, which might cause soil-borne diseases.

For you to do this effectively, it would be best to install an irrigation system. This way, you can deliver water to your plant’s base directly.

4. Pinch Regularly 

You’ll need to do away with suckers if you want to maintain healthy growth in your raised beds. So, those new growths between your branches and stem, ensure you cut them off immediately. 

You can easily pinch them using your fingers. This way, you can avoid unruly branches in the future. 

5. Rotate the Tomato Crops

Another thing you might want to keep in mind while growing tomatoes in a raised bed are crop rotation. It’s always a great idea to change where you plant something every two years.

This is because various plants consume different nutrients. And changing the plant location means you can maintain a healthy consumption of soil nutrients.

The great thing about this tip is that it comes easily. Thanks to the fact that you’re using a raised bed, you can always track plant locations each year.

6. Clean-Up by Season End

Just like the saying that everything comes to an end, your planting season won’t last forever. However, during this period, you still have one crucial task to perform. And that’s to clean up your raised bed.

Usually, from my experience, you’ll have some rotten and unripe tomatoes in your compost. Although tempting to lazy away, you shouldn’t. You’ll need to ensure you clean them up.

This way, they don’t decompose and make your raised bed unhealthy for the next season.

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Final Thoughts

Finding the right spacing for your tomato plants is extremely important. And this is especially important when it comes to raised beds, whether 4×4 or 4×8. 

Unfortunately, you’ll find various misinformation about spacing online. You don’t want to use them and mess up your tomato garden. 

So, follow through with my guide and be sure to get yourself a bountiful jungle of tomatoes.

Related Questions

  • What Can I Plant in A 4×8 Raised Bed? – There are loads of things you can plant, and you’ll only need to revert to your grocery list to have an idea. You can plant various veggies such as lettuce, spinach, onions, carrots and bees, and of course, tomatoes.
  • How Far Apart Do You Plant Tomatoes in A Raised Bed?– You’ll need to ensure your plants have between 18 and 24 inches of space between them when growing plant tomatoes in a raised bed. And this is to ensure that they get the light they require to thrive.
  • How Many Vegetables Can You Plant in A 4×4 Raised Bed? – If you’re looking to ensure the optimal growth of your vegetables, then five tomatoes should do the trick. However, you can always get as much as six plants, depending on your tomato-type.
Green Thumb Gardener
tomato plants in raised beds
Jeremy Starke

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