The one requirement needed for growing tomatoes is sunshine. They are,tender plants and will not stand any frost, and if grown without protection they need a warm sheltered site – a south-facing wall or fence is ideal.
Well-cultivated soils improved by the addition of well-rotted manure are best for tomatoes. Any proprietaryin containers or grow bags is ideal.
These varieties are grown on a single. They must be
trimmed, supported and stopped after the fourth truss has
set, so as to hasten ripening before the autumn frosts.
Early ripening, heavy cropper, good flavour.
Cherry-sized fruits, delicious flavour, heavy cropper.
A heavy cropper with bite-sized good flavoured tomatoes.
Marmande Large irregularly shaped fruits. Fleshy with few.
The bush varieties take two forms:
1. A 30 – 75 cm (1 – 2 ½ inch) bush.
2. Creeping plants less than 27 cm (10-½ inch) tall. They require no stopping, supporting or trimming. Can be difficult to harvest as the fruits tend to be hidden.
Small compact bush. Small fruits of good flavour.
Early cropper, excellent fruit flavour.
45 cm (1 ½ inch) bush produces medium-sized tomatoes. Heavy cropper.
Vigorous, high-yielding and with good disease resistance.
A dwarf bush variety. Cherry-like fruits which are bright red and seedless.
An interesting way to grow small-fruited varieties is in a hanging basket. ‘Tiny Tim’ and ‘Whipper-Snapper are ideal for this purpose. Plant 3 plants in a 40 cm (16 inch) diameter hanging basket.
Sow the seeds indoors in March/April. If youtoo soon the plants are likely to be checked from cold, as you may be forced to plant out when the night temperature is still below 10°C (50°F). Use a good compost, and sow seeds approximately 12 – 25 mm (½ – 1 inch) apart.
Prick outindividually into 87 mm (3 ½ inch) full of compost such as J.I. No. 1 ( when the first 2 seed have unfolded). The plants should be 15 – 22.5 cm (6 – 9 inch) high when planted out. You should aim to produce short, sturdy, dark green plants. Avoid drawn plants.
The soil should be well-cultivated; add to it well-rotted manure, e.g. J.I. base at 135 gm/sq.m (4 oz/sq.yd).
Plant in late May in early areas and early June elsewhere. Insure that the plants are well hardened off. Space the plants 45 cm (18 inch) apart and 75 cm (30 inch) between rows.
Start toevery 10 – 14 days when the plants start fruiting. Equal parts of dried blood and sulphate of potash make a good top dressing. There are many proprietary tomato fertilisers available, e.g. Bio liquid Tomato Food.
Water regularly and avoid allowing the soil to dry out. This will cause blossom – end rot or fruit splitting.
Support and stopping (cordon varieties)
Cordons will need support. A 120 cm (4) cane or stake is ideal. Remove every sideshoot which forms at the joint betweenand . If these sideshoots are not removed, they will tend to grow away vigorously at the expense of the adjacent flower truss.
Bush Variety Routine Work
Mulching with straw or plastic sheeting helps to keep the bottom fruits clean and keeps the surfacecool and moist.
Pick the fruits when they are ripe and fully coloured.
PESTS AND DISEASES
/ Whitefly Leave a black sticky mould on and fruits. Spray with , e.g. resmethrin. (Predators are available for use under glass.)
Western flower thrip Predators are available for use under glass.
Blight Especially bad in wet weather. Eventually kills foliage. Spray with Dithane, repeat spray every 2 weeks.
Grey mould Usually starts on damaged area of plant. Infected flower stalks cause fruit drop. Cut out diseased areas and dust with carbendazim. Avoid overcrowding, remove decaying leaves and fruits.