Garden Advice

Plant Tomatoes and Peppers (Chilli and Sweet)

Grow in a container from young plants this spring and summer 

Tomatoes and peppers require similar growing conditions and so can be grown together. It’s really easy to do and very rewarding when you are able to eat the fruits of your labour!
There are three types of tomato plant: the upright (vine) plants which grow tall and require support; bush tomatoes; and tumbling plants which are great for hanging baskets.
Some peppers also require support. Check individual plant packs for details.
There are many varieties of tomato and pepper plants available. It’s a good idea to select a few plants as some will suit your garden better than others.

 

What will I need?
• Grow bags or pots (we recommend pots no shallower than 30cm)
• Multi-purpose compost with added John Innes, for pots.
• A selection of young tomato and pepper plants – allow 2-3 per grow bag, or 1 per pot
• Trowel and garden fork
• Liquid tomato fertiliser such as Tomorite

 

When should I plant?

Plant inside from March or outside from May – once the risk
of frost has gone.
How to plant
1. Soak pots of young plants in a tray of water for an hour before planting to reduce root damage and moisten compost.
2. If you are using pots, fill each one with compost and make a hole big enough to accommodate the plant’s roots and place it in there.
3. Gently firm compost around the plant, covering all roots, and water so that soil is moist but not saturated.
4. The main stem of upright tomatoes and some varieties of peppers will need to be tied loosely to a cane or similar support. As they grow taller, tie them at 30cm intervals.
Preparing your Grow Bag
• Most grow bags have enough space for three plants.
• Break up the compact compost by shaking and kneading the bag so it creates an even pillow shape.
• Make drainage holes by puncturing the base and cut out areas marked on the top.
• Loosen compost with a fork and push some into the corners of the bag so it maintains shape.
• Make a hole in the compost for the plants to be put in.
Aftercare – Tomatoes
• Tomatoes in pots and grow bags will require feeding so ensure you use a liquid tomato fertiliser every couple of weeks (check instructions on the packaging) as well as watering regularly.
• Upright Tomatoes – To ensure you end up with a single stem plant (which will produce the best fruit) snip out the shoots that grow in leaf joints. Once your plant has produced four sets of flower trusses, pinch out the growing tips.
• Bush and Tumbling Tomatoes – do not remove shoots as this will reduce the crop.
• Tomatoes will be ready to harvest between June and September. They will be ripe and fully coloured when
they’re ready.
• Bring any tomatoes that are not ripe at the end of the summer indoors and put a banana with them to help them ripen.
Aftercare – Peppers
• Peppers require regular food and water. You can use a fertiliser that is recommended for tomatoes.
• Peppers can be picked when young and if you do this a further crop will follow. The more mature a pepper, the hotter the flavour.
• Don’t worry if your peppers turn black – this is simply part of the ripening process and the fruits will turn red after a couple of days.
• If you end up with more peppers than you can eat, either freeze them whole or puree and freeze in an ice-cube tray. Or dry them and make chilli oil. This will preserve their
spicy flavour!



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