• Saturday, May 16th, 2009

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.

Greenhouse Tomatoes

Greenhouse Tomatoes

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.

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4 Responses

  1. 1

    Going to be my first time gardening this year. Since I’m in an urban environment – NYC – I am making self-watering containers. Was hoping to grow some cherry tomatoes in them. You have any experience or thoughts on that?

  2. 2
    The Gardener 

    I had a look at your self watering container and it looks amazing! My solution is a lot simpler: I just put the pot in which I grow my tomato plant into a bigger container like a bucket (or a plastic tub which contains the fat balls for the wild birds). Then I fill up the bucket if I am on holiday since it gets really hot in the greenhouse.
    Your cherry tomatoes should do well in your container. Please let me know how you get on with the self watering container, in particular how long you can keep your tomato plants without watering them.

  3. 3
    The Gardener 

    Hi again,

    Further on from your comment on self watering containers, during my recent visit to the Southern France I saw that your self watering containers were very popular indeed! You are saving at least $40 by making them yourself! Self watering containers don’t seem to have arrived in the UK but it’s not so hot here yet!
    I hope your cherry tomatoes are doing well too.

  1. […] to the UK and My Garden Diary in East Anglia is growing tomatoes both in the greenhouse and outdoors. Varieties include Gardeners […]

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