Still by far the most popular fruit tomatoes offer a great challenge to the amateur gardener. For years amateurs have been content with perhaps five or six trusses of tomatoes of doubtful quality.
Now is the time to reach up to commercial yields.
Grow tomatoes to 20 - 25 trusses which have a flavour to match.
If you obtaining plants or raising from seed take care not to select plants with pests or disease present.
Two of my favourite varieties are Sun gold and Gardeners Delight. When your plant is ready to transplant to your Aeroponic Rapid Root Starter Kit system it will have strong root system holding the compost together. It be a good idea to support your plant with string rather than canes because your plants will soon outgrow canes.
Wrap the string around the root ball or tie loosely around base of the stem.Tie the string to a strong roof member or use a hook and allow extra string to remain available.
A solution temperature of 20 to 22 degrees will help your plant get off to good start will soon see the roots growing in the nutrient solution.
As the plant grows carefully train the leading shoot around the support string ensure the environment is light and warm but avoid too much direct sunlight in mid summer apply shading and provide plenty of ventilation to reduce humidity.
Your plants will produce side shoots below the leading stem and from a leaf joint. Gently pinch these out to retain only the leader.
Older leaves about 1.5m from the top of the plant should be removed.
When the plant runs out of headroom carefully release the support string from the roof member and allow the plant to layer from the excess string and re-tie. This way plants can be grown much longer than the headroom available.
Common Pests. White fly. Seek this out early to effect control.
Aphids. Probably more easy to control than white fly these will be found on the undersides of the leaf.
Red spider mite. These pests not often attracted to tomatoes. If they do attack they can devastate the plants. Look out for them on the underside of the lower leaves.
Mildew. This is difficult to control if you have it. The best approach is to grow only resistant varieties
Grey Mould. Attacks were water is present. Usually due to conditions which are too cold or damp.
Useful Growing Hints. As your plants grow pick the ripe fruit. Your plants will continue to flourish well into the fall.
Indoor tomatoes can be sown in December to March using a heated propagator.
After transplanting into your Aeropnic Rapid Root Starter Kit do not permit night temperatures to fall below 10 c as tomatoes are very susceptible to the cold.
In practice this means planting out during February March if the greenhouse is heated or April May if unheated.
After the initial start up dose go to full dose on the first solution change provided that you are happy the plants are growing vigorously.
If you are unsure use the start up dose again for a further period.
Change the solution every 3-4 weeks. If you change the solution every 2 weeks results may be even more spectacular.