Gardening: Use organic granular fertiliser for the ‘easiest' way to grow ‘bigger’ tomatoes – Express

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Now that spring is in full force, more gardeners will be thinking about what crops they can start to grow in their . Tomatoes in particular are a very popular choice among gardeners and are fairly easy to grow and thrive in the warmer weather. Tomatoes can be sown from January right through to April, so there is still plenty of time for gardeners to them.
However, those sowing from January to mid-March need to put them in a greenhouse or sow them indoors.
From late March to early April, they can be put outside.
experts at Savvy Gardening have shared tomato growing secrets for a big harvest.
They said: “Tomatoes are a favourite crop for many home gardeners, and even beginner gardeners can have success when growing their very first tomato plant. 
“But if you really want to improve your tomato-growing skills and see bigger and better yields than ever before, I’m going to let you in on a few ‘trade secrets’. 
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“I’ve put together a list of tomato growing secrets to use in your home garden for healthier plants, bigger yields, and less work.”
Whilst tomatoes love the sun, they also need nutrient-dense soil with a particular focus on ample phosphorus.
The experts said: “Of the big three plant macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), phosphorus is the one that encourages the development of sturdy roots and plenty of flowers and fruits. 
“Gardeners who overfeed their tomatoes with high-nitrogen fertilisers have big, leafy green tomato plants with few flowers and fruits.
“Instead of using a high-nitrogen fertiliser, one of the easiest tomato growing secrets to follow is to choose an organic granular tomato fertiliser that’s slightly higher in phosphorus.”
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It provides a form of slow-release phosphorus that’s available to the plant throughout the growing season without also piling on an excess of nitrogen.
While most gardeners haven’t a clue what the pH of their soil is, this important number influences tomato production big time.
The gardening experts said: “The ideal soil pH for maximum tomato plant nutrient absorption is between 6.2 and 6.5.”
That means that when the soil pH is within that range, the plant’s roots can absorb the greatest diversity of nutrients.
Gardeners can invest in at-home soil test kits to find out what the pH of their soil is so that they can adjust it accordingly.As tomatoes are a warm weather crop, they thrive better in warm soilAs tomatoes are a warm weather crop, they thrive better in warm soil.
The experts said: “Warming up the soil prior to planting improves early root growth and gets the plants off to a better start. It’s a tomato growing secret many gardeners don’t always consider.”
Gardeners can cover the soil in mulch, whether that be using organic materials or black plastic sheeting, to warm the soil prior to planting them.
The gardening expert noted that plastic is great to warm up the soil as it absorbs the sun’s energy.
They added: “Leave it in place for a few weeks and then take it off prior to planting, or cut holes in the sheeting and plant the tomatoes right through it. 
“If you choose the latter option, the plastic also helps control weeds through the growing season.”
For those transplanting tomato plants, take a good look at the roots.What to sow in your garden in AprilThey’re probably circling around the inside of the container to form a thick, tangled mass.
The experts advised: “Prior to planting, use your fingers to tear apart the root ball and loosen it. 
“Don’t worry, you don’t have to be gentle about this process. Dig in and pull the roots apart. 
“When you plant, the root mass should not be in the shape of the container. 
“Loosening or tearing the roots prior to planting encourages the roots to spread out into the existing soil, rather than continuing to circle around in the shape of the pot. 
“Spread the loosened roots out in the hole before covering them up with soil.”
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