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GROWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOMATOES
Binomial Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Varieties: Marmande, Red Pear, Yellow, Pear, Wild Cherry, Red Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Big Yellow, Mexican Yellow Cherry, Golden Nugget, Orange Plum, Cour Di Bue, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Emerald Evergreen, Green Zebra, Amana Orange, Arkansas Traveler, Mortgage Lifter, Omar's Lebanese, Cherokee Purple, Gypsy, Goldman's Italian-American, Principe Borghese, Red Fig, Riesentraube, Sioux, Hillbilly or Flame, Pineapple, Tigerella, Cream Sausage, Great White, White Zebra, Plum Lemon, Roman Candle, Golden Jubilee, Pink Oxheart, Beefsteak, Roma, Rutgers, Emerald Apple, German Johnson, German Lunchbox, Thessaloniki, Jersey Giant, Purple Russian, Carbon, Big Rainbow, Striped Roman
Start: Seeds or seedlings
Germination: 6 to 14 days, 20°C to 35°C
Seed Life (viability): 4-7 years
Soil: Well drained
Sunlight: Full sun
Sow Seeds: 45 - 90 cm apart
Transplant/Thin to: 45 - 90 cm apart
Ave. Days to Harvest: 60 to 85
Good Companions: Asparagus, Basil, Beans, Borage, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Endive, Garlic, Leeks, Lettuce, Mint, Parsley, Peppers, Radish, Spinach, Sweetcorn, Yarrow
Bad Companions: Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Dill, Fennel, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Potatoes, Rosemary
Sowing: Sow tomato seeds 1/2cm deep in seed trays about 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost is expected. As soon as the seedlings emerge, they need full sunlight to grow sturdy. Lack of sunlight causes the seedlings to grow "leggy".
Tip: To help your seedlings grow sturdy, place a small fan on low nearby. Or, lightly brush the tops of the plants with your hands a couple times each day.
Transplant when seedling is 20cm - 25cm tall and dark green with a stocky stem and a well-developed, healthy root system. Harden off your seedlings (place them outdoors for longer periods each day to help them adjust to the outdoors) before transplanting them. Once the nighttime temperatures are consistently above 10°C, place the seedlings outside for the entire day and night.
Planting: Tomatoes need lots of sun so you would need to select an area that receives full sun. Prepare the soil by adding compost since tomatoes prefer soil that is rich in organic matter. Transplant seedlings about 45cm - 90cm apart (depending on whether it is a bush type or a vine type). If you plant the tomato plant deeply, you will encourage the growth of the roots. It is okay to cover the lower branches of your seedling as long as you allow the top four branches to remain above the surface of the ground. To minimize transplant shock, avoid disturbing the roots.
Growing: Determinate (bush) and Semi-Determinate (semi-bush) varieties will need to be staked. Place a stake or tomato cage next to each plant. As the tomato plant grows, secure it loosely with soft twine. Check the ties periodically as the plant grows and adjust them accordingly. If the tie becomes too restrictive, loosen it.
In-Determinate (vine) varieties will need to be grown on a trellis and can sometimes grow to over 3 meters if left unchecked.
Keep your tomato plant well watered. Deep watering is preferable, over more frequent, light watering. You want moisture to go deep to all the roots of the plant. Water directly to the roots. Keep water off the leaves if at all possible. Tomatoes that grow in wet, humid conditions are far more susceptible to plant diseases. Uniform watering is also the key to nice fruit. Even watering can prevent leaf-end roll, blossom end-rot and "cat-facing" - those misshapen crags and cracks on the stem end of the fruit.
Cold and hot spells will affect fruit development and growth. Fruit set will not occur below 12 degrees or above 32 degrees Celcius.
Harvesting: For optimal flavor, tomatoes should be allowed to ripen fully on the vine but harvested before they begin to soften. Tomatoes store well in a cool, dry location. Do not put them in the refrigerator. While they last longer in the refrigerator, they will lose their flavor and texture. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
Just before the first frost, pick any remaining tomatoes while the are still green or orange. Wash them thoroughly. Rinse in a light solution of water and bleach (mix at 1 tablespoon of bleach to 4 liters of water). This kills off bacteria that rots the fruit. Allow them to dry, then put them in a cool, dry, dark place. To ripen these tomatoes indoors, bring a couple at a time to a warm, sunny window.
The favourite large-fruited tomato of Provence. The Marmande is distinguished by its irregular cushion shape and touch of pink on the shoulders. Marmande is large, juicy, well flavoured fruit and a great improvement over an already...
Genetically linked to wild Mexican tomatoes from the state of Hidago. One of our favorite tomatoes. If you don't have a "green thumb" or have never gardened before, this is the tomato for you to try. Will grow anywhere there is sun....
This tomato has the same great flavor as the popular pink-fruited 'Red Brandywine'. Fruits are large, slightly ribbed beefsteaks with sweet, tangy, delicious flavor. We rate it in the top 10% (15 Seeds)
The Golden Nugget tomato is prolific producer of golden skinned, 3-4cm diameter, globular to oval shaped tomatoes. The tomatoes are produced in prolific trusses on a small bush type, compact plant, making it ideal for the small...
An heirloom variety originally from Germany. Beautiful trusses of coral-pink, crisp and perfectly balanced fruits. The fruit are the size of a small egg, bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a Roma, sugar sweet and begging to...
Tasty round fruit that are bright red with orange stripes, the golf ball sized tomatoes are quite beautiful. These tomatoes have a unique flavour, very deep, not quite sweet but not acidic either. (20 Seeds)
The incredibly long list of synonyms for "Brandywine" attests to its high regard and popularity in home gardening circles. This one's a worldwide favourite. Unlike the other colours of Brandywine, this one has regular leafed and not...
These bite-sized tomatoes are produced on vigorous plants. Extra sweet with a 12-14 percent sugar content, these are the perfect tomatoes for fresh eating. Loads of 1-1.5cm red cherry fruits on compact plants. (20 Seeds)
These small, pear shaped tomatoes grow up to 5cm long and are clear yellow in colour. Delightfully sweet, considered by many as 'garden candy'. Tall plants bear large and continuous harvests. (20 Seeds)
A popular Italian paste-type, or Roma tomato. The fruits are oblong, small and have a higher proportion of flesh to juice, with a deliciously different flavour. They are most often used for making tomato sauces, jams, chutneys etc....
Fried green tomatoes? Medium to large dense beefsteaks that stay "evergreen" and that are perfect for frying, slicing or in salads. The large plants set heavy yields of these beauties, which have a lovely lime- green colour. The...
A very popular orange variety. Medium size 170-220g, slightly flattened globe, yellow juicy meat, thick walls with fine, sweet, mild flavour and few seeds. Easy to grow and very reliable producer. An old standard. (20 Seeds)
A medium-sized pink tomato that is smooth and a beautiful rose colour. Tolerant to heat, humidity and drought; crack and disease resistant. Baseball size globes that are creamy and mild flavoured. Great slicer and delicious in salsa...
Very large, 450-900g fruits are deep pink, very flavourful and nearly crack-free. These big tomatoes are borne on robust plants that can fill a tomato cage, and drape back down again. Delicious, the taste is very mild and the tomato...
The large, slightly flattened, pink-red fruits that range from 450g to more than 1kg, are meaty, very flavourful with a delicious, rich, sweet taste and have few tomato seeds. The plants are monsters and will require sturdy...
An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety. Beautiful deep dusky purple-pink colour, superb sweet flavour and very large sized fruit. A very popular market variety because of its rich, complex and sweet flavours. One of the...
Delicious Ukrainian heirloom with purplish, plum-shaped fruit that are smooth and perfect. They have no blemishes and have flavour that tops the charts. Although they are paste tomatoes, they're juicy enough that they're one of our...
An old favourite, Rutgers is proven to be highly productive. The large, red, slightly flattened fruits have a thick flesh with superior flavour. Strong determinate vines yield a large initial crop followed by several flushes of fruit....
This old German heirloom was offered in Philadelphia by the mid-1800's. The sweet, red, 28g sized fruit grow in large clusters, and the name means "Giant Bunch of Grapes" in German. Large plants produce massive yields. (20 Seeds)
A huge, bi-colour heirloom. This potato leafed, slicing variety produces sweet and juicy, 10-15cm, flattened fruits about 450-700g in weight and a brilliant yellow colour with red marbling. Very large with a rich, sweet, balanced real...
Very large, up to 1kg each. The yellow fruit has red marbling through the flesh and is one of the most beautiful tomatoes we sell. The flavour is very sweet and fruity with low acidity, ideal for colourful salads and sandwiches. (20...
Here is a unique and stunning tomato originally named Banana Cream. An elongated 8-10cm long paste tomato that is creamy white to pale yellow in colour. Bushy plants are quite productive and make a great container choice. (20 Seeds)
Beautiful long ribbed fruit. Few seeds, firm crispy wall and sweet flesh. Taste is good fresh, even better cooked and it also makes a wonderful sauce. Plant very vigorous, healthy and productive. (15 Seeds)
One of the earliest, highest-yielding grape tomatoes is also one of the most attractive and delicious. Ildi is a sweet grape tomato with a tart underbite, perfect for salads or straight from the vine. (15 Seeds)
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