Tomato crop sheet

Activity

Tumbling tomatoes grow well in containers without training or pinching-out side shoots. Protection may be required for northern climates. Many tomato varieties can be grown outside in the south.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn what plants need to grow
  • Learn how to handle seeds and sow them
  • Learn how to plant out at a specified distance

Preparation

Tomato seeds are started off indoors in March. They require a temperature of 18 Celsius plus to germinate. Continue to keep plants indoors. Gradually harden plants off and plant outdoors or under cover when the soil temperature is above 10 Celsius and the danger of frost has passed.

Equipment needed

  • Seeds (check they are suitable to sow at that time of year)
  • Label, pencil or dibber
  • Small pots or modules and compost
  • Watering can with a rose
  • Trowel
  • Enviromesh or horticultural fleece
  • Larger containers or hanging baskets for growing on

Step by step

  1. Sow tomato seeds in pots, trays or modules approx. 2cm deep. Keep in a warm light place.
  2. Prick out the strongest seedlings when you can hold the two seed leaves and grow on in single pots. Keep the plants warm and well watered.
  3. After hardening off (acclimatising plants to the outdoors) the tomato plants can be potted into their final growing place. This could be directly into the soil, in containers or under glass/ tunnels.
  4. You should see the first flowers at about this time.
  5. Keep watering and feeding the tomato plants throughout the growing season. Use a special tomato fertilizer for this. 
  6. Watch out for whitefly (pest) if growing under glass or in a poly tunnel. Blight (disease) is a problem outside.
  7. Harvest fruits when ripe at the end of the season and ripen green fruit off the stem on the windowsill.

Hints & tips

  • Tomatoes are technically a fruit. They enjoy high potash or potassium feeds to make them flower and so produce fruit.
  • Lizzano is a prolific tumbling bush type that does not require training.

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