PENTLAND PLANTS BLOG

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How to grow Tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes

How to grow

If you have a green house or conservatory especially with heat then you can start your crop off earlier otherwise you will need to wait u til the weather warms up. For outdoors crops try gardeners delight or moneymaker or a hanging basket variety like tumbler.

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Everyone knows about tomato grow bags and they are absolutely fine but I like to use a large pot filled with good quality multipurpose compost and add some controlled release fertiliser. For the cordon varieties you will need to tie a piece of string to something above and below the plant so it is tight and then twist it round the stem as it grows. Pinch out side shoots as the plant grows up. For the Bush and hanging varieties you don’t need to do this.

Water regularly and liquid feed with tomato fertiliser once you see flowers forming. Start picking once they ripen and change colour, don’t worry if you have a glut later in the summer, tomatoes freeze well! 

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Common problems

Irregular watering can cause :

Blossom end rot, a dark patch at the base of the fruit

Blossom drop where the flower buds fall off

Dry set when the fruits stop growing when very small

Splitting fruit 

Too much strong sunlight can cause:

Green back, leaving ripe fruit with a hard green patch

Blotches, scalds or spots

Use fleece to shade the plants 

Pests

Look out for green and white fly because both can spread viruses. Spray your vines with a recommended insecticide as soon as you notice pests. Organic gardeners might prefer to plant marigolds nearby which attract beneficial insects that eat pests.

Leaf problems

Curling leaves. May be caused by aphids sucking the sap from them, but if there's no sign of insects the most likely culprit is cold night-time temperatures (more noticeable in early summer). If this is the case, it's nothing to worry about. 

Leaf yellowing starting on older leaves and moving upwards. The problem could be a magnesium deficiency which is easy to remedy with a special magnesium feed.

Click here  to watch a video on growing tomatoes from our seed supplier Thompson and Morgan

https://youtu.be/CPdKic3pohE

Growing Potatoes

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