TOMATO GROWING IS NOT DIFFICULT
How Amateurs Can Produce this Valuable Health-Giving Fruit
DIG FOR VICTORY LEAFLET No. 8 (Page 1 of 4)
A MATEUR producers, particularly those who possess greenhouses, can help to lessen the shortage of tomatoes—a valuable, health promoting fruit. Tomatoes can also be grown in the open in gardens and on allotments, provided care is given to the details of cultivation.
While it is anticipated that most of the tomatoes grown will be consumed in the producer’s own household, there is little doubt that any surplus will find a ready market. All who have the necessary facilities should try to grow this valuable crop.
IF A GREENHOUSE IS AVAILABLE
Tomatoes thrive best in a temperature above 60° F. In greenhouses where this temperature can be maintained at night with a little artificial heat, planting can begin in March ; but, as the slightest touch of frost will injure the plants, unheated houses cannot be used until late April and early May.
The plants may be grown in pre-pared beds on the ground, or in 12 in. or 16 in. pots and boxes placed on the staging. Full light is important ; if shaded in any way, the plants “draw” and tend to be unfruitful. Old orange boxes make good soil receptacles, or a long trough of rough boards can be fixed up temporarily. Creosote should not be used on any of the woodwork.
Preparation of Soil – Important
The plants appreciate fresh soil. If possible, this should consist of good fibrous loam, such as the finely-chopped top spit from a pasture mixed with a little fine bone meal and old bonfire ash. Fresh loam, however, should be searched carefully for wireworms.
If the soil is good, there is no need to mix manure with it. But where it is necessary, only well rotted stable manure, or the finer material from the compost heap, at the rate of one large bucketful to each barrow-load of soil, should be used. A useful addition to the soil is sulphate of potash at the rate of one teacupful to each barrow-load of soil well mixed in. If potash is not available, 6 or 7 handfuls of wood ashes can be used.
A layer of well-rotted manure or compost material should be placed at the bottom of the boxes or troughs before they are filled with the soil. Similarly, when using pots, place a layer over the crocks. The manure will hold moisture and feed the plants when they are bearing fruit. Lime is not necessary.