How To Grow Chillies and Peppers From Seed

Hi Guys

Do you enjoy the crunch of sweet bell peppers in your salad or the delicious sweet taste in your stir fry or even a little bit of  heat from some chilli, then why not grow your own? Here is how:

There are so many different varieties of Chilli and Pepper seeds to choose from, whether you like them sweet or hot.

There are so many different varieties of Chilli and Pepper seeds to choose from, whether you like them sweet or hot.

 

 

Both the Chilli pepper and the Bell (Capsicum) Pepper are from the same family so the following instructions on how to grow them are the same.  They are not the easiest seed to germinate and can take up to 21 days to pop their little heads above the soil  but with a little patience you will soon be reaping the benefits of growing your own peppers.

As peppers need a really long growing season it is best if you start your seeds off around February (in Ireland) , growing them any earlier would not be of any benefit as they will be ‘leggy’ as the light condition would be too low.  Alternatively you could, as I do use grow lights and bottom heat (heated mat) which will hopefully give the seeds the perfect condition for germination.

Fill your seed tray, cell tray or modules almost to the top with a good quality seed compost, firm in slightly and carefully pop your seeds on the top.  Cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite and place in a propagator, if you don’t have one then a plastic  bag or cling film will do the job too 🙂 Peppers need a temperature of around 21 degrees c for successful germination.

You will have all seen what a pepper seed looks like when you cut into your chilli or bell pepper.

You will have all seen what a pepper seed looks like when you cut into your chilli or bell pepper.

 

Remember to label your peppers or you wont know what you've got growing on ;)

Remember to label your peppers or you wont know what you’ve got growing on 😉

 

Cover your seeds lightly vermiculite and gently water in.

Cover your seeds lightly with vermiculite and gently water in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1000319

The seeds can be slow to germinate, so, as I said before, be patient and wait ;). and soon you will see them pop their heads up.  Once they are about an inch or sow tall you can gradually take the propagator lid off.  I normally take it off during the day and pop it back on at night for a few days, remembering they still need light and heat but will cope with slightly cooler conditions of maybe 18 degrees c.

These seeds are just about ready to be potted on into 3" pots or cell trays.

These seeds are just about ready to be potted on into 3″ pots or cell trays.

Carefully 'prick out' your seedlings as they are very delicate and the stem can break very easily!

Carefully ‘prick out’ your seedlings as they are very delicate and the stem can break very easily!

 

 

 

Make a small hole in your compost and carefully pop your seedling in. Gently firm around and water in.

Make a small hole in your compost and carefully pop your seedling in. Gently firm around and water in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seedlings will need to be pricked out and  transplanted into 3″ pots when they are large enough to handle.  Then kept on a warm windowsill until mid April to early May, when they can be put into your greenhouse or poly tunnel. I sit my pots on top of the raised  planters in my poly tunnel as the soil is nice and warm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once your peppers reach about 6″ to 8″ they are ready to go into their final pot or grow bag, or for those of you lucky enough to live in a warmer location, they can go into the ground.  If planting in grow bags I would put maybe 3 per bag and if using pots (around the 10ltr size), only one per pot.  The larger bell peppers will need supporting as the plants can grow quite big and the fruits can hopefully, be heavy :).

These peppers are now about 4 months old and are finally ready to be potted on into their final position, in my case into pots but grow bags or directly into the ground is just as good.

These peppers are now about 4 months old and are finally ready to be potted on into their final position, in my case into pots but grow bags or directly into the ground is just as good.

Carefully take your young plant out of its pot

Carefully take your young plant out of its pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a well in the middle of your pot, pop your young pepper plant in firm in gently.

Make a well in the middle of your pot, pop your young pepper plant and gently firm in.

Soon you will start to see the first flowers appear and this is when you need to start feeding your peppers with a good tomato fertilizer (or similar).  Bell or Capsicum Peppers do not like to be waterlogged or indeed left to dry out, so always water little and often to keep the soil evenly moist.  I usually water and feed my peppers around the same frequency as I feed my tomatoes.  However if you like your chillies hot then water only when the leaves start to wilt as these plants are originally from hotter climates and will produce the best chilies if they are given a similar environment, ie: left to dry out before watering again (stressing the plant).  It is also a good idea to keep your sweet peppers and your chilli peppers apart as they will freely cross-polinate with each other and your hot chilli might disappoint you by being milder than you would like.

september 2013 016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the plants can grow a bit spindly, which I have experienced over the years.  The best way to stop this and to get a bumper crop is to ‘pinch out’ the tops of the plants once they reach about 12″ tall.  This will encourage side shoots and the plant will give you a much better yield of peppers.  I will do a short video on this in the next couple of weeks.

Chillies and Bell Peppers all start out green and as they mature they will turn into orange, red, yellow or even purple, all depending on the variety you are growing.  Remember that the more peppers you pick the more your plant will produce so it’s always good to pick a few green ones even if you really want them red.  Chilli peppers will become hotter as they colour up and the bell peppers will become sweeter.

This is a cayenne pepper which changes colour so much before it finally turns red.

This is a cayenne pepper which changes colour many times before it finally matures and turns red.

 

These bell peppers were just so sweet and crispy.

These bell peppers were just so sweet and crispy.

september 2013 442

This is a hot little chilli called Prairie Fire. The peppers flower, turn white, green, orange and then red.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over Wintering Chilli Plants

Last year I decided to do a little experiment and tried to overwinter my chilli pepper plants.  Chilli plants are perennials and if overwintered correctly, should last for years.  So at the end of the growing season (which was around October here) when the weather really started to cool down, I brought my chilli peppers indoors.  I left them for another month or so as there were quite a few flowers/chillies on them and I didn’t want to waste any.  After a few days I watched the flowers fall off rather than mature into peppers which was a little disappointing but the chillies ripened from green to red which was a bonus.

These are some of chillies that were overwintered.

These are some of the chillies that were overwintered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I finished picking all the chillies off of my plants I then took the drastic step of giving them a good prune, so that there was only a few inches of the plant left.  Doing this will ensure that your plant does not waste energy trying to keep foliage and fruits but instead put all its energy into surviving the winter. Great job I thought as I closed the door of my spare room, watered, pruned and all tucked in for the winter.  They looked great for the first couple of weeks but then I checked in on them and they had been invaded with aphids, which must have come in from the tunnels with them……uh oh I thought.  OK  I have managed to keep them alive for the past few weeks and I wasn’t going to let these little pests destroy all my hard work, so neem oil to the rescue.  I mixed a teaspoon of neem oil with a little washing up liquid and some water and went to war on the aphids.  I sprayed every plant until they were dripping and then watered the compost with the neem oil mix as well.  The aphids would have harbored in there too.  This was a process which I had to repeat over the winter and despite all my efforts only 6 or so plants have survived. Oh well I did try and  if it wasn’t for the aphids I think my experiment would have been a lot more successful!  PS  Overwintering is not recommended for bell peppers.  With hindsight, I should have treated the plants and soil with neem oil before bringing them indoors.  This would have lessened the impact of the aphids.  I am sorry to have to admit that I won’t repeat the experiment as the effort and work load  wasn’t worth the gain.

 

Health Benefits of Chillies and Peppers

Peppers are incredibly good for you, especially the brightly coloured ones.  They are both low in calories and packed full of essential vitamins like  A, B6, C and  E. Red Bell Peppers contain phytochemicals and carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, antioxidants and ant-inflammatory properties which is just soooo good for your health. Red Peppers also contain around 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake and compared with the unripened green pepper they have twice as much vitamin C and loads more vitamin A.

Capsaicin,( the ingredient that makes chillies hot) in peppers,  especially chilli peppers have so many health benefits. These include reducing ‘bad’  cholesterol, diabetes,can aid in pain relief ,can  inhibit cancer cell growth, increase blood flow and even help with your libido 🙂

 

P1020313september 2013 485

 

P1020289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1020530

 

So now you know give them a grow!!!

Thanks for tuning in and Happy Gardening

Take Care

Eve

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned and I will show you how harvest your chilli/peppers, how save your seeds from your homegrown peppers and also how to preserve them 🙂

Just Another Day At The Plant!

P1010647

 

Hi Guys

Well today started out with taking some of my dahlias which I grew from seed and some of my overwintered geraniums to a couple of neighbours and planted them into their gardens and pots.

P1020213

P1020212

 

Then it was back to the tunnels to sow some spicy salad leaves, lettuce and spinach as the warm weather had sent some of the spicy salad ‘sky high’ (bolt). I sowed some lollo rossa, romaine, nymans and a mixed lettuce called all sorts, along with some organic rocket, bright and spicy, oriental leaves and mustard.

Spicy Salad and Lettuce can very easily bolt (go to seed) if it gets too hot which can be a problem the cover of a poly tunnel :(

Spicy Salad and Lettuce can very easily bolt (go to seed) if it gets too hot which can be a problem under the cover of a poly tunnel 😦

Rocket can also bolt but the flowers make really nice addition to your salad bowl :)

Rocket can also bolt but the flowers make really nice addition to your salad bowl 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also gave the tomatoes a good pruning by pinching out, side shooting and getting rid of those suckers 🙂 from the indeterminate tomato plants and gave them and all the other veg a good watering and feed.

These are the Tamina tomato plants.  They have leaves that are more like a potato than a tomato.  They are a great plant and give a high yield of medium sized fruits.

These are the Tamina tomato plants. They have leaves that are more like a potato than a tomato. They are a great plant and give a high yield of medium sized fruits.

This is a Black Russian Tomato Plant which produces massive deep purple/black fruits

This is a Black Russian Tomato Plant which produces massive deep purple/black fruits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love my tomato plants but the side shooting/suckering is a long job when you have well over a 100 plants. I use the velcro garden tape which makes tying them up a much easier job.

Love my tomato plants but the side shooting/suckering is a long job when you have well over a 100 plants. I use the velcro garden tape which makes tying them up a much easier job.

 

 

 

I have been working on my video about the chili/pepper plants and hopefully will upload it tomorrow but I have had a few technical issues with my computer which hopefully is now sorted so stay tuned!

Happy Gardening

 

Eve

Poly Tunnels and Multi Tasking!

Well hello there,

Yesterday was another one of those days when, as a woman I had to multitask.  My son is home from university for the summer and along with him came loads of washing – 5 machine loads to be precise!   I am more than happy to do his washing for him as I do miss him when he is away.  This was his 1st year at uni and I think I was more worried than he was 😉  So I was in and out of the utility with the washing and as it looked like it was going to rain I hung the clothes out to dry….in my tunnel, another great reason to use one of these great multi functional tunnels 😉P1000990

 

Along with doing the washing I had to get my seaweed into all the different places that I had for it.  First was to tuck my tomato plants into their seaweed bed, but before that I needed to stake the tomatoes and also start to ‘pinch out’ the side shoots and this is quite a time consuming job when you have 150 tomato plants to do.  Once this job was done, I could lay the seaweed around them and hopefully keep any fungal viruses and those nasty pests like slugs well away from my crops 🙂

After mulching your tomatoes with seaweed, remember to leave a space for walking on clear, otherwise you will be slip sliding all over the place.

After mulching your tomatoes with seaweed, remember to leave a space for walking on clear, otherwise you will be slip sliding all over the place.

Remember to stake your tomatoes and attach carefully with some garden velcro or similar.

When you have your stake in place you will need to attach the tomato plants to them carefully with some garden velcro or similar.

This plant has a really long side shoot.  Remember to take a good look at the plant to work out which is the main stem before pinching out the side shoot!!

This plant has a really long side shoot. Remember to take a good look at the plant to work out which is the main stem (shown here in the picture) before pinching out the side shoot!!

The side shoot should break away quite easily by gently pulling it towards you.

The side shoot should break away quite easily by gently pulling it towards you.

 

P1000993

 

 

Then onto the bins to make up my seaweed fertilizer.  As you will see from the photos I use good old fashioned household bins with lids and get my very handy husband to put taps into the bottom.  Remember to raise the bins up before filling them otherwise you will find it very difficult to get your liquid seaweed out of the tap.

Good old fashioned garden bins make great compost/fertilizer bins. Also remember to raise them up so you can put a container under the bin to collect your liquid

Good old fashioned garden bins make great compost/fertilizer bins. Also remember to raise them up so you can put a container under the bin to collect your liquid

 

Fill your bin with about 2/3 of fresh water then fill up with your seaweed

Fill your bin with about 2/3 of fresh water then fill up with your seaweed

Taps are readily available in any good garden center or DIY.  You can however buy compost bins which have the taps already on but they are pretty pricey!!

Taps are readily available in any good garden center or DIY. You can however buy compost bins which have the taps already on but they are pretty pricey!!

 

Last but not least I put a couple of wheel barrow loads of seaweed into the compost heap. I will put a pile of straw on top of it today or it will end up a slimy mess 🙂

So lets check what we achieved yesterday: Tomatoes staked….check, Tomatoes ‘pinched out’ and tied to their stakes….check, seaweed mulch around tomatoes….check, pot on the peppers……NOT DONE but today is another day 🙂

Even Buddy was bored today and thought that I would never get finished ;)

Even Buddy was bored yesterday and thought that I would never get finished 😉

Thanks for tuning in and happy gardening.

Eve

Seaweed-one of natures free fertilizers

P1000974Hi Guys

Well today turned out to be slightly different from planned which happens quite a lot in my world.  I’m not complaining as life can be more exciting (sometimes) when you do things on a ‘whim’.  Today we woke up to sunshine, although a little cold as we have a northerly wind but decided it was a perfect morning to collect seaweed for the garden. It’s a great FREE  organic fertilizer, mulch and can also be used as pest control.

P1000976

 

Seaweed is so good for the garden soil and plants due to the amazing amount of trace elements (these are the nutrients that plants only need a little of), potassium, magnesium, growth hormones, nutrients, and anti fungal and disease elements.

If you are not lucky enough to live close to the sea and collect seaweed fresh, don’t panic as seaweed can be used in its natural form or as a powder or liquid fertilizer and is available in most good garden centers. It can be used as a foliage spray on both plants and seedlings.  It can help prevent disease (mold and fungus growth), act as a growth simulator, due to the micro nutrients and help set  fruits.  To make your own  seaweed fertilizer you will need to fill a bucket or barrel to 3/4 full with fresh water.  Add as much seaweed as you need to fill it up and leave to soak for at least 6 weeks,  even several months stirring every few days. It is best to keep it somewhere ‘out of the way’ as it will smell pretty bad for a while.  It is ready to use when it no longer ‘stinks’.  It should be diluted before you use it, at least a minimum of 3-4 parts of water to 1 part of  seaweed fertilizer.

P1000980

 

P1000983

 

Seaweed also works as a great mulch and unlike other ground cover mulch at often make a great hiding place for slugs, snails, earwigs and other little pests, the seaweed is both salty and as it dries it crisps up and makes it very uncomfortable for these horrid little critters to crawl on.  It is also great as a weed suppressant and any weeds that do manage to pop up above the seaweed can be easily seen and destroyed.

Seaweed is also great for the compost heap as it helps to condition your compost with trace elements so that when you use it in your garden you are getting the benefit both from the mulch and the compost. I would advise you to mix it with such materials as straw, paper or dried leaves when composting, otherwise it will become very slimy and leave your compost pile smelling rancid.

Seaweed is also great for the garden if you haven’t got time for manure to age, as seaweed can be used straight away and dug into the soil before planting up your fruit and veg.

We collected a couple of trailers full of seaweed today, with the help of one of our dogs Tilly, she not only loves the beach, but loves water:)

P1000979

Tomorrow I will put some seaweed around my tomato plants, put some into a barrel for fertilizer and some onto the compost heap….and maybe get some of the other jobs done that I had initially planned for today 😉

Thanks for tuning in and happy gardening.

Take Care

Eve

 

 

 

 

LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!

Hi Guys I love this time of year, the days are longer, the sun is high enough to stay above the mountain facing us and follows the ridge all the way down into the ocean before it disappears for a few hours. Another busy day in the tunnels today, not sure which way to turn as there is still so much to do but its keeps me out of mischief 😉  First thing this morning I decided to pick some more strawberries from the 125 strawberry plants that I have growing this year….from 12 plants that were grown last year ( I will show you exactly how to do this in another post coming up soon).  So I started to pick my lovely red strawberries but as I went along the bed I began to get more and more disappointed as there were so many ripe fruits that had gone rotten 😦  I knew the reason for this was the fact that the bad ones were lying on the damp soil and should have put straw around them when I first planted them…..I forgot, or should I say, I was too busy doing other stuff.  Anyway I knew if I was going to get a good yield  from my strawberry bed I needed to do something before I lost more yummy fruit, so with the help of my hubby we carefully covered the soil around the strawberries with….yep…straw.  Very fiddly job when there are so many mature plants.  My advise is that you do this job when you first plant them, which is what I should have done!

Great bed of strawberries but having to throw a lot away due to the fruits lying on damp soil.....They need tucking into a nice straw bed!

Great bed of strawberries but having to throw a lot away due to the fruits lying on damp soil…..They need tucking into a nice straw bed!

 P1000934

Nicely tucked into their new straw bed 🙂 P1000934   Once I had that job out of the way I decided that I needed to tidy up a little, especially as I fell over the hose yesterday 😦  I also planted on the courgettes in between the corn and beans (three sisters) and have a baby courgette already.

Courgettes are coming on nicely

Courgettes are coming on nicely

The lettuce has settled down now and is over the transplant shock. Also the flower hanging baskets, of which I have done 15 for both friends and myself are starting to look really good.  I will keep them in the tunnel for a couple of weeks so that when they finally go outside they will be in full bloom. P1000936 Tomorrow will once again be a busy day.  I have to transplant my peppers into larger pots, plant some more potatoes, transplant some more salad seedlings into cell trays and stake my tomato plants….not much really 😉 P1000960P1000956

P1000939

Thanks for tuning and happy gardening.

Take Care

Eve

‘IN THE SUMMER TIME WHEN THE WEATHER IS FINE’……

Hi Guys.

What a fantastic day Ive had in my tunnels today.  This is such a busy and exciting time of year. Still sowing, growing and harvesting so many vegetables.  I cant believe how lucky ive been with my veg this year (not that I’ve had an unlucky year!) but this year I’ve a bumper crop of EVERYTHING, and most of my veg has been trouble free.  The tomatoes and the salad are the only fruit/veg that I have had problems with this year, tomatoes with botrytis and my lettuce and a few cabbages with the white cabbage moth/butterfly.  I have never seen so many caterpillars as I have had this year, maybe its something to do with the warm weather we experienced a few weeks ago.

Anyway I have been getting bumper crops now for a good few weeks which really gives you that real ‘feel good factor’. Today  I  made up some great veggie boxes for some very lucky peeps.  They were all delighted with their goodies 🙂

!st Crop of Corn On The Cob. 20 ears picked and about the same still not ready!!

!st Crop of Corn On The Cob. 20 ears picked and about the same still not ready!!

My great selection of yummy tomatoes. This is just 1 days picking. I pick every couple of days :)

My great selection of yummy tomatoes. This is just 1 days picking. I pick every couple of days 🙂

Italian Courgettes from seeds bought in Florence

Italian Courgettes from seeds bought in Florence

A few cucumbers and courgettes picked ready to go into a veggie box

A few cucumbers and courgettes picked ready to go into a veggie box

Wow What a whopper. 16" cucumber :)

Wow What a whopper. 16″ cucumber 🙂

Left to right: Barcelona Tomato (from saved seeds) Yellow Stuffer tomato and a grapefruit :) - and No I dont grow grapefruits but wanted you to see how big these tommie are!

Left to right: Barcelona Tomato (from saved seeds) Yellow Stuffer tomato and a grapefruit 🙂 – and No I dont grow grapefruits but wanted you to see how big these tommie are!

1st Corn On The Cob Of The Season

1st Corn On The Cob Of The Season

More delicious tomatoes for a veggie box

More delicious tomatoes for a veggie box

Barcelona tomato - weighing in at 400g :)

Barcelona tomato –
weighing in at 400g 🙂

Along with the harvesting today I managed to sow a few seeds for overwintering vegetables.  I have sown lettuce, radish, pak choi and spinach today.  Also potted on some of the cauliflowers and brussel sprouts into new pots as I have no room in the tunnels yet and don’t want them to get pot bound.

Lots more potting on and sowing to do tomorrow………Oh and lots of weeding 😦

Happy Gardening

Eve

All In A Days Work With The Three Sisters!

Hi Guys,

What a great productive day i’ve had today……well everyday is productive but today was ‘mental’ busy but I enjoyed every minute….and the sun shone…..yey!!

The day started well…..we had electricity ;)…sad but I really missed it yesterday.  So all my gadgets and gizmos were charged up and ready to ‘role’, including ME!!

I popped over next door to my elderly neighbours first as they love their flowers and had a load of bedding plants that needed to go in………I thought that would be a 20 minute job as most of the flowers go into pots and tubs rather than into the ground…..but not today…..my lovely neighbour decided she would like them to be planted into a corner of her lawn.  Now there is a flower bed there………BUT it was mostly covered in grass and weeds 😦 Oh well, I set to it and once I got going…..with the help of my elderly neighbours, their son in law…..and their 4 year old grand daughter……we cleared the ground…..made a new boundary with some rocks (no problem finding them here as we live at the bottom of the mountainside).  Then we planted up some buzy lizzies and a few other bedding plants…..JOB DONE…..had a lovely cup of tea with them and a homemade scone and headed back to my tunnels.

I then prepared the bed where I had previously grown my onions, added some fresh compost and planted up all my sweet corn plants Lark, Lapwing and some italian sweet corn which I bought in Florence last year.  I then inter planted them with some Courgettes/Zucchini…..Defender, Parthernon and again some Italian squash courgettes which I bought in Florence.  I also popped a few Speedy Beans around the bases of the Sweet Corn.

Why mix all these together I hear you ask…….well Sweet Corn and Courgettes/Zucchini are very hungry nitrogen plants and deplete the soil of this very important nutrient.  On the other hand the beans (or peas) actually do the opposite and put nitrogen back into the soil….so by planting these together hopefully we will have a happy balance of nutrients.  This combination of plants is often referred to as ‘The Three Sisters’, which is an ancient method of gardening.  Sometimes this is done in a mound or hill but I plant all of mine level and it works!

Corn is the oldest sister. She stands tall in the center. Courgette/Zucchini (Squash) is the next sister and she grows over the ground protecting her sisters from weeds and shades the soil from the sun with her leaves, keeping it cool and moist.  The third and final sister is the Bean (or pea) and she climbs up the sweet corn as she reaches for the sun. Beans help keep the soil fertile by converting the sun’s energy into nitrogen filled nodules that grow on its roots. As beans grow they use the stored nitrogen as food…..Lesson Over 😉

P1010429

The 3 Sisters………although there are only 2 above ground as baby sister (bean) is still waiting to show!

If you are growing more than one type of sweet corn it is always advisable to leave a few feet between as they are wind pollinated and you might get a strange corn!!  I have planted mine in 3 areas as I have 3 different types.  Also remember that sweet corn MUST be planted in blocks rather than rows to pollinate.  I will do another blog on this subject as there is a little more to pollination than other veg, especially when growing under cover.

Last but not least today, I potted up my peppers of which there were loads.  I am growing sooooooo many different types including Apache Chilli, Super Chilli, Chilli Shake, Lantern Chilli, Californian Wonder and loads more…..tooooo many to name…..some really hot and some not!!

P1010428

A few peppers all potted up ready to sit in the smaller tunnel (my hot house) along with the tomatoes!

I have done a quick video so hope to upload in the next couple of days of planting the corn and courgette/zucchini plants along with the beans.

Tomorrow is another busy day so think its time for a well deserved rest.

Good Night

Eve

Juicy Cherry Tomatoes Are So Easy To Grow – Honest!

Do you enjoy eating those little cherry tomatoes……I do and eat them like sweets (much healthier)!!

These juicy cherry tomatoes are so easy to grow if you follow these simple instructions:

First thing we need is a hanging basket….any old hanging basket will do.  I use old rusty hanging baskets that I used to have flowers in but are now too tatty to have on display in my garden for the whole world to see!!

The liner can be made from the plastic bag that the compost came in, although you can buy a hanging basket liner but they can be expensive and that defeats the object of growing your own to save money as well as eating healthily.

Place the hanging basket upside down on the plastic bag and cut a circle about 50% larger than the diameter of the basket using a sharp knife. If you are going to plant more than 1 tomato then just place a few plastic bags on top of each other so that you only need to cut once!!

Image

Once you have your circle of plastic, pop it into the hanging basket with the black part on the outside.  I think this looks better to look at than the side with writing etc on.

Fill the basket with compost (grow bag) almost to the top.  Make a large well (hole) in the centre of the compost and add a sprinkling of crushed egg shells (calcium) and a small teaspoon of Epsom Salts (magnesium).  This is not essential but something that I do.

Image

Carefully take the cherry tomato plant out of its pot and remove any discoloured leaves from the bottom.  As most cherry tomato plants are determinate, there is no need to remove too many leaves as they plant will grow out into a bush rather than up.

Place the tomato plant into the planting hole and firm the compost around the plant.  Don’t forget your label so you know what type of tomato you are growing.Image

REMEMBER TO WATER WELL, DONT FORGET YOUR LABEL AND VOILA!

I will give you more information about the ‘dos and donts’ of growing tomatoes and what can go wrong….which sometimes happens to the best of us…..including ME!!  (thats why I have the photos!!)

Cherry Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets And Containers

Cant wait for my sweets to be ready to eat!!!

Eve