I have alloted two 6 x 8 foot raised beds for tomatoes this year. For each of the last two years I have planted beds this size with 12 tomatoes each, giving them a nice 4 square feet to grow in.
Most of the tomatoes I have grown have used all this space and I felt like I made the right choice. Last year though, I grew a whole bed of “Big Mama” hybrid paste tomatoes and they were SCRAWNY. I could have probably put 30 of them in the bed instead of 12.
Was it the variety? Was it my growing conditions last year? Do all paste tomatoes grow on scrawny sickly plants? I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll push it to 15 plants per bed this year for the paste tomatoes. I won’t be growing ‘Big Mama’ again, but I do have ‘Amish Paste’ and ‘Heinz 2653’ this year.