Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bed 10: Tomatoes

Bed 10: Tomatoes

This years choice of seed was Black Russian (dark, smooth fruited staking), Pacesetter (roma like bush) both from Eden Seeds and Ida Gold (golden bush cherry) from a member of SSN Planted 24 July 07. Potted on 23 Aug 07

I also purchased seed of San Marzano (cylindrical fruit to 9cm staking) from New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs but only one of the initial sowing grew to of planting size.
A later planting as the first outside planting occured of San Marzano seeds has proved more successful and these will be for a late planting.
Germination was slow this year but once they started many grew.

15 Black Russian plants were sold at the fete stall for the garden club in October.

The main crop of Black Russians and Pacesetters planted in Bed 10 on 23 Oct 07.
The preparation for this bed began back in winter when a compost heap was built on site. See here
Then I decided to turn it into a wicking-water bed go here to see how that was made.

Poly pipe arches were added and shade cloth attached by threading hemmed edges over the end pipes.

Just before planting we prepared the area by:
Attaching lengths of wood to the polypipe arches;
Lengths of wood were placed on the ground under this;
Strings were attached between pieces of wood to support tall Black Russian Tomatoes because I was unable to hammer stakes into the ground due to the plastic base of the wicking system .

At the time of planting they were already flowering and some of the bush ones were setting fruit.

Growing Requirements:

Latin Name: Tomatoes - Lycopersicon esculentum
Cherry Tomatoes - Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium
Family: Solanaceae
Soil: well drained humus/compost rich
pH: 5.5 - 7.5
Plant: Spring/Summer after frost outside
Types:Indeterminate - Staking or tall varieties eg. Grosse Lisse, Beefsteak, Black Russian
Determinate - Bush or dwarf varieties eg.Burnley Gem, Roma, Pacesetter
Cherry Tomatoes eg.Tiny Tim, Cherry Cocktail, Sweetie Spacing: Tall staked plants min 50cm, Bush min 75cm

My Notes:
Regular watering is required to prevent splitting and Blossom End Rot
Ensure adequate calcium levels in soil by adding gypsum, dolomite or crushed eggshells.
Don't plant in beds where other Solanaceae family members (Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggplants, Chillis) have just been growing
Roots of Apricot trees and tomato plants are incompatible.

When pruning take cuttings for a later crop.

Good Companions:

Bad Companions:

Organic Vegetable Growing by Annette McFarlane
The Australian Organic Gardener's Handbook by Keith Smith
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
Southern Holdings Easy Guide to Companion Planting and Seed Sowing
Companion Planting in Australia by Brenda Little


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