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Growing tomatoes outdoors
This has been the best year for tomatoes in recent memory. I crammed 14 tomato plants into my greenhouse border, ignoring the advice of several knowledgeable friends to plant a maximum of eight!
We’ve been feasting on tomatoes for weeks, regularly visiting people loaded with large punnets of the things. All the varieties I’ve grown this year have performed extremely well; even the beefsteaks, which often produce just a few fruits, all inclined to split. The numerous cherry varieties are positively laden with fruit, and the standard varieties have fruited so well that some of their stems have ruptured.
I’ve seen the most impressive results outdoors, though. I don’t often grow tomatoes outdoors, but this year I planted out leftovers from the greenhouse, which became massive and hugely productive.
The best-performing variety has been ‘Sakura’, with truss after truss of smooth, thin-skinned fruits; undoubtedly the best outdoor variety I’ve ever grown. So much depends on the variety you choose to grow (where would I be without ‘Sakura’, ‘Gardener’s Delight’ and ‘Scatalone’?), but my success this must be attributed to the weather. Our freezer will be packed to bursting this year with fresh tomato pasta sauce.
In my view it is so much easier to grow tomatoes in open ground or in a greenhouse than in a growing bag, and the results are so much better. I might just start a campaign to outlaw the cultivation of tomatoes in growing bags. As far as I can see there are no advantages to the process, and it seems to produce really miserable-looking plants. Yes, they might be useful if you don’t have open ground or a garden, but surely a large pot full of proper, good quality compost is a better option?
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