The Advertiser - - WEEKEND EXTRA - YOUR GUIDE -

THERE’S great ex­cite­ment – the sud­den burst of warm weather last week has boosted soil tem­per­a­tures in the gar­den.

For those who can’t wait to start plant­ing their sum­mer veg­eta­bles, it’s only a mat­ter of days now be­fore con­di­tions are warm enough to start plant­ing toma­toes.

Ex­pe­ri­enced gar­den­ers know the im­por­tance of not plant­ing tomato seedlings into an open gar­den un­til top soil tem­per­a­tures (10 to 20cm) re­main con­sis­tently above 16C.

This en­sures they re­main suf­fi­ciently stim­u­lated to be­gin pro­duc­ing strong, healthy growth.

No doubt some gar­den­ers al­ready have their plants – grown from seed – sit­ting in small con­tain­ers ready for ac­tion. For oth­ers, it’s time to pay a visit to your lo­cal gar­den cen­tre and check out the mul­ti­tude of va­ri­eties now avail­able, be­fore de­cid­ing which toma­toes to grow this sea­son. Keep in mind what you do be­fore you plant toma­toes is just as im­por­tant as the va­ri­ety you choose. Lo­ca­tion – While toma­toes are sun-lovers and need at least six hours of sun a day, per­for­mance is sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved if the plants re­ceive af­ter­noon shad­ing through sum­mer.

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