Eating fresh homegrown tomatoes is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether you are planting and growing tomatoes for saucing, salads or anything in between, there is a variety to suit your needs. With a few basic tips you can easily grow your own tomatoes from seed in your vegetable garden or balcony.
Climbing (indeterminate) varieties are excellent for those with larger or narrow spaces while bush (determinate) and dwarf varieties are at home in the vegetable patch or can be grown in large pots on balconies. Growing from seed is economical & rewarding, some top tips to get you started are listed below & our shop has a large range of different varieties to suit your planting needs. While you’re there, make sure you grow a few extra to gift as seedlings to friends.
To allow plants enough time to produce large healthy & ripe fruit within your growing season, sow seeds in punnets & keep in a warm covered spot for up to 8 weeks before they are to be planted out. When planting out, plant to at least halfway up the stem, much deeper than you would imagine as the stem will grow extra nutrient searching roots.
Water & Sun
Tomatoes thrive best when planted in full sun but they do need to be kept well watered. Under-watering can cause plants to become stressed, susceptible to disease and may cause fruit to split. Regular watering will also keep fruit tastier and juicier. Mulch well to keep soil moist and avoid watering leaves directly.
To keep your tomatoes happy and healthy, sow a crop of rocket beforehand to assist in removing soil nematodes. Plant Marigolds alongside tomatoes to keep the soil healthy and increase beneficial insects. Basil is excellent to keep aphids and other pests at bay and is tomatoes culinary match.
Feed Feed Feed
Tomatoes are hungry plants that love to be fed. Compost, a good handful of blood and bone and regular watering with a seaweed solution at planting and throughout the season will be sure to produce excellent results. An application of potash will also help produce strong healthy plants.
Leaves & Laterals
An easy way to help minimise the risk of disease, especially on climbing varieties, is to remove the bottom 20% of leaves once the plant has started to mature. This will increase air flow and reduce disease spreading from the soil. Removing most lateral shoots will direct energy to the fruit growing stems producing larger, tastier tomatoes.
The largest tomato ever grown weighed a impressive 3.5kg.
There are currently over 10,000 tomato varieties registered.
Heinz uses 2+ million tonnes of tomatoes every year. That’s a lot of tomato sauce! (We still think homemade is better!)