If you are you tired of spending a small fortune on tomatoes that don’t even taste that good then look no further and grow your own! It is a very rewarding way to save money and eat healthily.
Generally I plant ‘Mega Tom’ grafted tomatoes. These are created by merging two different varieties of tomato plants together, the rootstock and scion. The rootstock provides the strength of any grafted tomato; the scion is the part that produces beautiful tasty fruit. A grafted plant can produce at least double that of a normal variety. Because of the strong rootstock grafted 'Mega Toms' have greater disease resistance and therefore minimal spraying is required.
The optimum temperature for tomatoes is 18-22 degrees Celsius; they do not like temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius, but will handle the occasional 5 degrees. If planting in pots or bags you should use a size equivalent of PB28 or PB40 planter bag. Tomatoes are sun loving plants. If your tomato fruits are not ripening it is most likely caused by low light levels.
For best results use Oderings Fruit & Veggie Mix or Oderings Shrub & Tub Mix. You can mix this into your garden to provide the best start for your plants, or read on below about planting directly into these bags.
If you use one of our Oderings bagged mixes then you will not need to fertilise your tomato plants until they are one metre tall or start fruiting. We recommend 'Oderings Garden Replenish' or 'Wally’s Secret Tomato Food'.
Water directly onto the soil, not on the leaves as that can encourage disease. Adding a layer of mulch or placing a weed mat around the base can help conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Never keep plants wet, but water regularly to encourage firm fruit. A good point to remember is to water your plant a little less at harvest time; this makes the fruit sweeter and tastier.
Too many shoots inhibit fruit development, therefore, lateral shoots need to be removed regularly. Once the tomato has reached 1.8m, the top of your stake or the top of your greenhouse, pinch out the tips.
The biggest problem affecting tomatoes and potatoes is psyllid which affects the quality of your potato and tomato crop. If you have had potatoes that have been really small, or tomato plants which looked wrinkled and stunted, then this is most likely the issue. This little nasty insect is resistant to nearly all chemical sprays, making it extremely hard to control. The best cure for these nasty insects is to prevent their arrival on your plants in the first place. I recommend 'Neem Granules' applied at six weekly intervals. Neem is the only product that I never forget to use in our vegetable patch. Yates has also registered 'Mavrick' and ‘Success Ultra’ as a spray to eliminate these psyllids and is the only registered products available for this purpose. Remember when spraying to fully cover the undersides of the leaves. For best results alternate spays in a two week rotation.
The main issue people have with diseases with tomatoes occurs with poor watering or over-watering. Don’t water at night and this will help alleviate the fluctuating temperatures which can cause disease. Most diseases can be controlled by using copper, however for the correct diagnosis, please bring a few problem leaves (in a bag) to us and we can help to make sure you are using the right product.
Growing Tomatoes in a Soil-Less Media Bag
You can use an Oderings fruit and veggie mix or a shrub and tub mix bag per tomato plant. These bags will provide the nutrients the tomato plant needs until around December. Slice open the top of the bag and give the bag a thump so the mix settles. With a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, make a line of gashes around the bag, about 5cm up from the bottom. This provides the bag with drainage when watering, but having the holes 5cm from the bottom means there is a small reservoir of water which the plant can use when needed as they are gross drinkers.
Make a hole in the middle of the mix for your tomato plant, remember not to plant the tomato deeper into the media than the level it has been planted in in its nursery pot. This is extra important if planting a grafted tomato, you need to ensure the grafted join is above the soil line. If the graft gets into the mix it can start to grow roots and a whole new plant which will ruin the good grafted variety.
Once planted, water the bag entirely so water runs out the bottom, after this water when required, and don't allow the plants to dry out, they like regular drinks.
The tomato plant will tell you when it need feeding as the bottom leaves will start to yellow as the upper leaves start to take their nutrients. This is when you can start feeding. Follow the care tips above for feeding, pruning and watering.
Large vigorous plants produce round shaped fruit of about 100 grams and are one of the most popular varieties. It possesses excellent disease resistance.
Firm and very flavourful with more beneficial lycopene
Produces big and meaty (250-350g) tasty fruit.
This is a first for a beefsteak-type tomato, as it has a bushy, compact habit with all the big, juicy fruit of a traditional variety. Growing only one metre tall, Big Boss has bountiful loads of 450-500g fruit that have an unsurpassed balance of sweetness and acidity. This tomato will dominate a sandwich or burger bun in one slice and is brilliant on a summer barbecue or in salads.
An explosion of flavour is the outcome with this reliably sweet, true cherry tomato with red round fruit, which are produced over a long fruiting season.
Don't be put off by the colour, this delightful fruit has an irresistible sweet yet rich taste. Dark Delight is also a heavy cropper producing an abundance of fruit.
Grafted Mega Tom, Deep Delight is an attractive, sweet, quality fruit in red colour with a brown blush. Produces an average of 10 fruit per truss. 25-30 gram cocktail type tomato. Full sun.
Tall growing variety (approx 2m), producing heavy early crops with fruit size of 110-130g.
A flavour hit, this grape-shaped tomato is commercially grown and is early maturing, providing masses of fruit that are sweet and acidic, just like a traditional cocktail tomato.
Large robust red fruits with a heavy abundance of fruit and tall vigorous growth. Stake to support.
High producing heirloom type. Ribbed, deep red tomato of 150-180g produced on trusses of 3-5 fruit. Meaty flesh with a delicate, low acid flavour. Great for sandwich and salads.
A true dwarf tomato reaching only 20cm. It produces lots of tasty cocktail sized fruit. This small yummy tomato grows on a neat and tidy plant which requires no staking and is best suited to growing in a container where you can pick the fresh fruit often.
This semi dwarf variety requires no staking and produces medium sized fruit.
This large, healthy plant produces masses of the sweetest, tastiest, bite-sized tomatoes that you have ever had. It is considered a cocktail tomato but the fruit is bigger than the 'Sweet 100' with an excellent flavour and an extremely high yield. The fruits are brilliant red, round and very uniform. Bred in Europe, the plant offers resistance against virus, leaf spot and fusarium. 'Sweet Treats' can be grown in large tubs or in a well-drained, sunny position in the garden.
Tomato Tangled is packed full of flavour, this truss cocktail will hit you with a new taste sensation. With a slight pink tinge this fruit is sweet and juicy. Each fruit weighs between 20-25g and their high yielding trusses will produce 40 fruits per truss!
A dwarf plant, which produces an excellent crop of round, medium-sized fruit with a delicious flavour. Totem has become popular over the last few years as a container plant that doesn’t require staking or pinching out. With a height of 50-60 cm and spread of 30-40cm. This is an early tomato with medium sized – crimson fruit.
An outstanding plant like no other. It is available in baskets from which two plants cascade and produce handfuls of sweet, juicy cocktail-sized two to four centimetre fruits.