The days are now getting longer and warmer in May but I probably won’t be planting any tomato plant outdoors until later in the month. Last year I planted my tomatoes in the ground too early and they didn’t grow for a little while so I shall wait a bit longer this time.
Right now I have a few pots of various varieties of tomatoes sheltered in my greenhouse. I have started to plant some of them in my greenhouse as you can see in the picture and I will keep the rest for outdoor growing.
The advantage of growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is that they are protected from the bad weather and wind with the additional benefit that they ripen quicker since the heat stays in.
In total this year I sowed 5 different varieties of tomatoes: Gardeners’ delight, Alicante, Marmande (which I have never grown before), Roma plum tomatoes, and a black cherry tomato.
At the far end of the greenhouse I have dug up the soil and built in a special boxed container for growing my tomatoes. I replace the compost every year and at present I am using the organic peat-free compost from New Horizon.
I have just planted 3 tomato plants in the container in my greenhouse of the following varieties:
Marmande : since they are bigger tomatoes I expect that they will take longer to ripen so they are probably best grown in a greenhouse. I have placed the plant in the far end corner of the greenhouse as it is most exposed to the sun.
Tigerella tomato : one of my favourite tomato varieties with medium size yellow striped fruits.
Gardeners delight : an old favourite which is easy to grow.
I may also have another tomato plant in a big pot which I will try to fit in a water tight container so that any drip of water is collected.
Since I have space for a few grow bags in my greenhouse, I am planning to grow a few sweet red peppers and plant a few of the chillies which I have grown from seeds. I may also include some cucumbers and one egg plants since I am not so keen on these vegetables.
Using grow bags in my greenhouse
Grow bags are easy to use. I would recommend planting no more than 3 peppers per bag for example so that they get enough space and nutrients to develop nicely.
Simply place the grow bag on the greenhouse floor next to a window panel. I aim to have 3 equidistant holes in the top of the bag and for that purpose I shall draw 3 crosses in the bag with a knife then dig out some of the compost from the bag with a trowel so that I can insert my tomato plant and top up again with a bit of compost.
I usually try to cut a hole as small as possible to prevent evaporation of water from the bag since it gets really hot in the greenhouse in summer. And I sometimes forget to water my tomatoes!
With so many tomato plants on the go I shall have a good crop to use as roasted, salad or tomato sauce, and also to share with my friends.