In large plots, viz., one rod plots, space should be found for one Tomato plant, or failing this a row of plants may be grown against a south wall or fence. Obtain the plants in June, or if a frame is available, raise them from seed sown in pots or boxes in March in gentle heat. Prick off into boxes so that the young plants do not touch one another, and finally transfer to pots. In June, put the plants in good, well-drained soil. Drainage for the roots is of great importance, and for this reason the station may be placed on a slope ; too much moisture favours an excess of leaf growth.
The side growths must be pinched out so that the energy of the plant is thrown into the main stem. The practice of removing the leaves must be conducted with great care, with due attention to the reason that necessitates the operation, viz., exposure of the ripening tomatoes to sunshine. It must not be forgotten that leaves carry on an important function in obtaining food, and when they are completely removed, the plant is naturally destitute. The leaves should never be removed until the fruits are set. The ripe fruits must be removed, and those that remain unripened late in the season, should be gathered and packed carefully in soft tissue paper in boxes.
Fig. 51. tomatoes.
Axillary growth are pinched out as shown in smaller figure.