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PLANTING GLASSHOUSE TOMATOES

Posted by Rosemoor Garden on 29 May 2009 at 10:57 AM

We planted glasshouse tomatoes during the first week of May.

 

They were sown on the 10th March and placed on the heated bench in Glasshouse one. This is set to maintain a temperature of  21deg C. They took 6 days to germinate and were pricked out into 7cm pots. These were then potted on into 1 litre pots on the 25th March.

At Rosemoor we reckon the last frost will be around the 3rd week in May. This means it is safe to plant the tomatoes in the glasshouse from the beginning of May onwards. We have a small electric heater in the glasshouse which just gives frost protection at this time of year, although ideally we would like to maintain a temperature of around 12-15 deg C minimum.

The plants are planted out when the first flower truss was just visible.

 

This will normally take about 8 weeks from seed sowing under our growing conditions.

We use baler twine as supports – it needs to be strong to take the weight and 1 ½ times the final height.  The tomatoes are planted on the string and as they grow the roots grow through the knot at the end and secure the string in the ground.

 

The top of the string is secured to a metal framework in the glasshouse. This needs to be strong enough to take the weight of the crop, which by the end on the season can be considerable.

We would expect to get 7-8 trusses set by the end of the summer, although the last truss will have to be ripened off the vine.

We are growing the following cultivars this year (description based on seed catalogues). The two cultivars Tomato ‘'Merveilles des Marchés' and ‘Sasha's Altai Pride’  are new to us, so it will be interesting to see how they perform. ‘Sasha's Altai Pride’ is supposed to be a very early maturing beefsteak type. Most beefsteaks are late maturing which can make it difficult to get good fruit in poor summers.


Tomato ‘Alicante’
Crops in: 68 Days. Description: Cordon (Indeterminate). A superior variety possessing all the things we look for in a tomato. Alicante produces a heavy crop of greenback free fruit early in the season and the flavour is excellent. 2005 [TM] 

Tomato ‘Ailsa Craig’
Crops in: 68 Days. Description: Cordon (Indeterminate) sized fruit of perfect size and shape early in the season with excellent deep colour and noted for its vigour and the exceptional flavour of its fruit.

Tomato ‘Andine Cornue’
Cordon. Outdoor or glasshouse. Introduced several years ago from the Andes by a French collector. Large fruits resembling peppers which are very suitable for soups and sauces. Early ripening. [Organic Gardening]

Tomato ‘Burpee Delicious’
Cordon. Very popular, almost solid flesh. Holds world record of 7lb (3kg+) plus. (Simpson)

In 2007 at Rosemoor we grew a fruit weighing 1094gm. The good thing about this cultivar is that the flavour is superb – a good balance of sugars and acids.

Tomato ‘Cristal’
Cordon best under glass or in sunny spot outdoors. Large, firm, round, with a glossy scarlet, greenback free skin and dark inner flesh. Excellent all round disease resistance. [TM]

Tomato ‘Faworyt’
A compact-growing beefsteak variety that performed marvellously in Suttons  trials, producing large fruit up to 0.4 kg (14 oz) in weight. The pink flesh is particularly delicious and contains few seeds. Top in Sutton’s taste test (Sutton)

Tomato ‘Gardener’s Delight’ 
Crops in: 65 Days . Description: Cordon (Indeterminate). The true tangy flavour of tomatoes of a century or more ago. If you are of the opinion tomatoes have lost their flavour 'Gardener's Delight' is a must for you. It is a greenhouse or outdoor type, packed with bite-size fruit, ideal for salads and sandwiches and full of vitamins. Highly commended RHS trials. 2005 [TM] 

Tomato ‘Merveilles des Marchés’
Very old French cordon. Smooth and medium to large fruit. (Simpson)

Tomato ‘Sasha's Altai Pride’ 
Red, regular leaf. Beefsteak type, thin skinned scarlet, 4 oz. sweet & mild fruits. Lacy looking vines.  From Sasha Stavrov, Irkutsk, Siberia (Seeds by Size)

Tomato ‘Shirley’ 
Crops in: 68 Days. Description: Cordon (Indeterminate). A popular early maturing, heavy cropping variety for cold or slightly heated greenhouses with excellent quality fruit. Recommended for grow bag culture with an open growing habit and resistance to TMV, Cladosporium ABC and Fusarium 1 and 2. 2005 [TM] 

Tomato ‘Sungold’ 
Crops in: 60 Days. Description: Cordon (Indeterminate). An excellent new tomato for glasshouse or outdoor culture to provide lots of deliciously different fruit for salads etc. With their exceptional and very high sugar content (it definitely rivals 'Gardeners Delight') these attractive golden orange, approx. 13 gram, fruit are irresistible with a sweet flavour all their own - almost a dessert fruit! Sungold crops well and has resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus and Fusarium to ensure healthy plants. 2005 [TM] 

Tomato ‘Sweet Million’
Cordon. Outdoor or under glass. Super-sweet cherry type. A heavy cropping variety, producing luscious, shiny, red cherry-sized fruit that keeps well over a long period. Ideal for the glasshouse or sunny patio. [Sutton]

Tomato ‘Tigerella’  
Crops in: 59 Days. Description: Cordon (Indeterminate). The finest of the preferred supermarket size tomatoes we've grown. Completely greenback free, crops heavily and over THREE WEEKS earlier than Moneymaker. It grows well outdoors or in a greenhouse in all areas, has a rich, tangy flavour uniquely its own - and the eye appeal of those clearly defined red and yellow stripes! [TM] 2005

 

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