August 15, 2010

Grow your own Tomatoes 2010

Tomato SeedsPLANT: ‘Gardener’s Delight’ Cherry Tomato
TYPE: Cordon/Indeterminate = remove side shoots

It is a very reliable and prolific greenhouse or outdoor type, with long trusses of sweet bite-sized fruits. Has gained the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the RHS.


Since I had so many seeds leftover from last year and I had relative success with the Gardener’s Delight variety, I decided to grow them again this year.

 

Sow under cover: February - April 26th Feb
Germination time: 7 – 14 days 7th Mar
Plant out: April - June  
Harvest: June - October  
Time from seed to plate: 65 days  

 

SOW:

  • Sow seeds thinly in seed trays or modules. Cover with a thin layer of compost and water carefully from underneath if possible.
  • Ideal temperature for germination is 18°C and when seedlings appear move to somewhere with bright light and a constant temperature of 21-27°C.

GROW:

  • When the 1st set of true leaves appear (after the initial pair of ‘seed’ leaves) and the plants are 10-15cm tall, transplant into small individual pots 5mm below the height of the ‘seed’ leaves.
  • Plant out 45cm apart when the plants are 20cm tall and they have flowers on the lowest truss.

CARE:

  • Feed weekly with high potash/tomato feed once first truss has set (flowers have formed fruits).
  • Water regularly, little and often.
  • Stake for support and pinch out sideshoots/growing tip.

HARVEST:

  • Leave on the vine until they are fully ripe and ready to eat.


Useful websites:
How To Prune Tomato Plants

March 7th:
07-03 Tomatoes sprouted









After I turned up the heating the tomatoes started to sprout.
March 13th:
13-03 Tomatoes The tomatoes are making good progress with the initial pair of ‘seed’ leaves opening up. I planted 2 seeds per module and as you can see both seeds have sprouted. So when I come to re-pot them I will separate them.




March 21st:
21-03 tomatoesThe tomatoes are coming along nicely and are starting to develop their first true leaves. Where there were 2 seeds that sprouted in 1 module I have cut down the weaker one. They’ve got a bit of growing to do before transplanting into individual pots.

 

 

 

 

APRIL 6TH:

06-04 Tomatoes 2

I finally transplanted all my seedlings into small pots as they’ve all developed true leaves and they were 10cm tall. I should have planted them in the compost 5mm below the height of the ‘seed’ leaves, but I had so many other seedlings to pot up and my legs and back were aching from crouching down (I really need a nice potting bench!) so I couldn’t be bothered to mess about getting the measurement right! I can always add a bit more soil later on if they need more support.

APRIL 15TH:

15-04 Tomatoes

The tomato seedlings are doing extremely well. They’re now roughly 12cm tall and they’re well on their way to reaching the right height for planting out (20cm) in June when they have formed flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY 1ST:

01-05 Tomatoes

The fastest growers of the month have to be the tomatoes. On April 26th the tallest ones were 20cm and now they’re 30cm. The smaller ones are 20cm and it’s interesting at the height difference, even though I’ve been treating them the same.

 

 

 

 

 

4th July:

04-07 toms

I knew I was far behind with my blogging but I didn’t realise my last post on the tomatoes was in May! I planted them out sometime in June but I haven’t fed them yet. I will do so later today as they have started to set fruit. I will need to take more photos of the plants as they look nothing like the photo I took in May!

 

 

 

 

 

6th July:

06-07 tomatoes

It’s really hard to take photos of my plants in our garden because there’s so much green stuff everywhere! No matter which angle I tried to take this photo there were trees or plants in the background and I couldn’t be bothered to move 3 tall plants (I would have probably broken them in half by accident) so I’m sorry it’s really difficult to see my tomato plants.

 

Here’s an update:

 

They are pretty tall and kept falling over on windy days. So I had to put in another supporting cane and tie the plant to it securely.

 

They didn’t look that healthy as some of the leaves were yellow and all curled up. So I started to feed them with tomato food and they looked a bit better.

 

I think the pots are too small as they dry out quite fast. I put a watering spike tube into the soil so that when I water them, it goes straight down to the roots. I removed all the lower leaves below the fruit trusses.

 

I’m not very happy with my tomato plants this year and I have a feeling I won’t get many fruits. But I will persevere and keep my (not-so-green) fingers crossed that I’ll get at least some I can make a salad with!

 

31st July:

31-07 TomatoesWell I was a bit premature in thinking that my tomato plants wouldn’t produce many fruits, as they’re all doing pretty well now. Each plant only has a couple of branches, but they’re full of fruits and one has started to turn red today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th August:

15 Aug Toms

I’ve eaten a couple of tomatoes that fell off and I allowed to ripen on the windowsill. They were very sweet and juicy, so I was looking forward to tasting the rest. But they don’t look particularly healthy right now. I’m not sure if it’s the vast amount of rain we’ve had in the last few days that has caused these brown spots on the fruit, or if they are diseased. The leaves are all curled up and have black spots on them (I should have taken a photo!) and I should really cut them off and dump them.

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