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Repotting Tomatoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

In The Calancombe Estate Kitchen Garden greenhouse, our "tomato forest" is thriving with around 20 different varieties of tomatoes this year. Some of these varieties are suited for indoor growth, while others will flourish in open ground. 

Recently, we’ve been making the important move and upheaving our tomatoes, finding them a new, larger home. Here, we’re sharing our process for repotting tomato plants and explaining why it’s a crucial step in their growth.

Our tomatoes started from seeds sown in seed trays between late January and early February. After germination, which takes two to three weeks, the seedlings were transferred into modules with each cell housing a single plant. 

Now, these tomato plants have grown quite tall and are at risk of becoming too leggy and straggly if not moved to larger pots.

Several signs indicate when it’s time to repot. The bottom leaves of our tomato plants are turning yellow, and the roots are becoming crowded in their small cells. These are clear indicators that the plants need more space to continue growing healthily.

To repot, we start by selecting the right size pots. We then pinch off the bottom two leaves of the tomato plants and prepare to plant them deeper into the new pots. 

Planting them deeper stabilises the plants and promotes better root development. The fine hairs on the stem, once buried, will turn into roots, aiding in water and nutrient absorption.

Here's a handy step-by-step repotting process that we use here at the Calancombe Kitchen Garden:

  1. Select the right size pots for the tomato plants.

  2. Pinch off the bottom two leaves.

  3. Plant the seedling deep into the pot, burying part of the stem.

  4. Backfill with compost and firm it in - this deep planting technique helps the plants develop stronger side roots, enhancing their ability to absorb water and nutrients.

The repotted tomatoes will remain in these larger pots for about three to four weeks. After this period, they’ll be ready to move to their final growing locations. 

Indoor varieties will be placed in grow bags in our main greenhouse, while outdoor varieties will be planted in open ground.

We’re looking forward to watching our tomato varieties grow, and can’t wait to see how our team of expert chefs at the Calancombe Restaurant use them in our seasonal dishes! 

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