There are hundreds of tomatoes from the six Tumbling Tom tomato seedlings my Mum grew from seed this year. Honestly, hundreds.
Here’s what I have figured out after growing them inside a couple of hanging baskets in the garden at home.
When lining the inside of the hanging basket, before putting the soil in, make sure the plastic bags don’t have any holes. Otherwise the water drops straight through and is not retained in the soil. I saw this every time I watered the tomatoes.. Drip, drop, drip. I should have used the car boot plastic sheet liner I picked up from the garden centre. Something to try next year I think.
Three seedlings in each planter is the absolute limit. Looking from above I positioned the seedlings in the baskets in a V shape, so there was a wider gap nearest the wall. I thought this would be better for growing and easier for watering. This didn’t work out. I ended up turning the basket around every few weeks as the plants grew in different directions.
I used an upturned water bottle with the bottom cut off to make it easier to get water and feed directly to the plant roots. That worked well. Next year I will use a larger plastic bottle because by the end of the season each basket could take 4 pints every day. That would have been an easier job if the top of the bottle had been accessible through the top of the tomato plants and if I could do this task in one go. A smaller plastic bottle just meant I had to spend more time waiting for the water to soak in before filling the plastic bottle again.
Watering the plants every day definitely stopped the tomatoes from splitting. I was religious in my watering regime. It helped not going on holiday this year.
Finally, probably the best bit. The little helper really enjoyed picking them, washing them and sorting out the different shapes. Then, filling up large plastic food bags with tomatoes and dressing up as a ladybird and ringing the neighbours doorbells to drop off the presents.