Wednesday 8 May 2013

Planting-out tomatoes

Keeping a very close watch on the weather forecast, at the weekend I judged that it was time to plant out the first of my tomatoes. They had grown a lot in the last couple of weeks - so much so that they had nearly outgrown the 5" pots into which I had transplanted them:

I'm still not 100% confident that we have seen our last frost of the year, so I didn't want to plant them all out at once. I have hedged my bets. The best three of the "Maskotka" plants have gone into the Woodblocx raised bed (at last, I have planted something in it! A long-awaited moment...)

In order to help these plants get established, I have put each one of them under a large plastic bell-cloche.

Unfortunately, the local wildlife like this raised bed as much as I do, so the planting of anything in it has to be accompanied by the relevant precautions. I have therefore erected a net to cover the whole bed:

Over on the other side of the garden I have filled with compost a big container made from an old water-butt, and into it I have planted two "San Marzano" tomatoes. This is a bush type, so it will not grow very tall. It produces large red plum-shaped fruits with few seeds, ideal for making into sauces.

Of course, after planting-out comes the inevitable anti-wildlife protection:

I have put a few plants into big square planters equipped with bamboo canes supported by some of those cane-supports that I bought the other day...

Despite my best efforts, one of the cane-supports is still very wonky, so its tomato is going to have to learn to climb at a sharp angle! (See below, right).

Significantly, I have not potted-up ALL of my tomato plants yet. I still want to be able to bring them inside (into the garage, for instance) if the weather turns nasty, and once they are tied to tall canes this become impractical. So the other plants will remain in their 5" pots for another few days.

  Another week, or ten days maybe...


  1. Luckily for me my tomatoes will be grown in the greenhouse. I shall buy some more compost next weekend for the final potting up. Three San Marzano (like you for sauce),three Gardeners delight & three Moneymaker( I think), also a small selection of tumbling types.

  2. I grew 'maskotka' variety and they were very tasty, a lot of small red tomatoes - more than you can eat! I think it's a Polish variety, because the word 'maskotka' means either a fluffy or plush stuffed child toy or a mascot, a lucky charm that brings a good luck.

    This year I'm having 'san marzano' for the first time, I heard they're perfect for sauces and pastes.

    In Poland we usually plant out tomatoes and peppers after 15th May, because according to superstitions :) 12th, 13th and 14th are the 'Ice Saints' and 15th is the 'cold Sophia' day - and these 4 days bring colder weather and even sometimes ground frosts! :)

  3. It won't be long before my tomatoes are being potted on to their final containers. I'm growing some in the greenhouse and some outdoors this year, but I'm not trusting the weather up here just yet, I'm hanging on a while longer before I turf them out.

  4. I won't be planting mine out for a while yet - and the greenhouse is full so they indoor ones will have to wait too.

  5. Those tomato plants are really healthy, beautiful ones!
    I'm setting out my tomato plants today, too.
    I bought already growing plants - none as pretty as yours.
    For large slicing tomatoes, Red Beefsteak
    For medium-sized tomatoes, Jet Star and Super Fantastic
    For small cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100 (red), and Sun Sugar (yellow)
    All are the kind that continue to grow until frost, so I am constructing an elaborate support system.
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

  6. We won't be risking ours out just yet - they are still only small anyway as we have to sow seeds a bit later to take account of late frosts.

  7. My tomatoes finally went in too and those screens look the same as mine - funny how the wildlife won't touch a bed until it's planted and then it is irresistible to them.


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