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Tomato growing – 10 top tips

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Potter & Rest
Here are our top 10 tips for tomato growing at home:

1. If you are starting tomatoes from seed, be sure to give the seedlings room. Close conditions inhibit their growth, so transplant them as soon as they get their first true leaves and move them into suitable pots about two weeks after that.

2. Tomato seedlings need strong, direct sunlight.

3. Tomatoes love heat. Cover the planting area with black or red plastic a couple of weeks before you intend to plant. Those extra degrees of warmth will translate into earlier tomatoes.

4. When planting them, bury them up to a maximum of the lowest pair of leaves. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stems.

5. Use a grow bag to plant tomatoes. The bags are packed with fresh, sterile compost and are ready to use as planting containers. Simply transfer plants into the bags in May or June.

6. Mulch after the ground has had a chance to warm up. Mulching does conserve water and prevents the soil and soil born diseases from splashing up on the plants, but if you put it down too early it will also shade and therefore cool the soil.

7. Once the tomato plants are about 8cm tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1’ of stem. These are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems.

8. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavour to your tomatoes.

9. Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant into concentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop their blossoms and possibly their fruit.

10. Use a tomato feed such as Tomorite. If the plant is in a greenhouse when the first truss (vine) of tomato has set, feed at alternate waterings. Increase to twice a week when the second truss has set. For tomatoes planted outdoors when the second truss has set feed the plant every seven to 14 days. In growbags feed tomatoes once a week.
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