Just Another Day At The Plant!

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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.

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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 ūüė¶

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 ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also gave the tomatoes a good pruning by pinching out, side shooting and getting rid of those suckers ūüôā 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

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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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…..it was an old filling so hoping that has solved the problem ūüôā

How To Plant Tomatoes

First things first. ¬†The most important thing to growing any plant is the soil that you are going to grow it in. ¬†If you have poor soil then you cant expect to get healthy plants…Common sense really!!

Tomatoes are not really fussy about soil but I always add some organic compost to mine, usually a grow bag or two.  If you have your own compost heap, even better.  Unfortunately mine is not very good at the minute as we are building some new compost bins.

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Always plant tomatoes where they will get lots of sun (wishful thinking!). Try and plant either early morning or the evening if the weather is warm so that they don’t get transplant ¬†shock.

Carefully take your tomato plant out of its pot (you might have to squeeze the pot slightly if there are lots of roots).  Make the planting hole deeper than you would normally do as we need to bury the tomato plant right up to the top few leaves, this will enable the plant to produce more roots along the stem and make a much stronger plant.

As tomatoes are hungry plants and need lots of nutrients you can add a couple of extra things into the bottom of the planting hole, although this is not essential and additional nutrients can be added if needed as the plant grows.

For magnesium, which promotes plant vitality and productivity, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts into each hole.Image

For Calcium, add a handful of crushed egg shells which helps prevent ‘Blossom End Rot’ which I will explain in more detail later on this blog.¬†Crushed Egg Shells

Now add a little organic compost into the planting hole before putting the tomato plant in.

Remember to take off all the ‘side shoots’/leaves right up to the top few.Image

Put the tomato plant into the hole so the lowest set of leaves is at soil level then fill the hole with the compost/soil.Image

Press the soil down around the plant gently but firmly to remove any air pockets, LABEL and water well.Image

As soon as you see the first ‘trusses’ (flowers) then you need to start feeding your tomatoes with a good quality tomato feed which is available from any good garden¬†center¬†and some super markets. ¬†There are alternative, cheaper home-made fertilizers to feed ¬†the tomatoes which I write about soon.

Hope that this information, along with the video will help you to plant your tomatoes successfully.

In my next blog on tomatoes I will explain a little more about nutrient¬†deficiencies¬†and will show you some photos as most tomato growing problems happens to the best of us…..INCLUDING ME!!

REMEMBER THAT TOMATOES  ARE HUNGRY FEEDERS AND NEED FEEDING EVERY WEEK, OR EVEN TWICE A WEEK DEPENDING ON WHERE THEY ARE GROWING!

(Please read the instructions on your tomato feed bottle).

There is so much more to this vegetable/fruit. ¬†I will help you along with growing your tomatoes and ensuring that you grow strong healthy plants and also what you can do with those yummy tomatoes, including, relishes, salsa, sauces, sun-dried, preserving including freezing etc etc etc…..Stay Tuned!!

How to Grow Tomatoes – Part 1 and 2

Hi Guys,
Well, I have been working away on my video tutorials for the last couple of days. My first video tutorial is all about how to grow tomatoes from seed.
In the video I talk briefly about all of the different types of tomatoes you can grow and I show you the best type of compost to use. I also explain where you can keep the tomatoes for the first few weeks during germination.

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Please bear with me as I learn how to use my blog.
Stay tuned and hopefully I will have more pictures and videos to upload over the next few weeks.
Please click on the link below to watch the video.

In Part 2 I show you how to ‘pot on’ your tomato seedlings and explain a little about determinate (bush) and indeterminate ¬†(Cordon or vine). ¬†In part 3 I will explain a little bit more about tomatoes and how to look after them after planting into the ground. ¬†I will also explain how to preserve and cook your lovely ripe tomatoes!

Please feel free to ask any questions which I hope to be able to answer for you.