Tomato, mozzarella and basil is a combination that is hard to resist. Home grown tomatoes, with their distinctive, aromatic flavour, and freshly picked basil – now that’s pure pleasure! Whether you grow tomatoes in the greenhouse, on the patio or in window boxes – anywhere that it is sunny you can reap delicious, organic, high quality produce.
Experienced gardeners can start growing tomatoes from March, simply place the seeds in a peat free soil on a window sill and water gently. Make sure the seeds don’t dry out. Once they become larger and need more space gently transfer them into small pots. Beginners can buy seedlings from mid-May from garden centres or the local nursery. On a sheltered balcony you can even start planting tomatoes in late April.
Beef tomatoes need a planting space of approximately 60 x 90 cm. Create a hole as large as possible and place into it some peat free soil along with a dose of Neudorff Organic Multipurpose Plant Food. Next place the tomato plant in the hole alongside an empty pot. The empty pot allows for the plant to be watered via the pot, preventing the soil around the tomato plant being washed away. Finally fill the planting hole with peat free soil mixed with the soil that was removed when creating the hole. Water the plants after planting. In the following weeks, use the liquid Organic Tomato Feed.
Tomatoes in pots
Regular tomatoes can be grown easily in 10 L containers. To do this first place a little peat free soil and some Neudorff Organic Multipurpose Plant Food into the base of the container. Then place the tomato seedling deeply into the earth as this allows the stem to form additional roots. This facilitates improved nutrition of the plant which results in improved growth and yield. Finally fill the container to the top with peat free soil and press down lightly. To aid the plants growth place a cane in the soil alongside the tomato shoot and bind them together. When doing this let in some air around the cane to allow the stems to grow more thickly. When growing in a greenhouse or on a roofed patio you can also attach a string to the ceiling so that the tomato stem will then grow up and around it and reach an even more impressive size.
Sun loving tomatoes are among the most nutrient dependent of all fruit and vegetables. This means they require a lot of nutrients to ensure that the fruits ripen well. Since there is no chance of fertiliser burn on the roots when using Neudorff Organic Multipurpose Plant Food it is highly beneficial to use this product at the point of planting the tomato seedling or plant. Further fertilisation is needed in July when the first truss has set.
1. First time guide for beginners:
- From March: germinate seeds in a propagator in a small amount of peat free soil on a sunny window sill or
- From mid-May: buy tomato seedlings from your local garden centre or nursery
2. Growing location:
- A sunny and as rain protected area as possible on the patio or in a flower bed.
- The space required per plant is approximately 60 x 90 cm.
- Set a cane into the soil and wind the tomato shoot around it.
- Use peat free soil in the planting hole
- Insert the plant
- Fill up the hole with further peat free soil
4. The right fertiliser:
- Organic Multipurpose Plant Food or Organic Tomato Feed
- And, very importantly, regular watering! During the hot summer months this should be done daily.
5. Remain vigilant of pests and disease, for example:
- Late blight: very common, especially during humid summers. Ensure leaves that are brown in colour with greyblack spots are quickly removed.
6. Snapping off side shoots:
- Ensure that side shoots are snapped off (see below).
Sun loving tomatoes are among the most nutrient dependent of all fruit and vegetables. This means they require a lot of nutrients to ensure that the fruits ripen well. Since there is no chance of fertiliser burn on the roots when using Neudorff Organic Tomato Feed it is highly beneficial to use this product at the point of planting the tomato seedling or plant. Further fertilisation is needed in July when the first truss has set.
Tomatoes form where a leaf grows from the stem and a new shoot is created. If you allow this urge to grow go unhindered your plant will quickly form a tomato jungle. This will then make connecting the various shoots to the support cane very difficult, resulting in them breaking quickly once they begin to bear fruit. Also, the more shoots a tomato plant has the smaller the fruit will be and the less ripe it will become due to the reduced level of sunlight that may pass through the thicket of leaves and shoots. To prevent this you must ’snap’ the tomato shoots regularly. Grasp the tender new shoot next to the main stem and break it off horizontally. Do not use a knife or scissors as shoots may continue to grow from the remaining stump.