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Growing Tomatoes (outdoor)

 

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Below are general guidelines for growing tomatoes including plant height to enable you to plan exactly where to place them when growing amongst other plants.

 

For detailed instructions on growing fruit plus in-depth articles on growing your own edible produce visit our sister site www.pots2plots.com or why not visit our gardening blog The Urban Gardener.

 

Plant Height

Approx 20-90cm/8 inches - 3ft depending on variety 

Time between sowing and harvesting

About 20 weeks

Sowing time

March - April - temperature   16-21C/60-70F

Where to Sow

Indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter filled with compost. 

How to Sow

3 seeds per pot - 2cm/3/4-inch deep. 

After Germination

Keep soil moist but not too wet.

Growing on - 

in Pots

Harden off plants and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. As the plants get bigger and develop good root balls, divide and pot individual plants up into larger pots in stages ending with one plant per 20cm/8" container (min) or 3 per growbag. Place in a warm sheltered sunny position. 

Growing on -

in open ground

As above but plant  in beds or borders 45cm/ 18" apart. 

Aftercare

Water regularly, but do not keep the compost very wet. Irregular watering may cause the fruit to split. Feed with tomato food once the fruit start to swell each time you water.

Tall/Cordon varieties will need staking,  tying the plants to the support at 20cm/8" intervals. Pinch out side shoots which will appear where the leaves join the stems, when they are about 2.5cm/1" long.   Once tomatoes have developed on 4 or 5 trusses, pinch out the growing tip.

Dwarf and bush varieties need little maintenance apart from feeding and watering as above. You may wish to cover the soil beneath the plants with polythene or straw to protect the fruit.

Harvesting

Pick fruit when ripe and fully coloured as and when they mature. Crops over about 8 weeks.

 

 

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