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This is especially important in the UK because May and June can often be cool and windy. For more details on how to harden off plants, click here.
For each plant, dig a hole (45cm / 18in apart) in the bed to about 5cm / 2in deeper than the pot and water if conditions are at all dry. Ease the tomato plant out of the pot, keeping the root ball undisturbed as far as possible. Place it in the hole and fill around the plant with soil. The soil should be a 5cm / 2in higher than it was in the pot. Planting tomato plants deeper in the soil than in the pot will encourage the formation of additional roots.
Loosely tie the plant's stem to the support stake using soft garden twine -
allow some slack for future growth.
Just before transplanting the tomato plants to their
final position drive a strong stake into the ground 5cm (2in) from the
planting position. The stake should be at least 30cm (1ft) deep in the
ground and 1.2m (4ft) above ground level - the further into the ground
the better the support.
The culture of container grown tomatoes is not very different from other methods. The soil used for containers is best half potting compost and half a soil-based type loam - this gives some weight to the soil which helps the stakes to remain in place and stop winds blowing over the container.
The plants will need more frequent watering to keep the soil moist, and will
require feeding with a liquid tomato fertiliser once a week starting
when the first fruits start to form.
Weeding, feeding, watering and support are the main needs of tomato plants. Each one of these is dealt with separately below.
Feeding and Weeding
Green Zebra - super taste and unusual appearance
Tomatoes have two separate areas of the roots. The top area is specialised to take up nutrients in the water they absorb. The lower parts of the roots absorb water but are less able to absorb nutrients. You can make use of these specialised roots to grow healthier and more prolific tomatoes with a simple technique. Click here to find out more.
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