Growing Tall Varieties
Tall varieties are also known as “cordon” meaning single stem, and “indeterminate” meaning they grow to an indeterminate height.
There are advantages and disadvantages in growing tall varieties and they are as follows:
- Produce fruit over a longer period
- There are many more varieties from which to choose
- The fruit is off the ground and away from damage
- Perfect for grow bags
- Will grow up against a sunny wall or fence
- Side shoots (suckers) need to be removed
- Once planted in their final position, they are difficult to move around the garden
- They need support
Traditionally, the tall varieties have been the most popular and widely grown, however, bush varieties have come into their own because they can be grown in containers including hanging baskets.
I think it is the idea of ripe tomatoes cascading down over the sides of a hanging basket that has made bush varieties more popular than they were, but you need to have the right varieties to make that happen. Also, if you plant too many plants into a hanging basket, you may end up with a poor crop.
As we come to the point in the season where our plants will shortly be planted into their final position, it is good to remember that one well grown plant with plenty of room, will produce more tomatoes than two plants that are struggling.
Each season there comes a point where I have too many plants left over so I usually plant too many in one container etc. However, I’ve managed to avoid doing the same this season – so far!
Yesterday I planted four tall varieties into two grow bags – two Black Cherry’s and two Gardener’s Delight’s.
These plants have been left out in the greenhouse for nearly a week, so they should be able to cope but try to shelter them from rain if possible.
I’m taking a bit of a chance that there won’t be another frost, but if there is, I shall cover them with garden fleece before bedtime. Have you noticed that tomato plants point their leaf branches upwards at night?
Tomato plants love diffused sunlight so garden fleece is great for both hot and cold weather!
Using grow pots is perfect for grow bags as the food and water can be given separately. However, another method is to plant – still in their pots – directly into the grow bags and have an empty pot for watering.
The roots grow out through the bottom of the pots and into the grow bags. The food is given around the base iof the stems. I should say that this is not quite as good as grow pots, but if you have a lot of plants, it is the next best thing.
Blossom End Rot
Cherry varieties are very rarely affected by Blossom End Rot, however, medium and large varieties are.
In order to avoid this problem (i’ve said this in previous newsletters) foliar spray them with Chempak Calcium – it really does work!
Tomato plants should always be planted in new soil/compost and not garden borders which are full of bugs and disease.
Of course people grow tomatoes on allotments using soil that has been there for years, but the ground has to be prepared correctly for a crop to be successful.
Latest on the Sow-a-long – aka “The Famous Five”
That’s it for this week, if you made a comment over the past few weeks and I didn’t respond, please accept my appologies … I’ve had problems receiving comments but I hope the problem is now fixed.
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