Growing tomato’s in a pot is one of the things I decided to try when I started my square foot gardening plot. You may have read that during the early part of lockdown when we were staying home Mr Fitz and myself spent a lot of time catching up with jobs in the garden. I decided to create a small vegetable patch using one small flower bed using the square foot gardening technique plus I used pots for herbs, potato’s and tomato’s.
I have never grown vegetables before but soon became hooked. I love inspecting my little patch of crops daily looking for my seeds sprouting and then increasing in size. The thrill of seeing my crops turn into recognisable vegetables is fascinating. I have savoy cabbage, beetroot, peas, mangetout, peppers, shallots, radishes and lettuce as well as herbs growing.
My pride though have been my tomato plants. We bought them from a local small garden centre when it reopened. We planted 2 types Gardeners Delight and Moneymaker. We had a large pot that had been tucked away at the back of the garden waiting to be used for something. It was perfect for the job along with an obelisk trellis that we discovered in the bushes in the back flower bed. A remnant from the previous owner. Mr Fitz had a good chop down of shrubs climbers when he discovered it. It was oxidising and I revamped it with some metallic paint left over from when I repainted our metal gates – another lockdown task.
The tomato plants have been thriving and now I have a healthy crop, however they are still green with little or no sign of ripening. It has to be said that I live in Manchester and we have had a terrible summer – no sunshine for weeks just rain and grey skies. Far from ideal for growing tomato’s. This made me research tips to promote ripening.
I looked at a few gardening sites on line and of course my beloved Youtube. A couple of tips to be used when all else fails is to cut into the root, cut off the branches and hang upside down in a garage or shed – being upside down the nutrients would travel down from the root end into the tomato. Or the the green tomatoes could be picked and placed in a cardboard box in newspaper or a paper bag with an apple or a bananas, as these fruits release ethylene which would enhance ripening.
These were a little extreme for me at this point as its still only the start of August and I’m still clinging on to the hope that we will hit a heatwave with lots of sun!
The simplest solution that I found was to cut down all the excess foliage and branches to encourage all the nutrients to go to the growing tomato’s and to also allow more sunlight onto the fruit. This seemed my best option at this stage. Before doing this I had huge bushy plants almost as tall as myself. By the time I had finished I was left with thin straggly looking ones! But the beauty was that all the tomato’s were visible. I’ve counted around 50!
I set to with my secateurs and cut off all branches without any flowers or tomato’s. The small clusters of yellow flowers are the start of new fruit. Although my research has taught me that flowers that are not turning into tomato’s at this stage could also be removed as they may not grow or ripen before the temperatures drop – however being an eternal optimist I have left them for now in the hope of increasing my yield of growing tomato’s.
I have posted photographs of my plants before and after pruning – a total contrast and I now wait and watch in gleeful anticipation for my green tomato’s to turn into plump red ones.
I will update you in a future post as to what happens next.
Are you a dab hand at growing tomato’s? If so do you have any advice to offer? What do you do at this stage – I do not have a greenhouse.
Thanks for popping by today