Be careful when you prune Californian lilacs. They need shaping up but might refuse to produce new branches from old wood. Different rules for evergreen and deciduous ceanothus shrubs apply.
A guide to having fun easily growing tomatoes!
Tomatoes are a wonderful salad-bowl fruit that can be easily grown. However, they do require quite a bit of ongoing care to ensure that you get large harvests. Plants come in two main varieties; cordoned or bushy. Whilst the former offers decadent huge fruit the size of baubles, the latter are easier to grow, giving you the perfect alternative if you haven’t got a lot of time.
Sow seeds in March on a warm windowsill by placing them on moist soil and covering with a fine layer of compost. They are very easy to germinate and as they develop, keep them at a constant 18ºC.
Transferring and feeding
Transfer to individual pots as soon as two true leaves appear (these are not the luminous green leaves that first erupt out of the seed, but are the smaller leaves that appear). Keep growing them on until they're big enough for grow bags or 23cm pots. At this point, you should begin adding a liquid tomato feed every 10 days and remove leaves as they yellow. You should also use a stake from now on to loosely keep plants upright.
Each side stem should be pruned when it's about 2.5cm long. Once plants have developed between four and seven trusses (sets of flowers off the main trunk), pinch out the growing tip at the top of the plant to maximise fruiting.
Provide plenty of sun to maturing fruit and ensure tomatoes are watered regularly. Pick fruit when they're beginning to turn red, before cracking or infection can occur.