Grow together - tomatoes

#1

The idea of Grow Together is that we can grow the same things at roughly the same time (doesn’t matter if you start yours a few weeks earlier or later) and share and learn from each other.

You can share how yours are doing or ask questions to the community about them in this thread.

I’ve sown three of my favourite cherry tomatoes: Sungold F1, Gardeners Delight, and Black Cherry - video below. I will post regular photos / videos here to share how they do…

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#2

I will be planting my tomato seeds tomorrow. I’m looking forward very much to joining in with Growing together.

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#3

Excellent Anna, looking forward to sharing our growing progress.

#4

I have sown some tomatoes a few weeks ago and now have about 5 seedlings. I’ve read that I will need to fertilise them but I’m not sure what to buy. I am trying my hand at a variety of plants this year to get a good idea of what might grow well in my area - I’m seeing adverts for allsorts of different fruits and vegetables and I understand that different ones will have different food needs. Is there a way I can buy 3 or 4 types and use them for all my plants rather than buying a fertiliser for each plant I am trying to grow? I know I will have to spend some money but would rather do this as efficiently as possible. Also, I don’t have space to buy lots of bottles and boxes…

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#5

Two or three fertilisers are all you need to get going. Liquid tomato feed is what you need for all fruiting plants (everything from tomatoes to chillies, runner beans, courgettes, apples and strawberries). A high nitrogen feed is needed for leafy crops - chicken manure pellets or rapeseed meal or fish emulsion - are all good choices. It’s not essential, but liquid seaweed is good for adding minerals and other micro nutrients the plants need. These three should be enough to enable you to get good yields from most edible plants. In time, getting a wormery for a supply of worm compost will help you, too. And there is more you can do in the future - bu this should get you off to a good start.

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#6

I’ve grown for a few years now and only ever invested in a tomato liquid feed, an alround veg liquid feed, and an alround veg pellet fertiliser (to boost used compost). Oh, and a wormery, but that never really yielded much for me. I’ve had good years and bad years, but I think my fertilising has been fine with those three types. Happy growing :slight_smile:

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#7

Here are the tomatoes on 4 April, 2 weeks after sowing (on 21 March). They have all come up - and you can see the roots coming through the jiffy pot. This is a good time to move them into small pots…

You can see the roots coming through here…

And here they are today, nearly four weeks after sowing. They are near the window AND have been under an LED grow light so they are nice and green and sturdy… It’s amazing how fast tomato plants grow!

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#8

The tomatoes are officially growing like triffids… as they do at this time. They were looking much to large for their small pots so I repotted them today (24 April).

Here they are in their small pots (black cherry to the left, Gardeners delight in the middle, Sungold on the right).

Repotting is a good chance to look at the roots.

And here they are repotted! Looking much more at home again.

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I’m also putting these tomatoes out now on sunny days that aren’t too windy - just to start hardening them off.

#9

I thought my tomatoes were doing really well, but I now see that yours have grown a lot more in the period. Should I start fertilising? They are about 2 inches high I grew mine in egg cups which I’m hoping is a cheap way to easily repot them! I do have some from my wormery, but need to buy some tomato feed.

I’m growing thyme and lavender from seed too - they are very small still, but took longer to germinate.

#10

PS I started these about 3 weeks ago - just after your workshop in East London

#11

As long as you’re using good compost, you won’t need to fertilise them for a while yet (when they start flowering is a good time). Make sure your seedlings get plenty of light- put them outside on sunny days if possible- and I’m sure they will take off soon. Also, not sure how good the drainage with the egg cups is but keep an eye on the watering and the compost to make sure it doesn’t get waterlogged.

#12

Can you make your own fertilizers? I’m thinking of making seaweed tea. Does anyone have a recipe?

#13

Yes, you can. Worm compost is one many people growing in small spaces make - and you can add seaweed to that. A good homemade fertiliser for tomatoes is comfrey tea - it is high in potassium, which is what tomatoes need most of. You make it simply by soaking comfrey leaves (the challenge is often finding the comfrey leaves) in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks. The drawback of using it in small spaces is that it stinks. I’ve not done it but I think you can make a liquid seaweed in the same way - by soaking seaweed in a bucket for a few weeks.

#14

They appear to be developing new leaves now, all very exciting. The egg cups seem to absorb a lot of the water so I water a little twice a day. I’ve repositioned them in a better spot on my front south facing window sill. Feeling a bit more hopeful now! Thanks

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#15

yup, those egg boxes can dry out quickly and need keeping a careful eye on. I’m guessing your seedling will soon be ready to move on to small pots?

#16

The tomatoes are getting rather big… but it’s been too cold (below 10 degrees) for them to go outside for the last few days - so they are huddled by our back door. Looking forward to warmer weather to get them out.

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And as these are ‘vining’ tomatoes (grow on one tall stem) I’ve had to start pinching out the side shoots. I’ve marked the side shoot in red (between the stem and the main leaf) in case you are not familiar with what they look like.

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#17

Mine are a month old and look like yours did after 2 weeks! Getting them outside in regular sun now as I can as the windowsil is a bit shady.

#18

I’ve put them in their first pots today. One of them looks a bit weak, but the others looking like survivors. Should I continue to bring them in at night?

#19

I was cheating by using a grow light. If I do this next year I will do some without grow light.

If they have been going outside for a week or two, it’s a good idea to leave them out in warmer nights to help them acclimatise. Bring them in if cold or windy for the next week or two - then they can probably stay out.

#20

I moved mine out a bit too early, I think I started them too early and they were getting too big for the inside space. I’m hoping if we can get a few weeks of warm weather they will take off. I think next year I may invest in some grow lights to increase my inside growing space.