CATCH UP ON YOUR TOMATO CHORES
Do you have tomatoes in your greenhouse?
If so, they’ll need training.
If you haven’t planted any, this is an excellent time to start a new crop. Young plants should be available at garden centres and other outlets.
But if you can’t find any, there’s still time to grow a crop from seed.
Seed sown today should ripen their first fruits in August and will continue to bear until well into autumn.
Nigel Colborn advised gardeners that now is a great time to plant new crops if they have tomatoes (pictured) in their green house
Choose cordon or ‘indeterminate’ varieties for greenhouse culture.
Bush tomatoes are better for outdoors.
Greenhouse tomatoes are usually grown as single-stem cordons. When the plants are about 15cm high, transfer them to a greenhouse bed, into growing bags or into ring culture containers.
As each plant grows, remove all side shoots as they appear.
Support the stems on canes or near-vertical strings, fixed to the greenhouse roof.
Flower trusses develop at the point where each leaf is attached to the plant. Take care not to damage either flowers or baby fruits as they form.
Keep your crop regularly fed.
For the first couple of feeds, use all-purpose liquid plant food. Change to high potassium tomato feed (such as Tomorite or Chempak 4) when the first fruit has set.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take care not to overfeed.
You’ll need to pinch out sideshoots regularly all summer.
If the greenhouse is in a sunny spot, you may also need to shade the glass with netting, or by painting the glass with a product such as Cool Glass or Vitax Summer Cloud.
WATER THOSE YOUNG SHRUBS
The expert also said to ensure the ground has been thoroughly soaked when watering plants
Regardless of current weather, much of Britain suffered an early spring drought this year.
Water any susceptible plants, making sure the ground has been thoroughly soaked.
When all the liquid has soaked in, water the plant again, just to make sure.
Wind accelerates the rate at which soil dries. But if you can lay a mulch of compost or lawn clippings around the bases of the plants, that will slow evaporation rates.
SPRING CLEAR OUT
When planting new crops the old bedding material should be removed so the ground becomes a comfortable home for your summer plants (file picture)
When spring plants begin to die, remove all bedded material and dig over the ground to make a comfortable home for your summer plants.
If the soil is impoverished, feed the ground as you work, sprinkling a little fertiliser before digging over, taking care to remove deeprooted weeds.
Make sure all halfhardy summer plants are fully hardened off and if there’s a dry spell after planting, be ready to water thoroughly, to help them establish their root systems.
PLANT OF THE WEEK: 라이브스코어 CORIANDRUM SATIVUM
Coriandrum Sativum (pictured) is this weeks plant of the week and has a citrussy flavour
As far as I know, coriander is the only plant with value as a herb, a spice and a garden ornamental.
The fresh leaves, have a unique, citrussy flavour and are wonderful in all kinds of cooking.
The seed, when ground, produces one of the best known spices.
But did you know that this half-hardy annual has beautiful flowers? The blooms, carried on small umbels are a delicate shade of pink.
If grown in drifts among other herbs, or among ornamental annuals, coriander brings beauty as well as flavours and aromas.
Sow the seeds outside from early May.
Young leaves on my camellia bush and wisteria have begun to turn pale yellow and growth seems to have slowed down. Is there a way to buck these plants up?
The likely problem is magnesium deficiency. You can put this right with Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate, available at garden centres. Dissolve up to 20g of the crystals per litre of water.
Using a sprayer or watering can with a rose, wet the leaves thoroughly, allowing the run-off to fall on the ground around the shrub.
Newly developing foliage should be green and healthy.