Pinching Out Toms

We have been really lucky with all our orange and red tomatoes this year, however we have seen and heard about all those green tomatoes still lurking around. Fried green tomatoes and chutney seem to be on the menu at many of our fellow NUGs. The wash-out weather this August is most likely the cause as we all know those tomatoes need the sun to shine on them to ripen.

We are often asked if we 'Pinch out' our tomatoes. Gardening is full of funny terminology isn't it? Once you know the terms you quickly become au fait with them and find them slipping out all over the place, but to begin with these can be alienating and off putting.

'Pinching out' is simply using your thumb and forefinger, like you do when you pinch something or someone and removing side shoots (branches) of your tomato plant. Removing these will allow your plant to focus on the fruits it has and stop wasting it's energy where it is not needed.

You only really need to do this on the cordon (tall) variety, although we also do it on the others when it's coming to the end of the season and the shoots do not have any fruits or signs of any coming.

It's also worth tidying up those leaves once the plant has produced some fruit and it may start to dry out a little, depending on the weather.

Remember tomatoes love water. Water them little and often and use an organic feed too about every 10 days or so. We use our organic liquid wormcast fertiliser.

Whether you are growing your tomatoes on your balcony, decking, in pots, troughs, hanging baskets or on the allotment don't forget to pick them and eat them and enjoy them. Our tomato plants provided us with a good few servings this year.

Our video of Michael tying and tidying up the tomatoes plus pinching them out is available now on YouTube. Check it out here and let us know what you think. This one is a high-energy video to music including our Top Tips for taking care of those tomatoes

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