When the weather started warming up in spring I noticed a number of tomatoes popping up which had self- seeded from the previous year. Great! No need to buy Tomato seedlings this year. So instead I decided to splash out on a bag of Tomato compost ($14 - Ouch!) and some Tomato fertiliser ($10).
So I dug up all the homegrown seedlings from various places around the garden and prepared the tomato bed for planting by loosening up all the soil. I then gave it all a general dressing of the fertiliser. Then it was time to plant the seedlings so I made a hole for each seedling about 10-12cm diameter and filled it with Tomato mix and planted directly into it.
I counted more than 25 seedlings so I knew I would either run out of space or of tomato compost before I'd planted them all, so I selected the most vigourous ones first. (Planting date: Nov 7)
Here are a few snaps of how they've done since then up until the other day...
I've been making a point of plucking out the laterals as they grow which encourages better fruiting and restricts their growth to one central trunk, meaning they grow upwards not outwards. This would be important as I realised I'd probably planted them too close together. Anyway, the plants are now as high as me and I'm nearly 6'3" (187cm). As you can see I've staked them pretty firmly.
If there's one lesson I learned this year with my tomatoes, it's not to be too stingey when it comes to buying seedlings. Although I thought I was pretty clever not having to buy seedlings, the trouble with self seeded tomatoes is that you never know what you're actually growing. I had no clue what varieties I was growing. As it turns out they're my least favourite variety and they seem to be all the same. And although the fruit appear to be forming nicely, my recollection of this variety is that the fruit is small and the skins are rather tough.
Anyway it's all good fun and rather satisfying. I'm sure we'll at least have something to bottle.