Tomatoes

October is a good time to start growing a tomato or two. Place them in a warm spot, in a greenhouse or inside,  them to a good height with a healthy start before you plant them out in November.

Pinch out laterals for the first 20cm or so, liquid feed them regularly with fish or seaweed solution, seasol or powerfeed. Water regularly,preferably in the mornings, keep the water off the foliage if you can. Also if your tomato plants start to flower it is important to place it outside sheltered during a sunny day to allow bees in. It’s helpful to keep a lavender plant nearby to help entice some bees.


Tomatoes are real sun lovers! They grow best in warm, humid conditions in a site with all day sunshine, away from the wind with lots of water to swell the fruit. If the weather is still not behaving, use a cloche to keep them warm. Portstone sells excellent cloches at $3.99 that you can reuse next year.
 
Plant tomatoes in compost and well-rotted animal manure; take care not to disturb the roots. Have the stakes already in the ground and water. If you are transplanting tomatoes from a glasshouse make sure you harden them off first. Use a soft tie to attach to stake, so as to not cut into the plant.
 
It is usually best to water tomatoes early in the morning. Avoid wetting the leaves. Once they are established pinch some bottom leaves off to increase airflow and keep pests away. Also pinch out laterals for the first 40cm, then you can cut the top once the plant has reached enough height.
 
Companion plants for tomatoes include basil, garlic, pyrethrum, nasturtiums and petunias.
 
Feed your tomatoes with seaweed booster, fish emulsion, power feed, tom-a-rite, Wallys fruit and flower power and Sheep pellets and you will have the most delicious tomatoes ever!


Protect
  • Birds love juicy tomatoes - once yours start fruiting cover with netting to protect them.
  • Tomatoes are susceptible to various diseases, one of the most common being blossom end rot. This can be caused by various factors including low levels of calcium. The best way to prevent blossom end rot is consistency of care, taking particular care to ensure soil doesn't dry out.