How to: Grow tomatoes

There’s nothing quite like the delicious taste of home grown tomatoes. They’re easy to grow and should provide you with an ongoing supply throughout the Summer.

Know your Tomatoes…

If you’re new to tomato growing, small tomato plants are ideal to start off with. A favourite variety is Sungold, which is yellow/orange when ripe and beautifully sweet.

Another favourite variety is tumbling tomatoes, which are available in red or yellow. They can be grown in pots or hanging baskets and are sweet, heavy croppers, and easy to ripen, even in the UK.

How to….

When you replant them, plant the baby plant up to its leaves in compost. They will grow roots from the stalk and you end up with a much sturdier plant. Plant them outside in the middle of May and use a good compost such as the Tomorite planter.

Give them as much sunshine as you can. Keep the watering steady, they don’t like getting dried out or sitting in wet compost (both can lead to the dreaded Blossom End Rot). When you see the first curly yellow flowers appearing, start to feed every fortnight with Tomorite, to improve yields and the tastiness of your tomatoes.

With Sungolds and other cordon types, remove the side shoots, which are the little shoots that grow from the base of the mature leaves, as they take energy away from the main plant. Tumblers can just be left to go wild. Most tomatoes can get a fungal disease called blight, which causes brown patches to appear on the stem of the plant and the plant to collapse. This is worse in cool, wet Summers. It’s a good idea to break off all the plants’ lower foliage in August to decrease humidity around the base of the plant, which reduces the risk of blight attacking.