Tomatoes – potting on

I wrote a blog entry a month ago about the tomatoes we are growing – Tomatoes everywhere! They have been growing on well and have got some in the greenhouse and some nicely hardening off outside.

One of the things I have always been told is to bury tomatoes when you pot them on.  Usually, you try and keep the soil level the same when you pot on most plants but with tomatoes you can cover the stem as well.  Tomatoes put out adventitious roots from their stems.  This means that when you bury the root ball you get more roots and therefore stronger and healthier plants.

In the greenhouse, like millions of others, we use commercial grow bags but we use larger plastic plant pots with the bottoms cut out to bury the root balls and add a little more compost.  It also makes them easier to water.

I have recently seen a little chatter on line about trenching tomatoes.  Apparently, its a common way to plant tomatoes outside in the North America.  This extends the idea of burying the roots and really helps with leggy tomatoes.  The roots are closer to the surface and therefore stay warmer and we all know how much tomatoes love warmth.

My Dad has always planted marigolds with tomatoes.  I think that there are two reasons for that – the strong smell of French keeps aphids away and the flowers attract hover flies to attack the aphids.

Since the tomatoes have gone into the greenhouses they have grown! One particular variety seems to be a bit of a brute – Purple Ukrainian.  It has grown to 4 feet already!  There are flowers on them all now, including the slightly odd ones on the Fiorentino.  This also has grown a little differently to all the others. Both inside and outside the tomato seems to have put out 3 leading shoots all with flowers.

There are now 12 healthy looking tomatoes in the greenhouses, 2 planted out and another few ready to be planted outside this weekend.

And if you look really closely, you can see the first tomato has set on the Sun Gold!

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6 comments

  1. Your tomatoes look awesome! Just a heads up from somebody who used to grow tomatoes commercially, those mutant flowers whilst looking cool won’t come to anything and sap energy from the plant. The triple head and mutant flowers is common on varieties which are very vegetatively dominant and prefer to make leaves rather than flowers. Best thing to do it pinch the top out to just one head and individually pick off any mutant flowers. Awesome little fruit on the Sungold!

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  2. Thanks Mark. That’s a good tip about the beef steak tomato. It’s our first year growing them and the triple leading shoots seemed odd. Yes the greenhouse has helped but I also love to sow tomatoes too early. Thankfully, we will have some outdoor ones too to prolong the season a little

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  3. Your toms are well ahead of mine, which demonstrates the value of the greenhouse. The big “Beefsteak” tomatoes, like Costoluto Fiorentino do have more complex flowers, and the multi-branching leading stems are quite typical. I Usually nip out all but the strongest stem, because I want the plants to grow tall and slim.

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