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Container Tomatoes - Beginner needs help please!!

Hello! 

I'm looking to start growing tomatoes and peppers in our back garden but would really like some help and advice. I've been searching the internet and the more I read, the less I feel I know what I'm doing...it can't be that difficult can it? 

So if anyone can give me some instructions that are simple to follow I would be so grateful! 

I'd like to grow some medium size tomatoes for cooking with and i thought one or two smaller plants for cherry-type tomatoes. I was hoping to buy plants locally but the garden centre down the road only sells gardener's delight (is that going to be any good for me?) If so, what size container would I need, and what kind of container should I stay away from? Also, anywhere in the UK I can buy good plants online? 

Next big question is what do I put in the container? I'd like to do this as cheap as I can but don't want to cut any corners that will have a negative effect on the plants! If anyone can give me a list of exactly what I'll need and quantity, that would be amazing! I've read that mixing up your own is cheaper than buying potting mix so willing to give that a try. 

I'm pretty sure there is enough sunlight where I'm hoping to grow them, I live in Devon and weather is warming up now. 

Next is the peppers. I haven't researched much on peppers as yet, but same kind of questions, what kind of container and what to fill it with? Once I have nailed the container and potting mix, I will plant the plants then research how to best take care of them, prune them etc. 

Many Thanks :) 

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  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,844

    Can't help you with the peppers I'm afraid, but the toms are quite straightforward. image

    G's Delight are ideal - bit bigger than a cherry, but will be fine for cooking and just eating raw. Plants will be small probably, ( 3 or 4 inch pots ) so keep them indoors in those pots until the roots fill them.When they do, pot them on into a bigger size. When you pot them on, sink them deeper into the new pot - right up to the first pair of true leaves. In a few weeks, they'll be filling that, and you can pot them on to the final sized pot. By that time, you should ba able to have them outdoors. I use ones which are about 10 - 12 inches at the top, but it doesn't have to be exactly that size. I use multi purpose compost for mine - I think most people do the same. 

    By this time, you'll need to have some decent supports in place for them. Canes are ideal. Tie the plants in to that as they grow. You should also pinch out the side shoots - those are the little stems which appear between the main stem and the side branches, at about 45 degrees. Keep them watered but don't overdo it, and don't feed them until the first truss of fruits set. Ventilation and air flow are important for tomatoes,  so make sure they have a bit of space between them. You can nip out the main stem (leader) when they're around six feet. 

    Next  year, you do a bit of research and buy seed to start plants off yourself in March   image

    I  think chillis are much the same to be honest, apart from burying deeper, and they don't have little side shootslike tomatoes.  Pot on as they grow, but I think they have to be kept indoors - ie a greenhouse.  It may be warm enough where you are though. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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