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Planting Tomatoes in a Growing Bag

Growing bags dry out rapidly, but the volume of potting mix can be increased, and the need to water reduced, by planting into open-ended pots inserted into holes in the bag, as shown here.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Growing Bags Yield Delicious Tomato Harvest

Step 1: Prep the Growing Bag

Using a knife, carefully cut three openings in the top of the growing bag and cut drainage holes in the base. If using bottomless pots (buy ready-made, or make your own), insert them into the openings and fill with soil.

Cut Drainage Holes in Base of Growing Bags

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2: Plant the Tomatoes

When the plants are hardened off and the first flowers are about to open, plant into the bag or the pots so that the top of the root ball is just below the soil surface. Firm the soil around the roots and water well.

Plant Tomatoes Once Young Plants are Acclimated

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3: Remove the Sideshoots

Add canes or strong wires for support. Take care to pinch out all fast-growing sideshoots between the leaves and stem — they divert valuable energy away from fruit production. Apply a liquid tomato fertilizer weekly.

Pinch Tomato Sideshoots to Increase Production

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4: Support the Stems

Tie in the main stems with twine as they grow. Stop the plant from growing taller by removing the growing tip, two leaves beyond the fifth or sixth cluster (truss) of fruit. This diverts the plant’s energy into the last fruits of the season.

Tie Main Stem of Tomato Plant as It Grows

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 5: Consider Growing Other Crops

Other summer crops, such as lettuce, suit growing bags, taking only 8-12 weeks from seed to the cropping stage.

Several Summer Crops Do Well in Growing Bags

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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