Tomatoes - Indoor
To reduce the risk of root pests and other soil diseases tomatoes are best grown in ring culture, growbags or planting into 9” pots filled with compost. Tomatoes can also be grown in border soil. Prepare the soil in winter, dig in peat and a small amount of compost and manure. Rake in Growmore fertiliser shortly before planting. This only works if soil is either sterile or changed regularly.
Sowing TimeHeated greenhouse February-March. Cold greenhouse April-May.
Crop Care? Mist plants and tap the supports occasionally to aid pollination and fruit set. Ventilation is essential in summer – shade the glass with cool-grass when the temperature reaches 80°F. When plants have reached the top of the greenhouse or when 7 trusses have set, remove the tip at 2 leaves above the top truss. Feed with a soluble feed or liquid tomato food every time you water and do not allow the growbags to dry out
HarvestingPick fruits when they are ripe and fully covered. Hold the tomato in your palm and with your thumb break off the fruit at the knuckle (swelling on the stalk).
Tomatoes - Outdoor
Outdoor tomatoes are a tender crop so choose a warm spot in front of a southfacing wall if you can. During winter dig thoroughly and incorporate garden compost plus peat. Shortly before planting, rake in a general fertiliser e.g. Growmore. If you are short of space tomatoes can be grown in containers or bags on the patio or balcony. Plants will need more water and feed if grown this way.
Crop Care. If an upright (cordon) variety is grown loosely tie the stem to the cane. Make the ties at 12” intervals as the plant grows. Side shoots will appear where the leaf stalks join the stem. Pinch them out when they are about 1” long. Remove yellowing leaves below fruit trusses as the season progresses. Don’t overdo the de-leafing process. Water regularly in dry weather to keep soil moist. Alternating dryness with flooding will cause blossom end rot or fruit splitting. Feed regularly with a tomato fertiliser. When small tomatoes have developed on the 4th truss (fruiting stem) remove the tip at 2 leaves above this truss.