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Potato

Approaches to growing:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Supermarkets used to only stock thick-skinned, tasteless and often unripe tomatoes, selected for transporatability and shelf-life. Things are improving but for truly delicious tomatoes with that real tomato smell, nothing beats growing your own. However, growing tomatoes isn't for everyone. They originate in South America and so expect warmth and moisture. This means either a warm, sheltered spot outside on moisture-retentive soil and a watchful eye on watering or a greenhouse with the added watering demands that creates. And then there's the terminology. There are two growth habits - vine which is also called cordon or indeterminate; and bush or determinate. Vine tomatoes are normally grown in the greenhouse (but can be grown outside) and require support for the main stem, and pinching out side-shoots and the growing tip. Bush varieties are best suited to outdoors, requiring none of the pinching out and ripening earlier - but fruit can be harder to locate amongst the thicker foliage.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightok
Loamyprefer
Heavyok
pH6.0 - 6.8
Manure
Previous cropdislike
Previous autumnok
Before plantingprefer
Position
Full sunprefer
Partial shadedislike
Shadedislike
Exposure
Opendislike
Shelteredprefer

Greenhouse

sow indoors sow indoors

Sow two seeds on the surface of the compost in 7.5cm puts or large modules, removing the weaker seedling after germination. Keep the temperature above 16°C for germination and 21°C once seedlings emerge. Keep well watered.


plant plant

Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 90cm

Plant out into grow bags or the greenhouse border and tie main stem to a vertical cane or string as it grows. Pinch out any side shoots appearing between the main stem and the leaves as soon as they appear. Make sure insects can get to your plants as they are needed for pollination. When plants have set four or five trusses, remove the growing tip (to encourage the plant to ripen the fruit) and any foliage below the first truss as well as any yellowing leaves. Keep well-watered, little and often, to prevent splitting and feed fortnightly with a tomato feed or comfrey liquid.


harvest harvest

Pick tomatoes as they ripen, breaking off the small piece of flower stalk with them and eat immediately. At the end of the season, green fruit can be ripened next to a banana in a drawer (which gives of ethylene gas) or used for frying or chutney-making.


Outdoors

sow indoors sow indoors

Sow two seeds on the surface of the compost in 7.5cm puts or large modules, removing the weaker seedling after germination. Keep the temperature above 16°C for germination and 21°C once seedlings emerge. Keep well watered and harden off two weeks before planting, when first flowers begin to emerge.


plant plant

Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 90cm

Warm the soil up and/or cover with cloches for earlier planting out. Tie main stem of vine varieties to a vertical cane or string as it grows. Pinch out any side shoots appearing between the main stem and the leaves as soon as they appear. When plants have set four or five trusses, remove the growing tip (to encourage the plant to ripen the fruit) and any foliage below the first truss as well as any yellowing leaves. Bush varieties can just be left to grow. Keep well-watered, little and often, to prevent splitting and feed fortnightly with a tomato feed or comfrey liquid.


harvest harvest

Pick tomatoes as they ripen, breaking off the small piece of flower stalk with them and eat immediately. At the end of the season, green fruit can be ripened next to a banana in a drawer (which gives of ethylene gas) or used for frying or chutney-making.


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