How to grow tumbling tomatoes

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Tumbling Tom is a small-fruited tomato you can grow in a pot. As long as you provide the right conditions -- rich soil, warmth, light and moisture -- this tomato will thrive and produce an abundant harvest. Eat them whole as a snack or chop them to put in salsa and salads. To grow tumbling tomatoes, get a nursery seedling and follow the same steps you'd take to cultivate another container vegetable.

Buy a synthetic potting mix. Use synthetic soils for container vegetables because they're formulated to hold moisture and nutrients while also allowing excess water to drain. These mixes usually contain a combination of sawdust, wood chips, peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.

Add a 2.5 cm (1 inch) layer of coarse gravel to the bottom of the planter to improve soil drainage. Fill about three-quarters of the pot with potting mix. Adjust the amount depending on the size of your seedling's roots.

Put your seedling in the centre of the planter and add more potting mix. Plant it at the same depth as it was in its original tray. The soil surface should be about 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) below the pot's rim. Water the soil until the excess water begins to flow through the pot's holes.

Take the planter to a sunny location. Tumbling Tom tomatoes need full sun for at least six hours every day. If you can't provide your plant that much natural light and heat, use a grow lamp.

Prepare a fertilising solution. Mix 500 ml (2 cups) of a 10-20-10 fertiliser with 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of warm tap water to make a base solution. To use it, mix 30 ml (2 tbsp) with 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water.

Apply your diluted fertiliser to the soil the day you transplant your seedlings. Continue with one application daily.

Give your tomato plant plain water once a week to leach any excess fertiliser from the soil.

Inspect your plant. Container-grown plants are susceptible to different pests and diseases. If you notice symptoms such as lack of fruit production, yellowing of any part of the plant, and leaves with holes, contact your local garden centre for help identifying and treating the problem.

Harvest your tomatoes when they detach easily from the stems. It takes about three months for your seedlings to produce mature fruit.

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