Tomato plants should be set in the open ground with as little check in growth as possible. If properly grown and hardened, there should be practically no wilting or checking of growth when the transfer is made. Nothing is gained by exposing the plants to cool, frosty nights, for under such conditions they make very little growth, and there is a great risk of serious loss from hard frosts. The plants should be hardened as much as possible before setting in the open ground.
The proper planting distances should be determined by the productiveness of the soil, vigor of the variety to be grown and by the method of culture or system of training to be followed. In thin soils and with early varieties 3x3 feet apart will be satisfactory. In many soils 3 to 3 1/2 x 4 feet are good distances for early varieties ; 4 x 4 and 4x5 feet are common planting distances for late varieties. Even more space is often allowed in soils where a rank growth is secured.
The usual methods of transplanting are employed. In the canning districts transplanting machines are in common use.