Tomato Grow-A-Long

The Tomato (Solanaceae lycopersicum) originate from Central and South America. they are tender plants that cannot be grown outside until all danger of frost has passed. even then, they need to be grown in a warm sheltered location. It’s better to start seeds later than to produce leggy rootbound plants.

Stressed plants will have stunted growth and yield will be reduced.

The easiest place to start with tomatoes especially if you don’t have a lot of greenhouse space, is to grow bush varieties in containers.

The draw back with bush varieties is that you get lots and lots of fruits but over a shorter time than cordon grown varieties. I simply split my seeds into 2 sowings, one now and another in about a months’ time. This gives me fresh tomatoes all the way until the end of the season.

Tomatoes need to be kept above 5°C so you may need to sow and grow them indoors initially.

To help prevent leggy seedlings (leggy Linda’s) you can create a simple foil reflector.

Kitchen Garden update LATE APRIL

Potting on our Tomatoes.

Starting Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) .

Tomato Pollination

A a well-ventilated location is essential for successful pollination. Tomatoes are self-pollenated. You need low humidity, gentle breeze and insects buzzing around. You can help things along by gently tapping or shaking flowers to aid pollen drop and setting.

That’s what the insects are doing, gently loosening the pollen so it drops. However, if conditions are allowed to boil over in the greenhouse, the pollen will get wet and too sticky to drop.

Tomato Pollination

It’s late June and we are just checking in our Tomatoes.

My biggest piece of advice is to water tomatoes regularly and consistently.

Problems occur when plants are allowed to dry out and are then over watered as compensation. This can cause ‘blossom end rot’ and ‘fruit splitting’.

Sometimes blossom end rot is quoted as a ‘calcium deficiency.’ this is technically true.

The lack of water has meant that critical nutrients (i.e. Calcium) have been unable to reach the plant – water is the transport system for nutrients. No water = no calcium.