Tomato Planting 2012



This is set to be a definitive year for Tomato growing in my South Kilkerran garden.

Using a heated propagating tray and temporary hothouse I raised all the plants from seed at the same time sowing them in mid July. Not great numbers of each but a big range of varieties.

Seeds were planted in cell trays with two seeds per cell then the weakest seedling was snipped with scissors and the strongest left to grow on. When seedlings outgrew the cells they were transplanted into 100mm pots and left to grow on in the hothouse until mid September when I put them beside the shadehouse in the open air to harden off but protected from the wind.

The plants have now grown out strongly and stand about 40cm tall in their pots. The weather and soil have now warmed up and it is time to plant them in place.

This year I will be pruning none of them but just pushing them back and forth through the trellis they are growing against. The CSIRO have proved conclusively now that any pruning of tomatoes does not improve the size of the fruit at all but does reduce the total weight harvested. Plants are planted 60cm apart on each side of the trellis and staggered on opposite sides of the trellis, effectively planting them 30cm apart but there is plenty of growing room away from the trellis.

Plants were planted around 200mm deep with about the same above ground. 200mm seems the be the friable depth of the beds before hitting a bit of gravel subsoil. At the bottom of each hole I put a 50mm pellet of dynamic lifter for trees which is high in potash and low nitrogen. When they establish properly I will give them Sulphate of Potash every 2 months and home-made liquid fertiliser every 2 weeks. Watering will be every 2 weeks just before the liquid fertiliser is applied.

24 advanced plants

Mortgage Lifter(4)

These are very limp, floppy plants and this was not caused by any growing technique because all plants were raised the same. 4 plants.

Brandywine Red (4)

Very strong-looking potato leaf tomatoes. 4 plants.

Mighty Red Saved Seed (7)

This is the South Australian developed tomato and should be the best plant but I have had mixed results in previous years. However, the seedlings are very brittle and 2 snapped their stems without any untoward handling while none of the others did that. 7 plants.

Tigerella Saved Seed (5)

Usually a very attractive smaller tomato that persists later in the season than others except Amish Paste.

Amish Paste Saved Seed (4)

The plants are fairly variable in size despite being raised identically but all look strong and vigorous enough just different sizes.

Tomato Trellis planted 7-10-12. 24 plants comprising 5 varieties all raised from seed at home.

Tomato trellis planted 7-10-12. 24 plants comprising 5 varieties.

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