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Throughout the country in March, April and early May we all suffered horrendously cold easterly winds - I am in Cheshire, and we all had to sow/grow our Toms in unusual conditions.

I am fortunate in that we have a large heated Conservatory and an understanding wife, in late February on returning from winter hols I sowed the Toms (Unwin`s Gourmet and Gardener`s Delight) on the 15th. They germinated in 10 days and pricked-out beginning of March. I have a 6x6foot GH in which I object to putting on the heating until very late March/early April because of the cost of electricity so they had to stay in 4 inch pots in the Conservatory for much longer than usual.

Since 1999 my wife and I have kept a diary for the garden and with following details of the past years, come June, I find that my Toms are only a week or two behind the average. They have 4-5 trusses of flowers, 5 ft. high and green fruit, the heating is  OFF with night temperatures in the GH of 50-55 degrees (I leave you younger ones to work this out in your European numbers!).

I still hope to pick ripe Toms in another 4 weeks (mid July) and then compare them with past crops. We all have to compensate from one year to another due to our "fabulous" climate but if you can compensate to some degree, you can still achieve a high production.

YES, my Toms will probably cost £2.00 per Tom!!!! but what satisfaction. Better than tasteless supermarket rubbish and all grown by you!

John Harding

Very true bigolob. For Jessica's benefit, when you pot your plants on fill the pots with compost and bury the plants to about the first set of leaves above the coteledon leaves - they are the 2 leaves that first emerge when the seeds germinate. The plant stem will readily put out more roots into the compost and give them a better chance to grow. Keep them moist but not wet until the first truss of flowers appears and tiny tomatoes can be seen then feed the plants with a feed mixture such as Tomorite to the dilutions as recommended on the pack. Pick out the little side shoots as they appear (unless you are growing a bush variety such as Red Alert) and support the cordons as they grow with a cane, loosely tieing the plant to the cane with a soft string or raffia. If you know the variety you are growing but are not sure if they are bush or cordon just type the variety name into Google and you should find the information (or just add a post on this forum and someone will tell you). Happy growing...John H

Hello, just an update on my toms, they are doing just fine they ve grown and look a lot healthier  

l was wondering because iv seen a few around.. Pop bottles in the ground what are they? and what do they do? 

sorry if I'm sounding stupid haha

Just a way of getting water to the roots-not essential-some use them


Jessica, some people also use the bottles as a kind of drip watering system, the water releasing slowly into the soil. Far from essential.



Jessica, glad I was wrong, pleased to hear your toms are doing well.

Think it was because it had too much water from the bad rain and it needed more soil 


I noticed the first flower buds on mine today, the relatively warm weather and potting the plants on has helped them greatly. Glad yours have caught up too Jess.


The warmer weather is certainly improving the development of my tomato plant 


Got flowers on all greenhouse plants, but it's the outdoor ones that have tiny toms on. Got my eye on the largest that's mine to scoff.

can you put anything else other from a cloche to protect the toms?? 


Protect them from what, Jessica? All toms need is as much sunshine and warmth as they can get. Anything in the high teens or low 20s C during the day and teens C overnight is fine. And not too much water or fertiliser. The bottom line with toms is to keep it simple: let the plants do the work. It's in their genes to reproduce - which is to say, produce fruit.



My mum and I was gardening the other day and came across this flower or weed and she thought it was pretty, anybody know what it is? 

John Harding

Looks a bit like Beaked Hawksbeard but can't quite see the leaf pattern. One of our British wild flowers. (unless someone knows differently!)

Bit of an update for you, I have a few flowers on my tomato plants..  

how many times a day would you water the plant in this heat? 



I am watering twice a day at the moment.

Just eaten first Sungold tomato....more coming now.and a promissing crop of,Shirley too.

Mine are in the greenhouse this heat I'm watering once a day.  In containers two or,three times  at the moment I should think. Also to keep foliage dry

Italophile is the expert on tomatoes though.