The Tomato Diaries #4

Greenhouse Tomatoes

Concerned that these tomatoes would not be visited by pollinating insects (I tend to keep the door closed to retain heat), I invested £3.49 for a set of three mini ‘feather’ dusters. I’m using the blue one to ‘tickle my tomatoes’ every couple of days, and I’ve been checking regularly for unwanted additional side shoots and nipping off any leaves that have started going yellow or are shading out flowers.

The effort is paying off as, I do have tomatoes, but decided to move the pot of Yellow Delight out of the greenhouse and onto the sunny patio with the heritage tomatoes.

These are the fruit so far, as at 25 July. I’ve removed more of the leaves and the tops, as some plants were touching the roof.

Heritage Tomatoes

These were growing too well in the Potting Shed. I’ve now potted them on into larger pots and put them on the top patio – one of the few areas in the garden that gets full sun from mid-morning until late afternoon.

Again, there are now fruit forming on the heritage tomatoes, outside in their sunny position.

It will be interesting to see which will produce the most and best tomatoes – indoor (started earlier) or outdoo (started late and heritage varieties)

Planning Ahead for 2022

I’m giving up on full-sized tomatoes and going for dwarf, bush and container varieties. When I saw that Kings Seeds had an offer for four varieties (for £7.95), I bought them immediately. I just hope they live up to their promise! I doubt I’ll put any in hanging baskets as mine are quite shallow and I don’t have many places to hang them without someone bumping their head, or the brackets pulling out of the wall; but I’ve plenty of pots, and bricks for standing them on.

Red Robin is a very sweet bright red cherry variety. The plants grow to about 30cm in height and continue cropping until late September. Grow on the window sill or in pots on the patio.

Megabyte is described as a compact medium sized beefsteak tomato that produces unusually large fruits on plants up to 40cm. The fruits are multi lobed with a high percentage of flesh. Though the plant has very large fruits for its type it has has a good resistance to fruits falling off the plant. Grow in containers, borders, greenhouse or conservatory. Determinate (Bush) 70 day. Sow Mid January up to late May.

Tumbling Tom (red and yellow) is a compact trailing tomato for pots and hanging baskets, with cherry-sized fruit. Greenhouse or outdoor growing. Bush/trailing are easy to grow as trusses do not require support and fruits without side shoots being removed.

To grow in heated greenhouses sow January onwards, in a temperature of 16-18°C (60-65°F). Transplant into small pots. Plant out in large pots, growing bags, or into a soil border at 45cm (18″) spacing. Pinch out side shoots regularly and when in flower tap or shake plants daily to aid setting.

For growing in unheated greenhouses, sow in warmth, from March onwards. Plant late April-early May. Harvest mid August-mid October.

To grow outdoors, sow in trays or pots indoors March-April and harden off the plants before planting 45cm (18″) apart in early June. Choose a warm, sheltered position. Harvest mid August-mid October. Standard varieties: Support with stakes or canes. Pinch out the main growth when four good trusses have set. Bush varieties: These cease growing when 30-38cm (12-15″) high. Dot not remove side shoots. Support is not essential, but short stakes will help control the plants and keep fruit clean.