Once your tomato seeds have germinated, you’ll have a pot of seedlings that need to be pricked out. Gently lift each seedling and pot it up in its own small pot, burying it quite deeply. The tiny hairs on a tomato seedling’s stem turn into roots if they’re buried, ultimately giving you a plant with a bigger root system. Depending on when you sow, you may need to pot them on once more. When the first flowers appear, move them into their final pots, grow-bags, baskets or borders – with a bit of luck, this will coincide with the last of the frosts! The secret to success with tomatoes is all in the watering and feeding. These are thirsty, hungry plants and the increased yield you’ll get if you water religiously and feed regularly makes it well worth doing.
Grow-bags and pots quickly dry out in the heat of summer when the plants are growing rapidly. It’s important to keep the soil evenly moist so check regularly and water when it’s necessary – in a really hot summer that could be twice a day. It’s especially important that the plants don’t dry out while the fruits are developing. If they do, the skins could split or the tomatoes might get blossom end rot – black patches at the base of the fruit. About four or five weeks after pricking out, the compost in the individual pots may start to run out of nutrients, so feed if it’s necessary – the telltale sign is leaves that start to yellow. And once the plants are in flower, weekly feeding is a must.
Use a fertiliser formulated for tomatoes with high potassium to promote more flowers and fruit. Mix up the feed following the instructions on the packet and feed once a week or as directed. Maxicrop’s Tomato Fertiliser contains a mineral fertiliser that’s high in potash, but it also contains Maxicrop’s famous seaweed extract, which helps root and leaf development and builds plants’ natural health to help resistance to environmental stresses. If you’re an organic gardener, use Maxicrop Organic Tomato Natural Fertiliser, which has been Get the biggest, best crops!
approved for organic use by the Soil Association. It’s made from naturally-occuring plant extracts and seaweed to give balanced, healthy nutrition for your toms. If you use a separate fertiliser or feel your plants are lagging behind, use Maxicrop Original as a pick-me-up, applied as a foliar spray or root drench every one to two weeks.
Maxicrop is available from good garden centres. If the Maxicrop product you want isn’t available in your local garden
centre, check the Garden Centre Group website (www.thegardencentregroup.co.uk) for your nearest store (there are over
130 in England and Wales) or you can buy the entre Maxicrop range from http://www.capitalgardens.co.uk
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