Tips For Growing Tomato and Basil
For years I have bought about 50 packets of various seeds, mainly 10 varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of cucumber, 17 different herb like flowers, coriander (YUCK), radish… okay you get the point. With these seeds I have carefully planned where they will grow in the green house, labelled where I planted them, watered them and waited. But you know what happens every single time? Pretty much 30% grows!
There was definitely a trend when it came to what survived, and really as the person I am, I believed that it was all about me, who I am, how I cared for them. I was ultimately responsible for their death or lack of development.
With the above in mind, I finally got it in my head to grow what would grow, what I was good at! TOMATOES!!! Every single year I plant about 300 seeds in my greenhouse and wait for my babies to grow.
I am a scientist, so I probably won’t ever stop trying to grow random plants and work out why they aren’t working, but this year I wasn’t so miserable at my lack of green thumb (I do have a green thumb, it is just very particular).
I don’t think the above should really be applied to real life though, I mean YES do what you are good at, but ultimately if you fail, don’t give up, keep trying!
Tomatoes are something that I kind of just let grow and hope for the best. This year I have a wonderful, orderly set up that I am very happy with. My tip is wide beds with furrows for watering around them, I call them my moat! We don’t want them to have too much water because this causes root diseases*. We also don’t want to spray the leaves with a hose or sprinkler as this gives them leaf diseases*. See how particular tomatoes are!
This year I have also tied them up, 3 plants between metal star pickets, tied up with bailing twine. And I have also gently tied any limbs that don’t want to behave.
In the early stages, I saw a video from ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ facebook page, a lovely girl I went to High School with that is sharing her gardening adventures! Now in this video she has some awesome tips about trimming suckers. Basically to get more fruit, remove the suckers. Pretty simple! Scroll her page to find the video!
SOURCE: Julie Martens Forney
I haven’t been 100% thorough with my sucker removal, but I have noticed less bushy, easy to manage plants, so I can already see the benefits. Again, when I remove the suckers, I feel like I am killing a plant. Apparently if the suckers are big enough, you can pop them in the ground and they will grow roots (YES I failed at that too!).
It is really unusual for me, but I am growing some wicked Basil bushes. Now I know how to cook with this stuff, but growing it is another story, that doesn’t have a good history for me. When I saw that my basil was doing really well, I jumped onto old Google and did a search for picking basil. I knew that there was a specific way you needed to pick your leaves to ensure longevity, and a more productive plant.
I love this awesome little diagram, basically you need to trim just above the second set of leaves (left plant), and it will start looking fuller (right plant). I have been doing this and they are going really well. I do this every couple of days (I am a little obsessive). Click the picture to go to the original article, if you are anything like me, this will make for a cool read!
SOURCE: Leigh Ann Gagnon
Just remember that most of the time it isn’t actually you that killed the plants, you need to find what is suitable for your area and there are also loads of other factors. I buy my seeds from The Seed Collection <- and here is an informative sowing chart that might help you out!. (I am in no way paid to mention this company).
I hope you have enjoyed!