Alan Titchmarsh gives advice on how to plant tomatoes
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Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh shared “how to grow your own tomatoes” in a video on his Instagram in May last year. The 73-year-old said gardeners can plant out tomatoes in May when the weather has finally “cheered up”. At the end of the video, Alan shared a handy hack for watering outdoor tomatoes.
The gardening pro said gardeners can use a flower pot to ensure the water gets to “where it’s needed”.
He explained: “You’ve probably noticed when it comes to watering them, the water tends to run off the surface of the soil.
“So, what I like to do with all my outdoor tomatoes is right next-door to them dig a hole and sink in a flower pot.
“It wants to be quite near those roots.
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“Do that, top the soil back around it and then when you come to watering the plant, all you have to do is fill up that flower pot.
“The water is going right to where it’s needed at the roots.”
Fans of the gardening expert commented on the Instagram post, saying the hack sounded like a “brilliant idea”.
Instagram user @cheekybirds said: “Thank you for the tomato tips!
“I love the pot beside the roots, brilliant idea.”
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Another user @broadstairs_pictorial commented: “Might try the pot watering idea.”
One user known as @georgiannamonnington replied: “Brilliant idea to add the ‘watering pot’. Thank you.”
Instagram user @carlhplymouth said: “Great idea with the pot for watering – thank you.”
Alan also shared how to plant out tomatoes into the garden.
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He said the warmer weather means the ground has warmed up and so too has the air.
The gardening expert said that means it’s a “safe time” to plant out tomatoes in the garden.
Alan was planting out his “favourite” Alicante tomatoes which are known for their sweet flavour.
In early May, when the weather is still cool, it’s best to plant them out in unheated greenhouses.
But once the weather is consistently warm, it should be safe to plant them outside in the garden.
If the weather isn’t warm enough tomatoes can “go blue with cold”.
Alan said gardeners should choose a “stocky plant” rather than a “tall and spindly” one.
However, he said if the tomato plant is “spindly” they will become bushier once planted outside.
Alan said a “sunny spot” is “vital” for tomatoes.
He then sprinkled blood, bone and fish meal onto the bed, which will give the plants nitrogen, phosphates and potash.
The gardening expert then made a small hole in the ground using a trowel.
“Don’t plant tomatoes too deeply although if they are tall, you can bury them [deeper] and they will root from the bottom of that stem, just sink them down a bit,” he added.
Alan pointed at the base of the stem, about half an inch above the soil.
He continued: “Generally speaking, if they’re stocky like this one here, plant them so that the root ball is just level with the surface of the soil.”
He tucked the soil around the root ball before firming it off on top.
The gardening expert suggested adding a stake around “an inch away” from the stem of the tomato plant.
As the stem grows, you can tie it loosely into the cane to stop it falling over.
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