Inmates could be considered an accurate description of some of them. It's a lot better than it was though as they used to put all the dodgy ones out in the villages to lessen the problems in the towns. When I moved here everybody else was older than me and some often admired the flowers or even did a bit of weeding or brought bedding plants back from the market. Now two occupants are the same age as my offspring and three are young enough to be my grandchildren and don't even think to sweep the path past their front doors. It's a block of 6 and two stories so there isn't a lot of border space but it is stuffed full of as many different plants as I can cram in hence the containers so I can switch with the seasons. Tulips are just beginning to bloom and my pink heathers and 'elephant ears' are a picture, the daffodils, jonquils and irises are still in good health, there's primroses and polyanthus, pansies and violas and most of the shrubs and roses are sending out fresh shoots now. You can probably tell I'm quite pleased with it but that's partly because the weather has been a lot kinder than usual
To be different I have been using growbags (only 1 year of experience) - the top tip with growbags is check the volume - standard growbags are something like 25 litres but if you look around you will find 38 or 40 litre ones for almost the same price, perhaps even less if they are in different shops/garden centres! All have space for 3 tomato plants, but clearly some have nearly twice the volume for roots compared to the others - more root space is a good thing!
It probably isn't worth worrying too much about any claims for how long they will feed the plants for, as advised you don't need feed until the flower trusses (branches) appear - you will be entering a lottery over compost quality anyway whether you use growbags or buy compost for pots. Again whichever you use make sure you break up the compost before planting out into it - you will naturally do it when shovelling it into pots, growbags are best pummelled before you cut them open.
One great tip I got last year for indeterminate tomatoes is rather than using canes for support, drop a string from the roof to a peg in the pot/bag and wrap the main stem around it as it grows (assumes you aren't wanting to move them around).
Has someone explained that there are 2 types of tomato plants - intermediate (vine) tomatoes which need support and are forever trying to split (need to pinch out the side shoots as they develop, once you learn to recognize them), and determinate (bush) tomatoes, which I haven't grown but I believe they are self supporting and don't grow side shoots. Understanding which you have sown may help with planning support etc.
They are indeterminate not intermediate. Their ultimate height isn't determined,
oh Frank , I do love a fellow Pedant.
I appreciate the difference albeit I don't quite understand that, in that surely rather than describing them in that way. one could describe one bunch as smaller more bush like varieties the other tall climbers? Because I don't buy any species can have a non determined ultimate size.I mean sure every specimen will be a little different and environment conditions play a significant role, but that's the same with determinate plants, if I say one plant grows to 3ft tall and label it determinate, surely I can label another as growing to around 7ft tall and 4ft wide (if side shoots are allowed to develop) rather than indeterminate, because it won't have an infinite growth rate, or we'd see single plants covering hundreds of feet if not controlled. Though maybe they do, since one of my varieties is I shall report back if it consumes the greenhouse and ends up trailing along the garden and coming through the cat flap one night haha.
By the way Frank with the high Nitrogen for leaf growth, does this mean I can give this to say my coriander and salad leaf plants right from when they're established into 3" pots (well I'll do salad seeds in a tray) to encourage them? (more for coriander I suppose)
Not too early in their lifecycle, only when they are exhausting the N in the growing media and not until they are getting good quality light.
I've had great success with growing toms in grow bags in the past. Very efficient, and easy to clear away once done. An old gardening pal also swore by them because they retain moisture and as toms are better under watered it meant that it didn't matter if they didn't get watered for a couple of weeks. Also my other halfs uncle enters shows with his and he swears by using the bags. He says he gets better results by keeping the roots shallow.
Ive just looked in my Companion Garden book by good old Bob Flowerdew. He says marigolds help keep whitefly out of greenhouses but won't drive them out if they are already in. It says to plant marigolds 'near' tomatoes. Says the scent hides the smell of the plant.
Also says there is research that marigolds kill nematodes And that "....exudations may help tomatoes" - no idea what exudations means!! Where's my dictionary.......
.....it means the release of liquid or smell.