By Megan Slack
BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don has shaped our kitchen garden ideas throughout the year – but his latest advice is among his most timely advice yet. Caring for your outdoor tomatoes is among the most important jobs that Monty recommends undertaking this month, but as the last day of July falls upon us, we’re rushing to follow his garden ideas.
On his blog, Monty revealed that despite only planting his tomatoes in June, they need regular attention throughout July – especially in the latter half of the month, when they are under threat from blight. Here, he shares how to take care of your plant before August arrives.
Once the tomatoes are in the ground, Monty says they need ‘regular tying up.’ ‘This is, of course, if you are growing cordon tomatoes rather than bush or determinate varieties.’ Instead, determinate tomatoes should be ‘propped up rather like an herbaceous plant rather than tied regularly in.’
Monty recommends tying your cordon tomatoes with soft twine whilst simultaneously pinching out the side shoots before watering. ‘I do not feed the outdoor ones as our soil is plenty rich enough, and they had a good mulch of compost just before planting, but the indoor tomatoes will have a weekly seaweed feed at the same time,’ he adds.
Perhaps most crucially, Monty then revealed the extra precautions you may need to take to protect your tomatoes from the late July ever-changing climate. He notes that the diverse weather will impact your plant and offers his small vegetable garden ideas – which will preserve their health at this point of the summer.
‘From late July, the risks of blight increase, dependent as it is upon the combination of high humidity and warm days and nights,’ he says. ‘The best defense for outdoor tomatoes is good ventilation, and stripping off the lower leaves as the fruits develop helps this, as well as helping the ripening tomatoes have maximum exposure to the sun.’
Monty’s advice may save your tomatoes this week – but for more tips on growing tomatoes, our expert guide is the next best place to start. However, in the meantime, we’re heading outside to save our plants before dusk falls over this sun-kissed month. You now know how we'll be spending our weekend.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.
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