3 tomato growing tips that will save you 8 weeks
If you love nothing better than a fresh hand picked garden tomato sliced thick on your sandwich, here are three tips for accelerated growth that should have you eating your own home grown tomatoes 8 weeks earlier than most.
The first tip is an easy one and that’s to cheat time a bit by starting with a big at least 30cm tall advanced tomato plant in August. The bigger the better when it comes to early tomatoes. I often take home big old pot bound plants and bury the bottom three or four sets of leaves so just the fresh bit on top is above the soil. Our early advanced plants have been raised in igloos through the winter to beat the cold, then rested for a week outside so they don’t die the minute you get them home.
Soil preparation and food
There are literally thousands of different fertilizers for tomatoes. Here is what i do each year to get a veggie garden bed ready for early tomatoes.
- Dig in manures, composted cow and poultry are best and great value, 1 bag per 4 square meters
- Plant each advanced tomato on top of a tea spoon of One Minute fertilizer
- Add an extra tea spoon or two of One Minute fertilizer to the soil immediately around plants stem
- Water daily unless it has rained
- Repeat One Minute fertilizer at the start of October
- For the workaholics it is optional to liquid feed twice per week with Flourish
Notes: It sounds like a lot of fertilizer especially since the One Minute Fertilizer lasts six months, don’t worry just keep feeding, tomatoes are just about impossible to over feed.
Plant in the sunniest spot
For tomatoes planted in August in Lake Macquarie or cooler areas like the upper Hunter Valley a sunny hot position is important to get early flowers which equal early fruit. A corner next to the house, fence or a brick wall facing north is ideal. If you do not have a veggie patch in a spot facing north you can start the advanced seedlings in big pots and plant out the pots once the year warms.
So start early with a big advanced plant, feed a lot and often and plant in a sunny warm spot to get better tastier tomatoes than you can buy at the shops.