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Upper Hutt Leader : October 19th 2011
18 UPPER HUTT LEADER, OCTOBER 19, 2011 HOMES ADVERTISING FEATURE &GARDENS 4118765AA Spring New variety: Campari is a vibrant gourmet variety with the most intense, juicy and flavoursome fruit. Own 'love apples' best Tomatoes are New Zealand's favourite fruit. Each year well over a million plants are grown by home gardeners. Technically, tomatoes are a fruit but as we eat them as a vegetable that is often what we refer to them as. That is really neither here nor there as the main reason tomatoes are grown at home is for their flavour. No store-bought tomato usually tastes as good as something grown with love in the sun at home. Once known as love apples'' because they were thought to have aphrodisiac properties, maybe this is why they became so popular. Tom- atoes have a high content of vitamin C and are a good source of fibre. Tomatoes' best friends are sun and loads of it, protection from the wind, water and tomato fertiliser aids in strong plant and root growth. Tomatoes are frost-tender and will wither and die quickly if frosted, hence wait until all threat of frost has passed before planting outside. For a master class in growing tom- atoes at home visit tuitime.co.nz and watch the tomato web video. It's informative, easy to follow and will help you get it right. Tips for success Prepare -- Choose a warm position in full sun away from strong winds in either the garden or for a pot. Culti- vate soil, blend in bought tomato food and compost prior to planting. For pots simply choose a container at least two to three times the size of a kitchen bucket (20-30 litres) or use a tomato planter and fill with tomato mix which has all the goodies in it already to produce a bumper crop. You can even poke a few holes in the bottom of the potting mix bag for drainage and plant straight into the mix if time, space and the inclination takes you. Plant -- Seeds take about a month to be ready for transplanting. If you miss sowing seeds before the end of Octo- ber, forget about it and seek out seedlings from the garden store. Seedlings are widely available every- where en masse through planting time in October and November. Buying single plants allows you to grow a range of varieties and types. Depending on the variety, plants pro- duce between three and six kilos of fruit on average. A new tomato variety for 2011 is Campari, a vibrant gour- met variety with the most intense, juicy and flavoursome fruit. Its intense red colour adds to its appeal. If planting in rows, plant 60cm to 80cm apart to allow plenty of air movement. Protect and nurture -- Most varieties other than the dwarf ones require staking. It's safest to put the stake in the ground prior to planting to make sure you don't snap off the root ball when inserting the stake. Tie the stems to the stake to provide support to the plant and to keep the fruit clean. Keep soil or potting mix moist but not wet at all times. Regular applications of tomato food for the gar- den or liquid feed for containers will boost growth and fruiting capacity of plants. Pick -- Allow fruit to ripen on the plant. Although tomatoes ripen further once picked, the flavour is best when allowed to ripen fully on the plant.
October 12th 2011
October 26th 2011