A Tomato Growing Venture #3: Staking Time22:10:00
Hopefully you are fist pumping the air with all the success you are having out in your garden with your veggies, particularly with the tomatoes. Thankfully and finally we have had some decent rains here this week, so the veggie patch and the tomatoes are very happy indeed.
If you are following along, I thought id share the next instalment of my tomato growing venture as I had another visit form Norm on Thursday.
He came over as it was time to show me how to start stripping the stems as well as staking and a tiny bit of spraying. Those earwigs really are a menace.
As always, its so much easier with pictures so without further a do, here is what has been happening next on this tomato venture.
Do you recall in the second post of this series where I mentioned to bury the lowest shoots of leaves when you were planting the seedlings?
Well, Norm bought over this particular seedling pictured below to show me how abundant the roots on the tomato plant were from planting the seedling this way. As you can see, the top arrow is pointing to the roots that have formed from the first set of leaves.
Below you can see that I have pointed out the little shoot growing in the 'V' where the limb and the stem of the tomato meet.
These little shoots have to go.
You need to check over all your plants and carefully knock these little shoots off. Norm actually used a stanly knife for this and whilst you could probably just use your fingers, for the cleanliness of the cut, a sharp knife would be ideal. You will need to continue to do this over the next few weeks as the seedlings grow.
Norm also cut off a couple of branches that were touching the ground and that were looking a little sad and limp.
Tomatoes sure are hairy buggers aren't they?
The next thing was to stake the tomatoes as they are starting to get some decent height now and need supporting. Norm uses a figure '8' tie for this as the string doesn't slip as easily and the loops around both the tomato and the stake still allow for a tiny bit of movement.
I did take the little windbreak away and probably could have taken the entire shade cover off as the plants are strong enough to survive in the sunshine now, however with the impending rains and storms forecast over the next few days, I thought it'd be safer to leave it on. Its also starting to get very hot here in the afternoons and the plants could also use the protection from that hot afternoon sun.
Last but not least of the major jobs was to give the plants a spray of a mild insecticide. As you can see below, the earwigs are having a lovely feast in the patch and they just have to go. This will be done every 2-3 weeks, depending on the damage and the weather of course. I couldn't tell you what Norm used. He brought over his little spray unit and went to town. Though he did say any Yates insect spray or similar product would be fine.
I also pulled out a few competing weeds that were sprouting and that was it.
So there you have it in a nutshell, 4 more easy tips for your continued tomato growing.
1. Take off those unwanted shoots at the 'V' on your plants.
2. Stake and tie up the vines for support.
3. Spray pests
4. Keep the weeds at bay.
I hope your tomatoes are looking good.
What else have you been doing to nurture yours along?
Thanks for visiting today.
Dont forget, you can catch up on all the tomato growing fun here in the paddock in the last two posts of the series: