July 31, 2008

Grow your own Tomatoes 2008

Week commencing 28 July 2008:
The Plum tomatoes are doing pretty well, still got a while to go before they're big and ripe enough to pick.

Spotted a bad one and looked up the problem in my book and it's called Blossom End Rot which is caused by the soil drying out, so have to make sure they get lots of water!

Week commencing 23 June 2008:
The plant seems to be doing really well and now has quite a few flowers. I've been feeding it with tomato food about once a week and keeping it watered with a water bottle spike. However it looks like it needs some attention, so being the inexperienced gardener I am (you could say I'm green!), I've read my Vegetable and Herb Expert book and searched online for advice on what I should do next.
Here's what I've learnt:
  • If growing a cordon type plant (grows upwards) pinch out (remove) the sideshoots regularly when they are about 2.5cm long. Those grown as bush or hanging basket types do not need to have sideshoots removed.
  • When the plant has 4 trusses (branches of flowers) pinch out the growing point of the main stem at two leaves above the top truss. By this stage you should have plenty of fruits forming that need to grow and ripen. Let the plant put all its energy into these potentially succulent fruits.
  • Remove yellowing leaves below developing fruit trusses.
I found this video which was really helpful in explaining what to do: http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-prune-tomatoes

Week commencing 28 April 2008:
Last year we grew cherry tomatoes which were a bit disappointing taste-wise so we only used them in cooking. This time we bought a Plum tomato plant so hopefully we can use them to make some nice tomato sauces.


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