Tomatoe potting on


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Hi,
Ive had a visit tonight from a new ex-pat who's not long ago moved a few miles away from our nearest village and they've got their first ever garden and are trying to grow anything they can eat,

(we've all done this when we get our first garden and we tend to think we can grow anything without really finding a few things out first,
A bit like we never look at the hand book when we buy our first car)

So after explaining a few little tips as to what tomatoes need and how to pot -- on from seeds to the first pot i thought maybe anyone else new to gardening may like to know these little but very helpful tips So here we go,

Remember these are for those new to gardening and im not trying to teach any of the more experienced gardeners how to suck eggs,

The first important thing to understand ref sowing any seed is why its a good thing to sow using "Seed Compost"
You see verious sorts of compost for sale and you really do need to understand what compost is for what and why,
ie seed compost has very little "if any food value in its make up" the seed pods have the food in them to get the seed started and so seed compost is just made of a very light texture to enable the seed to both keep moist buy not become heavy and difficult for the new seedling to get through this compost and to the light as quick and easy as poss, plus by the time the first two leaves are showing through the compost (known as the common leaves, these are strong enough to be able to lift the complete new plant out of the seed compost for re-potting, ) Do not touch any other part of the plant ie the stem or root system.

Now your next compost will be a stronger compost with the food to start to feed your new plant (remember its only had food from the seed pod but once its grown out of the seed compost its got nothing to feed on, And im sure you'll understand how important it is to get the young new shoot into general purpose compost as soon as the two common leaves are fully open and able tobe handled.

Make sure you use the correct potting on compost ie one for lime loving plants .
When you've got your next pot ready (i use a 3inch pot) fill the pot up to the underside of the pots rim, (the upperside of the rim is infact the measure of how much water that size pot takes, So just fill the underside of the rim, Tamp the compost down so that its firm and then using a pot dibber (stick or anything that'll make a good size hole large enough so the new plant will be able to recieve its full root system and the plant has compost right up to the underside of the two common leaves shoulders, in other words you can see the two leaves just shy of sitting on the compost,
by planting this way you'll have good very strong stem growing after a very short while,

Now stand the pot in warmish water (we dont want to shock the plant by using cold water) "approx 2 inch high saucer filled" for 10 mins so the pot can collect enough to get the compost nice and moist.

Label the plant and keep it out of direct sun in the greenhouse or on the kitchen window shelf and keep the compost on the moist but not soaked side until the roots are poking through the base of the pot and then re-pot to a 5 or 7 inch pot using the same general purpose compost, you'll have no need to start feeding the plant until the yellow flowers show as the general purpose compost has enough npk in the make up of this compost to take your new plant to the flowering stage "But" Once the flowers arrive its now time for both tomatoe feed once a week and to have the plant in its growing place,
I use bone meal when i plant the plant in it final growing area .
 

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