17 Jun

Top Tips on Growing Tomatoes in Your Garden

Growing your own vegetables and fruits is an exciting experience and it is not difficult to grow them in your own backyard or kitchen garden. Today, we are sharing expert tips from the folks at Carpenter’s Nursery on growing tomatoes in your own garden.

Growing Tomatoes at Home

First Crop / Image via Flickr

Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be grown effectively in grow bags, hanging baskets (variety – Tumbler), pots, greenhouses or the ground. Despite being subtropical plants they are surprisingly resilient and versatile. For best results though the greenhouse provides the best crop – but if you don’t have one don’t let that discourage you.

If growing from seed, sow in early Spring indoors in seed trays. Seed sowing compost is the ideal germination nutrient. Once the seeds reach an inch in height transplant them into individual pots. Once they reach 6-8 inches transplant them into larger pots, grow bags or tubs etc.

Fertilizing Your Tomatoes

For best results add some long lasting feed or organic fertiliser to a good compost. You can buy it or use your compost heap – dark rich compost will give you the very best results. If you start with nice healthy plants and great compost you are 95% of the way there to getting the perfect results and a huge crop.

Once you have planted the tomatoes water only sparingly initially – then as the flowers come up you can water more. This will mean your tomato plants have a stronger root system.

Taking Care of Your Tomatoes

Tomatoes like warm and moist conditions and you should not let them outside until the weather has significantly warmed and the nights a frost-free unless you are putting them into a greenhouse. At night you can wrap tomato plants in fleece if they are staying outside or just bring them in each night until the weather warms.

Once established tomatoes are fairly easy to maintain. They require regular water (in evenings to avoid evaporation) and should be checked regularly for pests and diseases. Feed every one to two weeks once the plants are producing fruit. The most important issue to look for is Blight – which appears as a brown black fungus that quickly destroys plants. The only real way to protect from this is to grow in a greenhouse or buy disease resistant variety. Other common issues are viruses which will destroy leafs and eventually plants. If your tomatoes start to mottle or leafs die trip them off carefully.

Best Growing Tomato Plants

Carpenter’s Nursery recommends these varieties:

Sungold (Buy seeds online– A popular sweet tomato variety bursting with flavors. Yellow and orange and easy to grow.

Gardener’s Delight (Buy seeds online) – Large cherry tomatoes full of juice and incredibly succulent.

Alicante (Buy seeds online) – A classic variety of tomato and ever popular this is an English classic and always produces exceptional crop yields.

Shirley F1 (Buy seeds online) – Remains one of the most popular varieties for cultivating in cold or slightly heated greenhouses. This early maturing tomato has become an exhibitor’s favorite for its heavy crops of excellent quality fruit.

16 Jun

Weekly Magazine: Garden Dispatch # 9

Welcome to the latest issue of Garden Dispatch.

The Garden Dispatch is a weekly compilation of landscape and garden design resources. In this issue, explore:

5 Tips: How to Make Most of Small Garden Spaces

Small Space Garden Design Tips

Growing all of your favorite plants in a small space is challenging but with a little planning and creativity, you can turn your small space garden into a dream garden. Brook Klausing shares his five tips for making most of small spaces.

  1. Pick the spot with the best view, where you’d want to sit, and build your garden retreat from there.
  2. Wall off the outside world with vine-covered trellises or thin, sculpted trees such as hornbeams.
  3. Use a fountain or firebowl to create a focal point—and offer distraction.
  4. Plant scented flowers or herbs such as lavender or thyme for added distraction.
  5. Keep furniture to a minimum—try a picnic benches, for example, instead of multiple chairs.

Also See: 9 Examples of Beautiful, Small Space Gardens

Plant of the Week: Stipa ichru

Stipa ichru

I am a big fan of ornamental grasses. They are versatile and come in all sizes, colors and textures. Most ornamental grasses are hardy and can grow under tough conditions. You can also put them to many uses. They are good ground covers, they can fill empty landscape spaces, some of them make nice accent plants, and some can be mixed with other plants to add a unique texture and color. The ornamental grass featured today is Stipa ichur. See details here.

Also See: 9 Ornamental Grasses for Your Garden Landscape Design

How To: Get High Yield from Your Kitchen Garden

High Yield Vegetable Garden

If you grow your own vegetables, this is a must read. Stephanie Rose shares her secret of getting high yield from a small vegetable garden. See details here.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Gifts for Green Thumb Dads

Father's Day Gift Idea

It is time of the year. If your dad is into gardening, here is a nice selection of plants you can buy him on this Father’s Day.

Home & Garden Decor: How to Decorate Your Home with Container Gardens

Decorating with Container Garden

Another great article by Stephanie Rose on decorating your home with container garden. You will love these wonderful ideas.

Garden Visits: Highlights from Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

One of my favorite garden shows. If you have not been there, here are highlights from this year’s show.