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Gardening With Kids: Tips for Planting Tomatoes

Tips for planting tomatoes with kids, especially in climates where you can get surprise cold snaps in spring.

tomato plants

It’s too cold to plant outside in Massachusetts, but yesterday we got a start on our gardening by planting some tomato plants. I hope the kids gather fresh flowers to decorate their box of plants every day!

Gathering Spring flowers

It always amazes me that tiny seeds can grow to be tall tomato plants!

tomato seeds

And Johnny’s love of the outdoors always thrills me! This boy loves nature!

Grateful to be outside!

Tips for Planting Tomatoes

Here’s another cool handy tip if you live in a cold climate like Massachusetts and don’t have a greenhouse. You can use tomato cages and simply wrap greenhouse plastic around them. You can pick up both of these for pretty cheap at your garden supplies store, and it can keep your tomatoes just a little bit warmer.

This method certainly is not a substitute for a greenhouse, but it can help you get through those surprise cold snaps that tend to pop up in early spring in northern areas.

How to Use Tomato Cages and Greenhouse Plastic to Protect Tomatoes

Tomato cages are a very space-efficient way to grow tomatoes.

First, stick your tomato cage in the ground so that it surrounds your tomato plant. Wrap greenhouse plastic around the cage from top to bottom and secure it however is convenient for you. One good way is to use a bit of garden twine.

This method works best in places that get a bit more sun, since the plastic will have more heat to retain.

More Tips for Planting Tomatoes

That’s just one tip, but you still need to get the basics right, so check out this handy graphic from Sproutabl’s guide to planting and caring for tomatoes:

How to plant and grow tomatoes

More Gardening Ideas for Families

Gardening activities for families to enjoy together.

If all goes well, these plants will be growing well by Earth Day, April 22nd! Do you have special plans to celebrate? Do you have any more tips for planting tomatoes and growing tomatoes to share? Please share in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram – I would love to see photos of this activity if you try it with your kids! 

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

26 thoughts on “Gardening With Kids: Tips for Planting Tomatoes”

  1. We leave our tomato planting up to my dad. He gets them started and then he brings one tomato plant up and plants it in a large container on our side deck. He even sets up the cage for it to vine. All I have to do is walk outside and pick ;)

    1. Snow in April in the UK?! Freezing temperatures are still very common here, so our tomato seeds have to live inside. I am hoping to try some peas (which, I believe, are supposed to be quite hardy?) outside – this afternoon or tomorrow!

  2. Elisa | blissfulE

    Yea! Good luck, little tomato seeds! They should start out well in such a beautifully decorated home. :)

  3. Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

    I really must try some planting with my girl, we got the weeding done on the weekend, that was a start :)

    1. Fresh basil must make amazing pizza sauce! Maybe we’ll try planting some – thanks for the inspiration :)

  4. Aleacia @ Dilly-Dali Art

    we planted tomatoes in our garden too! Can’t wait for some yummy tomato sandwiches

  5. My kids are all over me to plant a garden…I am horrible at getting a garden to survive..but I think we will attempt a small one…and some flowers!

  6. I don’t have Earth Day plans yet, but I am doing a plant unit this week! We are planting Tickleme plants! If your kids love plants, you should think about planting these. Have you ever heard of them?

    1. Maine is so beautiful!!!

      I meant to plant peas today, but spent too long clearing out our flower bed. Hopefully tomorrow! Garden fresh sugar snap peas are my favorite!

  7. We also plan to plant more things before Earth Day. I am looking forward to better weather – it’s been surprisingly rainy, windy and cold here lately.

  8. We haven’t tried tomatoes from seeds yet. We haven’t had too much luck the last three year with our not-so-sunny garden spot behind our carport (biggest yield = 3 beefy tomatoes). We’re trying hanging and potted plants this year for our small apartment space. J got so excited about his sunflowers (his new “pets”). They sprouted within 2 days of planting and are doing really well for an almost three year old taking responsibility for them. It’s so fun to see their excitement about growing something.

  9. We started our tomato plants recently too. I forget how much fun the kids have planting seeds and when the first one sprouted it was really exciting news at our house.

    1. We should have started ours a couple weeks ago – better late than never, hopefully! It is fun how excited they get!

  10. I’d love to see the tomato plants – all grown up and tall – by April 22! :-)
    We have many more small projects coming up including lots of nature walks.
    We went for one yesterday early morning and came back absolutely recharged!

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