Monday, October 12, 2015

Tomato Planting Time!


Photo by Helen



If you live in the warm areas of Australia like Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide etc. then it’s almost time to plant out those tomatoes as the soil will now be warming up. In Melbourne we have a saying, “plant your tomatoes after Cup Day,” which is held on the first Tuesday of November.

Now is the time to prepare your tomato bed. The first thing to do is pick a site in a sunny position. You will need for good results at least 6-7 hours of sunlight a day. Tomatoes love a well prepared bed, so get to it by digging in some lovely compost. I’ll be using mushroom compost and  some well rotted manure or blood and bone. Make sure your soil drains well, tomatoes don’t like wet feet!

When you plant your babies out you need to not be afraid to plant them deep, at least to above their seedling leaves. This way they will form a good strong root system that will support the plant. I'll mulch around each plant with straw, this will help keep the soil moist especially on those really hot days we get, but remember to keep the straw mulch away from their stems. Another thing I do is to use a good scattering of sulphate of potash around the base of the plant. It’s magic for tomatoes as it encourages good strong growth and lovely fruit.

Get the watering right. They don't like wet feet, just keep them moist and never let them dry out especially when they are producing those lovely tomatoes for you or you’ll stress them and that leaves them open to disease. Last but not least, I always plant by my tomatoes some basil and some marigolds - they’re best of friends you know!


So if you haven’t got your plants yet, why not pop down to your local garden centre and choose a few yummy varieties for your own back yard and soon you’ll be enjoying tomatoes that really do taste like tomatoes should.