Tui Garden

Tomato Growing Guide

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In sandwiches or salads, roasted or plucked straight from the vine – tomatoes take pride of place in every Kiwi’s garden over the summer months, no matter how you choose to enjoy yours. Plant in your garden beds, pots and containers and you’ll be harvesting a bumper crop of homegrown tomatoes this summer!

 

Prepare

  • Once the cold weather has passed, and the soils have warmed up its time to plant tomatoes. Labour weekend is known as the traditional tomato planting time but tomato seedlings are usually available in garden centres from August.
  • Choose a variety that suits how you like to enjoy your tomatoes.
  • The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like sheep pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Tomato Mix, specifically formulated with extra potassium to encourage a plentiful harvest of big juicy fruit. When planting several tomatoes at once, it is just as easy to add a layer of Tui Tomato Mix to the whole area before planting.
  • It’s best practice not to plant your tomatoes in the same spot as last season, or in the same spot as potatoes were planted as diseases can remain in the soil and affect your new crop. If planting in pots and containers use Tui Tomato Mix.

Plant

  • If you’re growing from seed rather than seedlings, you’ll need to get started about a month earlier to give your seeds time to grow. The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plantsaren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away.
  • Always water plants well before and after planting.
  • Stake your tomatoes when planting to provide support and avoid damaging the roots later on.
  • As your tomatoes grow, remove the laterals to encourage bigger and better fruit. Laterals are the shoots that grow out from the side of the stem.

Directions for planting in garden beds:

  • Choose a sunny position.
  • Fill a bucket with water and add two capfuls of Seasol, a seaweed based plant tonic which promotes strong root growth and reduces transplant shock.
  • Soak seedlings in the bucket of Seasol, ensuring the container is fully submerged. Wait for the bubbles to stop before removing from the bucket.
  • Dig a hole, approximately twice the size of the root ball of your plant.
  • Partly fill the hole with Tui Tomato Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the hole.
  • Fill in with Tui Tomato Mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

Directions for planting in pots and containers:

  • Fill a bucket with water and add two capfuls of Seasol, a seaweed based plant tonic which promotes strong root growth and reduces transplant shock.
  • Soak seedlings in the bucket of Seasol, ensuring the container is fully submerged. Wait for the bubbles to stop before removing from the bucket.
  • Partly fill your container with Tui Tomato Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the container.
  • Fill your container with Tui Tomato Mix up to 3cm from the top.
  • Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

Nourish

  • Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential. For tomatoes planted in garden beds feed every four weeks during key growth periods of spring and summer.
  • Tui Tomato Food is a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and a generous amount of potassium formulated to promote the growth and fruiting potential of all types of tomatoes. For tomatoes in pots and containers use Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
  • Well watered, well nourished tomatoes will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.

Protect

  • The weather, weeds, pest insects and diseases can all impact on the success of your garden. Protect your plants from the elements with layers of Tui Pea Straw Mulch, to help keep their roots moist in the warmer months, to keep fruit off the soil and to help keep your garden weed free.
  • Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants. The Tui Plant Protection range will help you put a stop to any problems that arise. Aphids, whitefly, scale and two-spotted mite, are common insects which effect tomatoes, and can be controlled with Tui Insect Control for Fruit & Veges. Treat powdery mildew on tomatoes with Tui Disease Control for Fruit & Veges.
  • Also, birds love juicy tomatoes – put up netting to protect yours.

Click here to enter to win a Homegrown Tomatoes pack so you can recreate the Homegrown Tomatoes project Annabel has completed, and reap the rewards of your own homegrown delights!