Category: Tomato

Tomato – Tip 2

Our tomato plants are growing rapidly. With tomato plants you have to be careful not to let them grow out of control!

So, what you have to do is to remove any new little sprouting shoots in the already existing branch to stem junctions. This will promote the tomato plants to grow taller and focus their energy on producing tomatoes from one main stem only.

Sometimes keeping track of any side shoots which need pinching out can be tricky, as they grow very fast. Last year we had about three main branches on the tomato plants and they still produced well. So, don’t worry too much if some remain.

Tomato – Tip 1

Problem: A combination of cold weather and overwatering can lead to to inefficient uptake of nutrients (e.g. phosphorus):

Signs: Branches start curling downwards and inwards (look a bit like pig’s tails); leaf veins can have a purple hue, plants grow slowly.

Solutions: 

1. Keep your plants inside until there is no risk of frost anymore.

2. Before you place tomato plants (or any other plant) out permanently, harden them by putting them out for a few hours and then taking them in again (especially over night).

3. Once the plants have been planted outside you can use fleece, blankets or plastic to cover them. If you use plastic, make sure it doesn’t touch the plant.

I used old camping mats 😉

4. Cover the soil around the plants with mulch/bark. This will keep the soil warm, allowing more efficient nutrient uptake by plants.

5. Water thoroughly and deeply (you can insert a funnel or something else into the soil to let the water go deep, rather than just sit at the surface), but then let the soil dry out before watering the next time.

Tomato

Well, tomatoes have given us joy every single year! We have by now grown various different varieties: ‘Tomato Red Berry’ is a normal variety growing upright and we also grew by now ‘Tomato Garden Pearl’ and ‘Tomato Pear Drop’, which work well in hanging baskets. All varieties have worked a treat for us on the balcony and I highly recommend them. Tomatoes are definitely the fruits which clearly taste so much better when grown and picked fresh, compared to buying in shops. Therefore we will continue growing these and harvesting hundreds and hundreds of delicious fruits.

And oops: fewer photos of all the tomatoes we grew is probably due to us eating them more quickly than I can take pictures of them 😉

Instructions for a successful tomato crop:

1. Sow 2-3 seeds in small biodegradable pots (4-5cm ).

2. Mist the pots with water and cover with a piece of cling film (this helps create a slightly humid environment, which encourages germination).

3. Place the pots in a warm place.

4. Once the seedlings have appeared and are a few cm tall, pinch out the weaker ones or put into separate little pots.

5. Water the seedlings from the bottom, rather than from the top, to encourage deeper root growth.

6. Once the roots start coming through the bottom of the pot, re-pot into bigger pots (make sure you put chunks of polystyrene or pebbles at the bottom of the pot to facilitate good drainage – this is important to prevent root rot). If you used biodegradable pots initially, you can just put the entire little pot into the bigger pot and cover with new soil.

7. Once the tomato plants are larger you can use wooden skewers to prop them up.

8. Keep the plants growing inside until there is no risk of frost and night time temperatures aren’t too low (approx. mid May).