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Top Tom Tip

Many years ago my old friend and presenter of Gardeners' World, the late Arthur Billitt gave me this tip. Prior to presenting Gardeners' World he worked as a research aggri chemist for Boots.

He said they had conducted trials on tomatoes and it was found that the size of the bottom truss was influenced by when the seedlings were potted-on. Tomatoes should be potted-on immediately the first pair of seed leaves have straightened out and for each day's delay in doing this reduced the size of the bottom truss.

Plant them deep with the seed leaves resting on the compost.  



  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 9,248

    Just on my way out to do it David .....hope I haven't lost too many daysimage.  Although this year I am only going for the cherry varieties, so they won't be big anyway.  Thanks for the timely reminder thoughimage

    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,742

    That's interesting David and, as I have rather more seedlings than I need, will try that this very afternoon!  image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • derbyduckderbyduck Posts: 137

    good tip i'm going to reset all my tom seeds due to them rotting off in my windowsill green house ,so if it stops rain this afternoon i'm on it ,and I will follow David's tip.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    How do they know they've been potted on?

  • Hostafan1 wrote (see)

    How do they know they've been potted on?


    The bottom truss tells em!

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 9,248


    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Looks like I'm potting toms on today image

    David thanks for the tip. 

  • I have tried it myself this year and my toms are the stockiest I have ever seen.

     But a few weeks after transplanting they looked very malnurished , and I have potted them up  for a second time,which has helped them recover.

    The reason given for using this method by the video site I watched,"allotment diary" was to avoid root disturbance as the roots have not started to branch out in the soil at seed leaf stage.

  • Cut my gardening teeth on the wisdom & advice of the likes of Percy Thrower, Arthur Billitt, Geoffrey Smith, Clay Jones and Geoff which I will be eternally grateful. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    showing your age there David, image

     I started watching GW just as The Late Great Geoff Hamilton took over. 

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