Monday, 16 January 2012

Tomato Red Alert

Finding tomato varieties that grow well in your area is very important for success. With so many from which to choose, when you find one that does very well, it's worth growing every season and for me, it's Red Alert.

The earliness and taste of this variety are second to none - at least in my garden - and I would recommend it to everyone to try.

As a cherry and bush variety it is easy to move under cover in the spring if temperatures become too cold or weather too wet.

It's only downside is that it can become a bit "leggy" and needs plenty of light. It performs best in a large container rather than a hanging basket and as a general rule, will produce an excellent harvest in a large pot or container. Grow bags are OK too, but it's best to keep the low growing branches off the ground.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and a successful tomato growing season!

Santa brought me a large electric propagator and an LED grow light to replace my old set-up, so I have the chance now to sow tomato seeds even earlier than usual.

One of the problems with sowing early is that plants can become too leggy - especially if there is not enough light. Therefore, keeping seedlings at a mild temperature requires some artificial lighting in the form of a grow lamp/light.

Getting the combination of light, heat and moisture correct can be tricky because too much heat and moisture and they'll shoot up like rockets ... a temperature that is too cold will slow or even check growth and plants may not recover.

Keeping a minimum of moisture in the soil (under-watering) is my approach when conditions are cold. When temperatures are warm and light levels are high, tomato plants are happy with plenty of moisture, especially when they are fruiting.