Posts Tagged ‘Secrets’

Tomato Growing Secrets: Pruning Tomatoes

How to prune and train tomatoes up a string from and award winning garden author Doug Green. There are several important things to understand about pruning tomatoes, the first is that they way a significant amount when fully loaded and the tomatoes are ripening. Secondly, when pruning them up a string it is important to remove the suckers and only allow a single stem to grow up each string. I used to grow tomatoes commercially and this system works perfectly for both training the tomato all season and cleaning it up quickly in the fall. Beginners sometimes ask what you attached the tomato to the string with? The answer is nothing. If you bend the tomato around the string a complete revolution every 6 to 8 inches, you will find the tomato will stick quite nicely all by itself by friction. You can see this in the video. So feeding and watering tomato are critical steps to success but so is the way you train and prune it. The nice thing about a tomato is it grows so quickly that if you do manage to take out the wrong bits from the wrong piece of the wrong direction, it will regrow and give you a second or third chance. I prune and thin my tomatoes in this way because pruning to a single stem, will give me more tomatoes per square-foot than if I let them flop on the ground. Pruning tomatoes is easy once you get the hang of it. You can see other videos at http


Are you like me and are fascinated with the miracle of our natural world i.e, the beauty and majesty of our trees, the myriad  colours of the leaves in autumn, the shade they provide in summer, as well as create micro climates around our homes.
There is a resurgence and a revival in growing trees for:

 –  Locking up or sequesting carbon into the soil

 – As trees are the lungs of the earth, they mop up carbon dioxide, while   oxygenating  the air we breathe

 – Sheltering birds and other animals

 – Providing leaf litter in creating organic humus and top soil

 – Reducing soil erosion, and preventing salinity

 – Flowers that supply bees with nectar and pollen. These trees also act as windbreaks, and provide structure and framework to our parks and gardens.

 For those people who can remember their grandparents’ gardens in the country, the aromas of strawberries and other berries, picking tomatoes and digging potatoes are evocative.You may be musing about the limited space around your home, time constraints owing to work and family committments, when you have some spare time you’re down at the gym or playing sport with your kids. Yes, all these things have to be factored in, but did you know that even light, or menial gardening is a great work out, not only does it increase your heart rate, you’re out in the fresh air, there’s stretching and strengthening activities all the whilst being creative, and remembering to only garden as hard as you are able.

I have always grown salad vegetables, herbs, carrots, beetroot, asian greens, shallots and tomatoes interplanted amongst other flowers and ornamental shrubs and perennials. Even when space is limited, pots, large tubs, polystyrene boxes are sufficient to cultivate vegetables or herbs that are easy to grow. Gardening clubs’ memberships have escalated over recent years as more and more people are eager to learn, share,swap and trade tips for growing their favourite fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants.

 Gardeners are returning to the ORGANIC ways of cultivating produce the way it used to be grown, before chemical fertilizers and sprays, and over tilling, leading to leaching of natural minerals and nutrients from the soil.There is understandable circumspection surrounding Genetically Modified food plants, there are still too many unknown, long term side effects of G.M produce, and a ground swell of allergic reactions to a whole host of herbicides, and environmental pollutants. While the tabloids continue the ‘gloom and doom’ regarding the push for carbon reductions, green house gas emissions, and the effects of global warming, there are many ways we as individuals can help.

By starting at the ground level, improving the soil with organic materials as I indicated ealier in this article, leaf litter composted with other vegetable scraps,fruit skins, shredded paper, egg shells, tea/ coffee fines, grass clippings (without seeds) and other  garden waste. Ensure that that the organic materials are cut into small pieces, and cardboard and paper shredded thinly, placed into a compost bin or heap with some garden lime or dolomite, garden soil or bagged soil bought from a garden store. Turn with a garden fork or rotate the bin regularily to oxygenate the composting materials, so as to avoid the odour of methane gas. I use a plastic tube higher than the compost level and drilled large holes along the pipe, and keep it down the middle of the compost bin as a means of drawing oxygen to the soil.      

Now you can start the process of building a healthy organic compost as medium for growing the most flavoursome vegetables, or anything your heart desires, whilst helping the environment…



 A passionate gardener, I am also a gardening columnist for several community editorials, and periodicals in my city. I am excited to share organic gardening practices, as it is producing long term benefits for us…

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