Tomatoes are amazing plants. Ben doesn’t like eating tomatoes, and he often thinks a cat has peed somewhere if I’ve been pruning tomato plants (they have a certain spicy smell to them), but I keep telling him that they’re awesome. I mean, he loves ketchup. I wish he’d eat tomatoes!
This year we’re overdoing it a bit on the tomatoes. There’s a reason though. We want to make chutney/tomato sauce, and for that you need lots of tomatoes. Also, I can eat tomatoes at every meal. Show me the tomatoes!
Last year, I cheated and got some seedlings from the grocery store after my seeds failed to sprout. They were grafted tomatoes, and were massive producers. I didn’t prune them or do anything special, just stuck them in big pots out front (the soil at our old flat was shocking) and left them to it.
This year, I’ve learned a few things about tomatoes this year that I didn’t know before.
Firstly, there are actual planting methods for tomatoes that will help them. Tomatoes are a plant that will grow roots on any part of the stem that you put under the soil, so to get a really good root base, plant them deep.
That’s why each time I repot my tomatoes, they go into deeper pots, and I put them low in the pot and pile up the soil (a bit like how you hill up potatoes, really).
When you finally do put them in the ground outside, there are two methods you can use depending on what type of soil you have.
If you have good, easy-draining soil, the straight down method should work for you. You dig a really deep hole, and pop your tomato plant in, leaving a few sets of leaves above the soil line.
The second method works if your soil isn’t very loose/well draining. You dig a trench and lay your tomato plant down sideways, leaving a few sets of leaves coming out one end of the trench above the soil line. You cover almost the entire plant in soil when you fill in the trench, leaving only the top part of the plant visible one end of the trench. Apparently the part you leave above the soil line will start growing upwards from there, resulting in a great root ball for your tomato plant!
Crazy, isn’t it? I had no idea.
The other nifty thing I learned is that you can grow tomato plants from cuttings! I seriously had no idea, but will keep this in mind for the future.
Do you know any other neat tricks & tips about growing tomatoes? Are you a believer in pruning your tomato plants?