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In the Vegetable Patch: It’s time to plant tomatoes

The structures are built! The soil is powered up! The agricultural pipes are in place.

Now the temperature is right to plant tomatoes.


Want great tomatoes? Power up your soil first. Find our power soil recipe here. Photo - Shebeko/ 


The secret of our tomato success, apart from great soil, is the watering system. Each tomato has a 50cm length of PVC pipe (diameter 65mm) beside it to direct water down deep and encourage deep rooting. The pipes have holes along the length and are capped at the base.This watering method also helps stop splash when watering, which can lead to fungal disease later.


Pipe is capped to allow water to seep out through side holes.


Before: tomato stakes and watering pipes being installed


We planted grafted Grosse Lisse. There are two benefits to grafted tomatoes; increased resistance to soilborne diseases and larger rootstock to give more vigour. Each tomato has its own stake and then four larger stakes with string make a boxed support over which a vegetable net can be fitted for fruit fly protection. Grafted tomato plant grows faster, with a larger leaf area, and a 30- to 50 per cent greater overall yield.


After: tomatoes planted and mulched with watering pipes, stakes and string in place.