Alan Titchmarsh warns against letting tomato plant soil dry out or risk ‘blossom end rot’

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Alan Titchmarsh has advised how to feed and water tomato plants in a 2016 video for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. The gardening expert, who appears on TV regularly to share his tips, said tomato plant compost needs to be moist, otherwise you could risk your plant suffering from two problems. He said: “Try and keep this compost evenly moist at all times.

“If you let it dry out between waterings, and then soak it, two things happen.

“One, the fruit skin starts to get hard when it’s allowed to dry out, and when you re-water it can split because it’s no longer elastic.

“The other thing is, you can get sunken black areas on the underside of the fruit if you’re watering it erratically.

“That’s called blossom end rot, and it makes the fruit inedible.

“They’re not poisonous, just unpleasant.

“But then, when they get to this sort of stage, you want to make sure that as soon as that fruit is set, you’re feeding them with diluted liquid tomato food like this about once a week.”

Alan pointed to his tomato plants which are producing their fruit with some green and some red fruit.

He warned fellow gardeners to make sure they feed their tomatoes with the correct amount of feed.

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He said: “Do it at the manufacturer’s instructed dilution.

“Don’t try and make it stronger, it does no good at all.”

Alan showed viewers the tomato feed he used which is Levington® Tomorite® Concentrated Tomato Food.

The product claims to be the country’s favourite liquid plant food for tomatoes.

It contains seaweed extract which makes it perfect for not only tomatoes but also vegetables and flower pot plants.

Alan pointed out that the product even has a measure at the top to dilute the food into your watering can.

He said: “Then, when the compose is moist, not when it’s dry, if it’s moist this can go straight into action.

“A once-weekly feed like that will make sure that as well as being full of sap, because you’ve made sure the moisture is there, they’ve also got the nutrients to product fruit when ripens.”

Levington Tomorite Concentrated Tomato Food said to apply the diluted feed to the base of the plant, not the foliage.

If you’re growing your plants outdoors, the company said to feed them when the “second truss has set”.

They recommend feeding the plant every seven to 14 days and use around 4.5 litres of the product for two plants.

If you’re growing your plants in a greenhouse, they recommend feeding when the first truss of tomatoes has set and to feed them at “alternate waterings”.

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