TIME FOR TOMA­TOES

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Seasonal Recipe -

Labour Week­end is the tra­di­tional time to plant toma­toes out­doors. Whack sturdy wooden stakes into the ground be­fore you plant. Space toma­toes at least 50cm apart to al­low for good air­flow (to re­duce the risk of blight later in the sea­son) and pinch out the lat­er­als (the side shoots) for strong tidy plants. Most mod­ern toma­toes are in­de­ter­mi­nate and will keep grow­ing and fruit­ing un­til the first frosts set in. That means they’ll reach 1.8–2.2m tall, so stakes are a must. You can, how­ever, con­trol the height of in­de­ter­mi­nate toma­toes by pinch­ing out their grow­ing tips when their reach the top of the stake. Deter­mi­nate toma­toes, aka bush toma­toes, grow to a cer­tain size then stop flow­er­ing and pro­duce all their fruit at once. They are smaller and don’t need stak­ing.

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