Nurture & Grow!

With the tomatoes securely in their new positions in the main garden, it’s time to settle back and tend the flock.

As a tomato shepherd of sorts, it is important to keep an eye on a few things to ensure the crop is safe and the quality is good.

The first pests to keep an eye out for are slugs, slugs like nothing better than tender green shoots to munch on, so until your plants are grown to a round 40cms give them a dressing of slug slam or similar, remembering to use the pet safe varieties if you have dogs and cats that can get a bit too inquisitive!

It is a bit early for whitefly, but I companion plant with Marigolds, which keeps them away, and if they persist, some natural Pyrethrum spay will do the trick.

The second part of this early life nurturing is to ensure that around once per week you fertilise the tomatoes with a reputable water soluble fertiliser, specifically formulated for tomatoes. Do not use ordinary blood and bone, as all you will get is bushy leaves!

Yates Tomato Nitrosol is my recommendation.

Here is an update of what Tomatoes like to eat, where and when!

Nitrogen. Nitrogen encourages leaf growth, which is why fertilizers with higher ratio of nitrogen (the first of the three numbers) are an optimum choice for lawns and grasses. But in tomatoes, excess leaf growth discourages blossoms and fruit.

A complete fertilizer with a balanced supply of the three major nutrients, such as 10-10-10 or 5-10-10, is a better choice for tomato plants at initial planting time. Stay away from high-nitrogen fertilizers such as urea, ammonium sulfate or fresh manure, which will help produce dark green, tall tomato plants but fewer tomatoes.

Phosphorus. Phosphorus (the second number in the N-P-K ratio) encourages flowering, and therefore fruiting.

Potassium. Once a tomato plant starts flowering, it needs a higher ratio of potassium (the third number in the N-P-K ratio). Good organic sources of potassium are granite dust and wood ash.

Of course water as necessary and keep an eye out for next doors cats!

By | 2017-12-01T11:47:30+00:00 December 1st, 2017|Categories: TOMATOES|Tags: , , , , , |

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