Last year my daughter gave me a packet of Tomato ‘Moneymaker’ seeds. When she gave me them it was too late in the year to sow them so I kept them over the winter & sowed them this spring. Other years I’ve been too impatient to wait till March & have sown tomato seeds as early as February! Of course the majority of the seedlings died from lack of light. This year I was determined to wait till the spring officially started & so on March 27th I finally sowed them.
After just a few days they germinated & I ended up with far too many plants to put on our balcony. When I pricked them out I found I had 30 viable seedlings. I decided I would keep 10 plants to grow on our balcony & give 10 to our daughter to grow in her garden & 10 to our son to put in his garden.
My ‘Moneymaker’ plants are doing well on our balcony. But our son’s are really going “great guns”! His plants are already more than 4ft tall! He has quite a number of tomatoes on them as well!
He & his wife bought 2 plants last year from a supermarket & they grew at least 8ft high! This is only their 2nd year at gardening & already he puts me to shame (almost) with the way his plants are growing! Last year their plants were cherry tomatoes & they collected 100s, literally, of tiny & small tomatoes. They were 2 different varieties of tomatoes. They were a little disappointed as they had hoped to get “normal” sized tomatoes, they didn’t know what they were buying. So this year I asked my son if he would be willing to grow “normal” sized tomatoes from very small plants, he said he would give it a go so I gave him 10 small plants of ‘Moneymaker’.
Our daughter’s plants are still very small as she didn’t plant them out till later. But they were a little bigger than the ones I gave to her brother. Still she sent me a photo a couple of days ago with the first of the tomatoes to set!
About 3 weeks after germinating I pricked out the seedlings into individual pots. These are small black plastic square pots & I can fit 15 of them into a standard seedtray/flat. I was able to plant up 2 trayfuls of pots & still had a few extras. I had to throw these away as I couldn’t possibly use any more.
I grew these on & later transplanted them to deep, transparent cups. In these they raced ahead! Unfortunately we had a couple of weeks with some really cold, windy weather & all the growing was undone! There were too many & too big to move back into the flat & I had nowhere to put them so they had to sit on the balcony table until the weather got warmer again.
Of my 10 plants I planted the first 6 in a couple of Growbags on June 20th. The other 3 had to wait another week till I could buy another Growbag for them. As only 3 plants can be fitted into a Growbag I had a dilemma, what to do with the 10th plant? I eventually planted it in a big pot that although it was occupied with a few Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) plants they weren’t very big & the pot was really too big for them.
As I only had 3 Growbag pots I used them all on one bag with 3 of the strongest plants. The other 6 plants went into the Growbags without pots.
This is the only photo where all 3 Growbags can been seen at the same time. I put them in an “L” shape with one across the width of the balcony & 2 along its length. The plants are now about 3 ft high & have a couple of trusses of fruit. It’s now impossible to get a photo with all 3 bags in as I have put other pots in front of them & would have to move them all just to get one photo – too much hard work! :-D)
I have now just started to harvest the first of my tomatoes. I’ve just written a journal about it:
All of my tomatoes have been harvested from the plants on the balcony & the majority have been eaten! There are a few green ones still in the fruit bowl but during the coming week ortwo even they will have ripened & I will have to wait till next year to sow some more seeds.