Growing Tomatoes - Make it a New Year Resolution•
Posted on 13 January 2010
Tomato VarietiesThere are over 3 000 tomato varieties to choose from and you should ensure that you grow several different varieties. This will not only add interest but also ensure against an inferior crop from one variety. I have listed a few that you might like to try. “Gardener’s Delight” is probably the best variety for flavour, yield, early results and easy growing. One of the best cherry varieties is “Sweet 100”. If you want a small yellow tomato then go for “Sunbelle”. “Shirley” is a good red normal size tomato variety which is disease resistant and “Big Boy” is a large red, beefsteak tomato with very few seeds which is ideal for cooking. “Brandy Wine”, another beefsteak variety has an amazing flavour. Tomato plants can be bought at garden centres but many people prefer the satisfaction and taste that you get with growing your own. Plants that have been on display for any length of time become affected by too much heat and little or no light. It is much more rewarding to raise your own from seed. Remember that if you are going to raise 3 or 4 different varieties deep modular, hinged opening cell trays like Rootrainers are extremely useful as they are both space and time saving.
Growing Tomatoes from SeedTomato seed is sown in a propagator and a temperature of 60°- 65°F is needed for successful germination. If you have a heated greenhouse seed can be sown in late December for planting out in late February. Or early March for a May/June crop. Most gardeners only have cold houses. If this is you then seed should be sown in a propagator in early March. Then plant out for a late April for a July crop.
- Fill the Rootrainers with the peat free compost
- Sow the seeds in late February for an early crop and 4 weeks later for the main crop
- Cover the Rootrainer tray with the clear propagating lid and leave in a warm area till seeds have germinated
- Remove lid and use under tray as water catcher once plants get tall
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