How To Support/Stake Your Tomato Plants

It is very important to support your indeterminate tomato plants because they will grow tall and without support will fall over and any fruits growing will be more prone to disease from the damp soil. The easiest way to support or stake your plant is to use bamboo canes, string or even a fruit cage. This video shows you how easy it is to stake your tomato plants in order for you to have strong healthy plants that are easily managed.

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How to side shoot, pinch out, sucker, prune your tomato plants

The most important part of growing Indeterminate (Cordon) Tomato Plants is to control the amount of vines that will grow. Some tomato plants will produce more shoots than are needed and if not controlled will grow like a vine with lots and lots of lush green leaves but very few fruits (tomatoes). In order to make sure the tomato plant grows in a controlled way and you get lots of healthy tomatoes you need to side shoot, pinch out, prune your plant. This video shows you in detail what needs to be done in order to grow a strong healthy plant that has 1 large stem and hopefully lots of tomatoes.

I will be telling you about the problems that can occur with your plants over the next few days………and how most of them can be resolved  by following a few simple steps so please stay tunned.

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How To Feed Your Tomato Plants

P1040670Hi Guys

Now that your tomatoes are hopefully in the ground, container or hanging basket and have a few flowers starting to appear, we need to remember to water, FEED and give them a bit of TLC.

Tomatoes are very hungry plants and  need a lot of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate,potash/potassium, calcium, magnesium,  and a few other trace minerals in order to help the plant grow strong and produce healthy juicy toms!!

There are a number of ways to give your tomato plants those all important nutrients but the easiest way is to buy a good quality tomato fertilizer (food) which you will find in any good garden centre or most large supermarkets.  Fertilizers are a mixture of 3 important nutrients which are fed to plants;  Nitrogen, which encourages leafy green growth;  Phosphorus, which is really good for encouraging flowers and so giving you your fruits; and Potassium, which is needed when the plants are in  flower to help to produce the fruit. These 3 important nutrients are often referred to as the N P K ratio.  If you were in the commercial growing world you would look at the label and these nutrients would be listed as numbers; ie. 10-15-5 which would mean that the fertilizer would contain 10% nitrogen, 15% Phosphorus and 5% Potassium (in that order).

When choosing a fertilizer for your tomato plants you need to make sure it’s not too high in nitrogen (1st number) as this would encourage lots of green leafy growth but not fruit.  If you buy a good quality tomato fertilizer then you will have the right combination of these nutrients…..which makes life much easier for us all.

There are many other methods of feeding your tomato plants but I think the tomato fertilizer is great, especially if you are new to growing tomatoes……..and you don’t have to worry about making sure you have the right NPK!!!

I also do a weekly foliage feed of  liquid seaweed fertilizer which  not only feeds your tomato plants with extra minerals but also acts as a bug deterrent and I find that those nasty little pests stay off my plants.  A good spraying of  liquid seaweed fertilizer also encourages healthy growth and is excellent when sprayed on new transplants. Try to buy organic if possible.

Whether you are watering your plants or feeding them using liquid fertilizer as a foliage spray, try to do it either early morning or early evening when it’s cooler, which will  prevent the leaves from burning (sun-scald)……That’s if the sun is shining 🙂

Read the instructions carefully on the back of the bottle and it will tell you how much liquid fertilizer and seaweed fertilizer (food)  you need to add to your watering can or sprayer.  Always give the bottle a shake before pouring.

I feed my tomatoes once a week and foliage spray with liquid seaweed every couple of weeks.  As I live so close to the sea…..only 1 mile down the road to the atlantic, I actually collect the seaweed and make my own fertilizer but there are many organic seaweed fertilizers available to buy.

Tomatoes grow over a long season so be patient. Feed, water and hope the sun shines!!!!

Happy Growing 🙂

mixed 2012 gardening and dogs 359

Not much gardening done today as I had to go to the dentist :(. Have had pain for a few weeks now and had to have a filling removed and refilled… was an old filling so hoping that has solved the problem 🙂