Tomato News
March 12th 2002
Three weeks to picking!

Five weeks from sowing

Two months later

The first five weeks of a tomato crop are the slowest. The seed takes four to five days to germinate. Then the 2 inch plants are transplanted into their permanent 4 inch square blocks. After another three weeks the plants are ready to be transplanted into the troughs in the main glasshouse. Here they are kept hardy with sparse feeding with nutrients and tied into their place in the trough. But from then onwards the plants grow at an increasing rate, particularly when the feed water is turned on to continuous flow. Then the growth rate is about a foot a week with very vigorous growth putting out large shoots which have to be taken out all the way up the plant.
Now we are nearing fruiting time. The tomatoes on the trusses are large already and in three weeks time they will be turning red and ripe for picking. Our work up to now has been only occasional each week. But when picking begins we shall be in the glasshouse each day for an hour to an hour an a half, picking, trimming, layering and taking off redundant leaves from the base of each plant.
Then there will be four and a half months of picking in which we shall hope to reach 11 tonnes. Hopefully we shall be rewarded with a better price this year! But it is in the growing of the crop to a successful conclusion which is our greatest reward. Think of us!

Click truss to return to the Tom home page.

go rightNext letter go backPrevious letter.