Once you have sown your tomato seeds, seen them germinate, then comes the big exciting day, planting them in the garden and seeing them to fruition…. get it? Fruition? okay, ANYway….
The usual, and honestly most productive method of growing indeterminate tomatoes is as cordons. What is a cordon tomato? Well, a cordon is an indeterminate tomato that is has side shoots pinched, and is trained to one main stem with leaves and trusses (sprigs of tomatoes) coming off it. Bush varieties don’t need to be grown this way. There are also trailing varieties that can be grown in containers and hanging baskets.Extra care must be taken if tomatoes are grown in containers, baskets or ‘growbags’ that they do not dry out.
Cordon Tomato Cultivation
- As the plants grow, periodically tie them to the bamboo poles you put in when they were planted.
- Every few days check for side growths between the main stem and leaf stems and remove them when they are large enough to handle, probably about one inch long.
- When there are four or five trusses of tomatoes on a plant, remove the growing tip from the main stem about two leaves above the top truss so that the plant’s energy goes into growing and ripening the fruit.
- Do not allow tomatoes to dry out. If they do, the fruit might split or the crop reduced.
- In dry weather, they can need as much as 2 gallons (about 10 litres) per plant weekly.
- Once the first fruit has set, feed with a special high potash tomato fertilizer, following the directions on the bottle.
- Harvest tomatoes as they ripen.
- If the weather turns cool before all the fruit have ripened, usually September or October, it might be possible to ripen them on sunny windowsills or by wrapping them individually in clean newspaper and put them in a drawer or box. A few ripe tomatoes or a banana is said to help the process. Personally, I prefer to make green tomato chutney because tomatoes ripened this way are never as good as those ripened naturally in my opinion.
More on Growing Tomatoes
Starting Tomatoes from Seed
How to Choose Tomato Plants
Pinch and Prune for Huge Tomato Harvests
Troubleshooting Tomato Problems
Tomato Encore – Rejuvenating Tomatoes
Extend Tomato Harvest