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My next season growing Tomatoes will soon need to be planned…As a beginner this season I used planter bags and purchased potting mix and compost…Naturally I want to use this soil again …Is there a method one should use in soil recovery… Thanks

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Hi Ron

Thanks for your question. If you are planting in a green house and live on a property where the days are long and warm you will be fine planting another round of tomatoes. The length of day does make a huge difference for ripening of the fruit as well as the overnight soil temperature. Once the temperature of the soil drops too low the plants won’t thrive. The fruit ripens at around 8 – 10 weeks, this would put us in May which would be the latest you would probably we able to harvest here in NZ. You would need to be putting in plants that are already at strong seedling stage.

The soil you have used this year can be put in a flower bed that does not have Petunia’s which is the same family as the tomato and potato. This is to avoid the risk of blight throughout the garden.

Use fresh compost that has not have tomatoes or potatoes grown in it for over 12 months and you’ll be away!

Next best time of planting Tomatoes outside is around Labour Weekend in October or September if you have a green house.

Happy gardening

Maria – Palmers national garden consultant

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