When to plant tomatoes in their final position
It is best to put them into their final pot, container or grow bag after yellow flowers start to appear. If you put them in before flowering you may get lots of leaves and flowering will be delayed.
This is because a new container filled with potting compost will give the plant a boost of nitrogen which will make leaf growth if the plant hasn’t already started to flower – gone into flowering mode, as it were.
However, if your flowers have not appeared by mid June and the plant looks as if it is running out of steam and possibly becoming root bound, it would be best to pot it into its final position before flowering rather than let it become pot-bound.
Feed with tomato food when small pea-like fruits starts to appear. Regular feeding is essential otherwise you may only get green fruit.
Bush tomatoes do not need their side shoots removed and the more flowers you get the more tomatoes you will have – in theory.
However, there is a limit to the amount of fruit a bush variety can produce, so if you have lots of side shoots and hundreds of flowers the plant may struggle a bit!
A well grown plant such as Red Alert or Tumbling Tom can produce well over 100 tomatoes, so it is well worth the effort.
Expect mature fruit in July, lasting through to October.
You’ll have plenty to give away!
Remember to be careful with support canes etc. Attach a piece of heavy duty tape or wine cork to the top so you will see them more easily.
If you bend down without seeing that the cane is there, you could lose an eye!
Sow growers will plant outside when the weather has become frost-free even if the plants aren’t in flower. This is common when growing directly into the soil and plants need to make a large root area.