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How to plant out and support your Tomato plants

I love homegrown tomatoes, ever since I was bought a greenhouse as a present 14 years ago, i've been stuffing it full of different types and trying out different growing methods. After failing miserably with grobags and growing in the greenhouse borders, I now use ring culture with recycled florists buckets with the bottoms cut out, - these are on their 6th season and still going strong, so well worth seeing if your local florist will part with any.  Although I love growing tomatoes and don't mind the pinching out, I don't like tieing in plants to canes, but also on my 6th season are my gro spirals

these sturdy metal bendy canes can be pushed into the ground or the compost and the growing plants can be trained through the middle of the spiral as they grow, - for the first couple of weeks it is a good idea to check every few days and encourage the plant to grow up the centre of the spiral, - the leaves will still be flexible at this stage and can be moved round to help the stem grow upwards. No extra tieing in is needed.  They also make it easier to see shoots that need pinching out between stem and leaves.


Plants that are Cordons not bush types, - i.e. most greenhouse varieities need their sideshoots pinching out at regular intervals, - this insures that the energy of the plant is used for growing upwards and creating flower buds, rather than creating extra growth stems.
Pinching out is best done when the shoot is small, as in the above photo, and with a thumbnail while the material is soft and parts easily from the stem


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