This year I’m determind to make a go of growing tomatoes. Last year I grew Gardeners Delight but even though I knew I had to pinch out the shoots inbetween the trusses I didn’t keep up with it and consequently I ended up with a bush-like plant and very small tomatoes. This year I decided to buy my tomato plants from the nursery (to save space at home more than anything). I bought them this weekend they are: Gardeners Delight (x2), Shirley, Sun Belle (plum variety) and Supersweet 100 (cherry bush variety). All except the bush variety are cordons which means I’ll have to keep on top of the ‘pinching out’. I’ve planted them out already (after a night under fleece in my back garden). I spaced them about 40 cm apart and gave each one a sturdy cane for support. They’re doing well!
From reading around I’ve learned that tomatoes have one long tap root and lots of small ‘feeding’ roots near the soil level. The tap root is searching for water and the feeding roots are looking for food. The tap root needs a constant supply of water so I have saved five Avian water bottles specifically to help me with this. I have nailed some holes in the cap, sliced off the bottom and sunk it into the ground beside the tomatoes (I actually did this before I planted them so as not to damage the roots). I plan to fill this up once a day and the water will drip, drip through the holes. Hopefully this will give them enough constant water so they won’t split from over watering. I’ll feed the tomatoes too (with Tomorite probably) once a week but this will be watered directly onto the ground so that the feeding roots can gather the food. According to Sarah Raven you only need to feed your tomatoes once they have flowered and are setting fruit.