Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Growbag Tomatoes

I'm growing more tomatoes this year than I've ever done before. My greenhouse is only six foot by four foot, so I only usually have six plants in there at the most. This year, I've decided to grow some plants outdoors as well as growing some in the greenhouse. The varieties I'm growing in the greenhouse are Tangella, San Marzano, Gardener's Delight and Costoluto Florentino. The outside varieties are San Marzano, Gardener's Delight, Costoluto Florentino, two Ferlines and four Totems, thirteen plants in total. I usually grow my tomato plants in containers, however, four of the plants have been planted in to growbags which have been cut in half and turned on their ends. This has given a great depth in to which the plants are nestled. I'm hoping for great things from my tomatoes this year after the extremely late harvest I got last year.

The Sunburst squash seeds which I resowed have now germinated and are growing away. I don't know why I had problems with them germinating the first time round as the other squash seeds I sowed at the same time germinated without any difficulty. The other two varieties I'm trying are Queensland Blue and Crown Prince, they're both winter squash whereas the Sunburst is a summer squash.

The weather has been beautiful this week, and looking at the forecast, the sunshine is supposed to stay around for a while yet. I'm not complaining, it's about time we had some decent weather, though I'm hoping that this spell of good weather isn't the only summer we're going to get this year. I've been looking at what's in flower in my garden and I've done a little tour on my Through The Keyhole blog if you'd like to take a look.

30 comments:

  1. Good luck with the tomatoes. It looks like I'll being going to plan B for mine...don't ask!
    I've given up with my squash and courgette seeds. If I do grow any now it'll be from bought or given plants.
    I've been making the most of the good weather by plotting every morning this week. Flighty xx

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    1. Oh no, that doesn't sound very good. My squash are growing well now, I think they just needed a bit of sunshine and heat. Glad you've managed to make the most of the good weather, we never know how long it's going to last.

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  2. Your tomatoes are looking good, Jo, and that's a great idea to use the growbags like that. Let's hope the sun keeps up so we get a good harvest this year. I'm growing Totems for the first time , and have lots of little fruits on them already. I hope they taste as good as they look!

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    1. This is the first time I'm using growbags this way, I hope it works well. You're ahead of me with your Totems, though mine look as though they'll be flowering very soon. It's the first time that I'm growing this variety too so I hope they taste good.

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  3. Tomato excitement. I trying them again this year after a break of 4 years. I got so sick of getting blight but I'm hoping with the greenhouse that I can get a decent crop this time.

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    1. Your greenhouse should make all the difference. I'm the other way around, having always grown mine in the greenhouse previously, I've never suffered from blight. I hope this isn't the year that I do.

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  4. Snap! Both on the size of the greenhouse and using grow bags like that to grow tomatoes in. I've ended up with 8 varieties this year (a little excessive I think) as I'd gone over board and planted 6 and then a friend gave me 2 heritage ones! I'm growing them all in the greenhouse at the moment - not much room in there now, but I do only have 1 plant of each variety, the rest have gone to friends :-)

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    1. It's so hard to narrow down the varieties, especially when you have friends passing on more interesting ones. I hope they all do well for you.

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  5. Will be interested to see how they fare in the upturned grow bags Jo. Mine will soon be traveling to the allotment where we are lucky enough to have a rather large community greenhouse and folk who will kindly water when I'm away :)

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    1. It's great that you have someone to care for your plants while you're away, I have to rely on relatives to keep popping over to top up the water. I've used growbags before but in the more conventional way, but they always seem very shallow. I'm hoping that the plants will be able to put down some good roots this way.

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  6. I've heard great things about Tangella - I tried to find some seeds but I couldn't. Maybe next year. I also grow Ferline, because of the blight resistance, and I find Sungold usually do well for me outside. This year I'm trying Stupice and Arctic Plenty as well. What is it about tomatoes that I always end up with more than I mean to? The grow bag idea is a good one I think, it gives plenty of depth. Hope they all do really well for you.

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    1. I've grown Tangella every year for the last few years after a friend gave me some seed, they're my favourite. I always have lots of tomato varieties too, it's so hard to choose just a couple.

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  7. Great idea for growing tomatoes - I wish I'd thought of it.

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    1. It's the first time I've used growbags this way so I'll let you know how they get on later on in the season. I think the plants will enjoy the extra depth.

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  8. It's a brilliant idea to use the gro bags like that. Tomatoes and cucumbers all planted up here now, plus my experimental ones outside. If the weather carries on like this all should be well. But I'm not holding my breath..

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    1. I've still got my cucumbers to pot up yet, but the tomatoes are all done now. I'm hoping for lots of sunshine to ripen all the fruit, it was dreadful last year and I ended up ripening them all off the vine.

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  9. Good idea to use the grow bags like that. Your tomatoes are far bigger than mine xxx

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    1. I think plants tend to shoot up when we get some decent weather, most of mine have done this week.

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  10. If blight is around it will be interesting to see how Ferline perform in comparison to the other varieties.

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    1. I'm hoping it's not going to be tested, but you never know now that I'm growing outside.

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  11. Jo, I would hesitate about using non-rigid containers for my tomatoes. I often like to move them to a better location as weather conditions change, and I think this might damage the root-system in a soft container like those grow-bags. I'll be interested to see how you get on with them.

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    1. The volume of soil in half a growbag makes them fairly rigid. I doubt I'll be moving them, I don't have any better locations in the garden that they're in at present, and the canes are tied in to the fence to make them more secure.

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  12. Good luck with the toms outside. I've not managed that successfully this far north and look forward to seeing how yours do. <aybe in future years I might get away with it in a sheltered location?

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    1. This will be my first time growing tomatoes outdoors, save for the odd plant before I had my greenhouse, so I'm really hoping that they don't suffer from blight. The potatoes have always been fine, though I probably have them up before the risk of blight strikes.

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  13. Your toms look smashin! I was watching Gardeners world a few weeks ago and some guy was growing toms in hardly any compost but was feeding them with his own special mixture. I was amazed at how many toms he got.

    Oh the weather is simply wonderful isn't it, I just love it too!xxxx

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    1. I saw that programme, it was fascinating. He was feeding the tomatoes every day, and the plants were growing in such little compost. Monty Don is doing a bit of a trial around it this year so I'm looking forward to finding out how he gets on. Another gorgeous day here today, long may it last.

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    2. That chap you are talking about is Richard Sandford. http://www.lowerlovettsfarm.com

      Good luck to him and I hope he stays healthy for many years to come. Under 'articles' on his website is a page entitled "my cancer" - absolutely fascinating and I wish I was near enough to visit during July :{

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    3. Thanks for that information. I intend to wander around his website a little more when I have more time, but I've read his Cancer article and it is fascinating. As a Cancer survivor myself I'm always interested in these kind of articles.

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  14. Your tomato plants look great, mine are still very small but I have high hopes for them.

    My squash are in the ground already but growth seems slow.

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    1. I can see flowers starting to develop on the tomatoes, so it shouldn't be long now until they start fruiting. I'm sure your squash will take off all of a sudden, they sometimes take a little time after they've been planted out to get going.

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