Planting Vine Tomatoes
12th July 2022
An extract from Seed Magazine Volume 4
By Jez Taylor, head of the Market Garden at Daylesford Organic Farm.
Photography by Martin Morrell
- Plant out plants 40cm apart in a row, once the risk of frost has passed.
- Water regularly, when the soil looks dry. Initially a weekly watering is probably sufficient; it will become more frequent as temperatures increase and the plants get larger.
- Loosely tie string to the base of the plant, tying the other end to a wire/fixing point 2–2.5m above the base. Alternatively, you can tie the plant to a cane but the former will support its weight better.
- Each week, wind the plant around the string and remove any side shoots, which occur in the cleft between plant leaves and the plant’s main stem, taking care not to damage any flower trusses.
- As summer progresses, ensure that protected spaces are ventilated to ensure temperatures don’t creep too high. Above 30ºC tomatoes can become stressed.
- As fruit ripens at the base of the plant, remove lower leaves to expose the fruit and improve air flow and deter blight.
- Water after you harvest – this helps limit the amount of fruit that splits.
- Check for signs of blight (small patches of furry brown mould) on leaves, and remove infected leaves immediately (they’re fine on a compost heap). Daily ventilation will also help reduce humidity.
- At the end of the season, clear all remaining unripe fruit and leave to ripen in a dry, shady space, such as in a seed tray on a shelf in the shed. Or use it to make a green tomato chutney.