Tips on cultivation: tomatoes

Location

Tomatoes need light and warmth. In full sun, tomato plants can grow juicy and sweet fruits.
Ideal for a cultivation are warm temperatures of at least 15° Celsius. Therefore, young plants should stay on windowsills or in bright greenhouses until mid-May when weather conditions are still cold. Then the plants can be taken outside. But pay attention: do not put the plants in direct sun right from the start or they will get a serious "sun-burn" (destruction of the surface of the leaves caused by UV-radiation).

To protect the plants in open land they should be planted in sheltered, if possible roofed and airy locations. Greenhouses should be ventilated well to assure a low humidity and pollination by bees.

Watering and manuring

Best is to water your Volmary tomatoes regularly in the morning. A constant water supply helps to avoid apical-blossom end rot.
Gardening tip: Put a clay pot with a hole next to your plant and pour water in it. The water then runs slowly into the soil without washing it away. To avoid diseases while watering pay attention that the leaves to not get wet.

Tomatoes need a nutritious and humic soil with plenty of "food" to grow tasty fruits. Please keep in mind: too much fertiliser is to be avoided since this would cause an overgrowing of the plant but without many fruits. This is why you should always choose a special fertiliser for tomatoes.

Additional measures of cultivation

  • Choose a planting distance of ca. 60 x 80 cm (with stake tomatoes).
  • Pinch out shoots or debud. This means the removal of sideshoots from the leaf axil. Hereby, the tomato plants get more light and growth is focused on the fruits. Pinching out shoots should be done with all tomatoes that grow long. Bush-, pot- or hanging basket tomatoes however are not pinched out.
  • Your tomato plants need foothold in order to grow best (exception: bush- or pot tomatoes). In garden centres you can buy spiral sticks for that which are well suited for letting the plant grow upright. Alternatively, you can also simply use wooden sticks or let the plant grow on strings or trellises with the help of plastic clips.
  • Tomatoes can after-ripen in dark locations inside your house.
  • Growth support should be provided and cleaned regularly in order to protetct the plant against leaf blight and similar diseases. Change locations of cultivation frequently in the follwówing years.
  • A cultivation in large pots or bags of soil is also possible (that is also an alternative to changing the location). Before planting in pots, remember to look if they have holes so abundant water can drain off and water-logging is avoided.
  • Tomatoes are self-fertilising, thus not depended on pollen of other tomato plants. Pollination is fostered by wind, insects and tremors. That is why gardeners carefully shake the stems in windless greenhouses. Important pollinators like bees and bumble-bees should also be allowed to visit the tomato plants. They reliably pollinate on their search for nectar.

Grafed tomatoes

To get grafted tomatoes, robust varieties that are resistant to diseases and very fruitful and aromatic varieties are planted next to each other. This way they mix and grow a grafted plant. This provides the following advantages: they have a higher yield than non-grafted plants, strong growth, a better quality of pulp and leaves and are especially persistent against diseases and pests.

Grafted tomatoes are very strong. That is why 2-3 shoots can grow simultaneously. Especially espaliers for tomatoes on balconies, patios and in greenhouses are an interesting method.

Pay attenteion that the grafted parts of the plants are always above the soil. This ensures the best protection against roundworms and diseases.