Harvesting fresh home gown tomatoes is a joy many look forward to every season. Even those new to gardening can expect a bumper crop in their first season with a few simple tips. All that is required is a position in full sun, a little T.L.C (Tomato Loving Care) and a vision on how you will enjoy the harvest.
5 Different Ways to Grow Tomatoes
- Hanging baskets – are a wonderful way to grow tomatoes. The advantages are: no staking or tying is needed; the fruit never get dirty from the soil as they dangle over the sides of the basket; and they are portable, so you can take them on holiday. Choose a large basket, the more root room the better, fill with Tui Tomato Mix and then plant. Suitable varieties: Tumbling Tom, Yellow Pear and Red Pear.
- In the garden – go mad and plant plenty, about 2 plants per person. Prepare the beds well prior to planting, allow 50-70 cm between each plant, and stake each plant at planting time. Suitable for all tomato varieties.
- In the bag – if you’re short on space, tomatoes can be planted directly into a bag of Tui Tomato Mix. The bag acts as the container. This mix has all the goodies in it to ensure tomatoes thrive. Before planting poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of the bag. Next cut open the top of the bag and jiggle around the mix so it sits flat, then plant a tomato in the top. Water and stake as per normal. One plant per bag is sufficient; unless you choose a dwarf variety and 2 or 3 can be planted, with the bag laid on its side.
- At the office – yes it can be done! Why not make it an office challenge? Select a position by a large window space in full sun, ideally wall to floor glass. Select a large container, at least 20-30 litres in capacity (3 times the size of a kitchen bucket), fill with Tui Tomato Mix, provide some sort of stake or strings for the tomato to climb up, and you are in business. Water 2-3 times a week. The smaller cherry tomato types, sweet 100 or the raisin tomato Tomaccio are ideal varieties, producing an abundant of tomatoes for months on end.
- In the greenhouse – the same principle apply here as to growing outdoors in garden beds. Prepare the soil well prior to planting, stake and maintain a good watering regime. Planting can commence as soon as the beds are ready, and harvest will be prolonged until winter. Be mindful that bees and other insect aid in pollination, so ventilation and other flowering food sources will be required.
Top tomato tips:
- Invest in your roots: Do the ground work before planting, blend in bags of Tui Super Sheep Pellets, Tui Tomato Mix and Tui Tomato Food. This will ensure your plants get off to the best possible start!
- Water: Well every second or third day, rather than a little very day.
- Seaweed: Apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic once a fortnight to tomatoes. This gives the plants a boost, promotes healthy vigorous growth and increases harvesting capacity.
- Bee Friendly: Bees and insects do a wonderful job at pollinating tomatoes, particularly when grown in a glasshouse where wind can’t really do the job.
- Support network: Tomatoes need staking to support the heavy stems of fruit. The trick is to put the stake in the ground or soil before planting where possible.
By Rachel Vogan