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Tomato

Solanum lycopersicum

  • ABOUT

A favourite crop of home gardeners, sweet, sun-ripened ‘Russian Red’ tomatoes are perfect for salads, sandwiches and sauces, or just eat them straight from the plant. Tomatoes are heat-lovers and won’t survive outside if it’s too cold. Start your plant inside and don’t move into the garden until Labour Weekend at the earliest.

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  • Follow The Steps!

Getting started

  • Peel the sticker off and find your soil tablet, leave it in the tray. 
  • Pour 60ml of water into the hole with the soil tablet. 
  • All the way to the top of the hole.Let the soil tablet absorb all the water for 5 minutes. 
  • Mix the water into the soil with your fingers to make a even wet mixture. 
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done.

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the tray in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun. 
  • Check the soil every day. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface. 
  • You should see a little plant appear from the soil in 1 or 2 weeks, which means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into          a bigger pot or garden. 
  • You can thin your tamato seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one if more than one little plant grows.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • Shift it into the garden or a pot, when the weather is reliably settled and warm, once the tomato is about as tall as your hand (in 4-5 weeks).
  • Put it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night to harden off your tomato seedling. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so give your tomato full sun and well-drained, rich soil or grow it in a large pot. 
  • This tomato can also be planted straight in a bag of potting mix! First poke a dozen holes in one side of the bag for drainage then flip it over and        cut a square into the plastic to make an opening. Fold up the plastic square and plant your tomato in the potting mix. Easy! 

  • Small tip:Put a handful of milk powder in the hole when you plant your tomato. They’re prone to fungal infection and milk is a natural anti-fungicide.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Stick a stake next to each plant, whether you’re planting in the garden or in a pot. As the tomato grows, tie it to the stake using garden twine (or cut up pieces of pantyhose). 
  • To ensure the main stem grows strong, pinch-off the laterals, or side shoots, as the plant grows. 

  • Small tip:When you pinch off the laterals of your Little Garden tomato, pop them back into the soil. They're likely to grow roots and turn into a whole new tomato plant!

Harvest time

  • Your tomatoes should be ready to pick after 2-3 months 
  • If your tomato is carrying too much fruit and it seems like the stems will snap, harvest semi-ripe fruit, and keep it inside out of direct sunlight (but not in the fridge - the cold is not good for tomato flavour).

Watch out

  • Unfortunately tomatoes can be attacked by many pests, including aphids, whitefly, thrips, caterpillars and psyllid. Healthy, well-fed and                       watered  plants are better able to resist pests, so soak the soil at the base of your tomato thoroughly every few days. Apply liquid tomato food         or liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks.
  • Tomatoes can have problems with fungal infections, such as powdery mildew, particularly in places with humid summers. Give tomatoes a spot       with good air circulation to avoid fungal infections getting a toehold, and keep removing leaves from the bottom 10- 15cm of the stem. Water at       the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves. 
  • Protect your tomatoes from hungry birds. Drape bird netting over your plant, or protect it with a chicken wire cage.

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