Matamata Chronicle - - Gardening -

Make sure all your tomato plants get a con­sis­tent sup­ply of wa­ter while the fruit is de­vel­op­ing. Too much wa­ter and the skins will split or the plants will de­velop blossom end rot (brown patches at the base); too lit­tle and they’ll fail to de­velop at all.

Feed your toma­toes with liq­uid food ev­ery week if pos­si­ble for the best crops. You might no­tice that the old­est leaves on your toma­toes (the ones at the bot­tom) are start­ing to turn yel­low and look un­healthy.

Don’t panic. Just use a sharp, clean pair of se­ca­teurs to snip them off. Re­mov­ing the lower leaves also lets sun­light in to ripen the fruit and im­proves air cir­cu­la­tion around your plants, re­duc­ing the risk of blight. Don’t take off too much fo­liage though. If toma­toes are fully ex­posed to the sun, their skins can burn (re­sult­ing in sun scald).

Sow an­other crop of beans and salad greens (beans pic). Sow an­nual herbs like Ital­ian pars­ley, co­rian­der and basil ev­ery fort­night too. That way you’ll have a con­stant sup­ply right through sum­mer and well into au­tumn.

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