Simple Steps to Success: Fruit and Vegetables in Pots ,

Step 1: Plant Tomatoes After Threat of Frost

Plant Tomatoes After Threat of Frost

Once nights are frost free and plants are hardened off, fill a pot, at least 10in (25cm) wide, with compost to 2in (5cm) below the rim. Plant the tomato deeply, as the section of buried stem will send out extra roots.

Step 2: Stake Tall Tomatoes

Stake Tall Tomatoes as They Grow and Set on Fruit

Tall cordon cultivars need training up a support. Push a couple of tall bamboo canes or other sturdy stakes into the compost to keep the plant stable. Bush and trailing types do not need the help of supports.

Step 3: Stake and Pinch Sideshoots

Stake Growing Tomato Plants and Pinch Sideshoots

As the plant grows, tie the main stem loosely to the stakes using garden twine. Pinch out fast-growing sideshoots growing between the leaves and main stem on cordon cultivars. Leave sideshoots to develop on bush types.

Step 4: Water and Fertilize

Fertilize Tomatoes When First Fruits Appear

Water regularly. When the first fruits appear, feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer, and add extra compost if the roots become exposed. Pinch out the growing tip as the plant reaches the top of its stake. Ripe fruits twist off easily.

2 Comments About this How To

  • kellysmithtrimble
    The term "cordon" is used in Britain to describe indeterminate or vining tomatoes. The term "indeterminate" is far more common in the U.S. Indeterminate plants grow in height until killed by frost, which is why they need to be staked, while determinate (also called "bush") varieties grow to a certain height and stop. Some determinate plants can grow to 4 or 6 feet tall and produce loads of fruit. I usually stake and support those plants too, so their limbs don't break under the weight of juicy, ripe tomatoes!

    Posted 2 years ago

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  • kellysmithtrimble
    There's a lot of folklore about the best way to plant tomatoes. Planting deeply is undeniable, but some gardeners also swear by planting in a trench with a good portion of the stem laying vertically. Does anyone have a favorite way? One tip I learned from my grandmother is to tie up plants using old hosiery. The soft, stretchy material does't tear stem tissue like twine can.

    Posted 2 years ago

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