Tomatoes are a real kitchen garden favourite, and if you decide to grow them you’ll be wanting to give them the best start…here are a few tips and tricks that we’d like to share with you so that you have a fantastic crop of juicy tomatoes!
- Make sure you add plenty of fresh compost before planting, and add a handful of wormcast fertiliser as you plant each plug. This will really help to keep them well nourished, giving you better flavour from your crop.
- Tomatoes will grow much better in a greenhouse. If you don’t have a greenhouse, grow your seedlings on in pots on a sunny, warm windowsill or conservatory and then plant them out in June when the weather is warmer, choosing the most sheltered, sunny spot that you can find in your garden. (If you can pop a sheet of black polythene over the bed for a few weeks beforehand, this will help by providing warmer soil.)
- Plant seedlings a little deeper than you normally would, with 3-4cm of the stem under the surface of the soil. This encourages a better root system and this healthier plants.
- As tomatoes grow, cut off any lower leaves that risk touching the soil. This is a good way to prevent blight.
- Keep tomatoes consistently watered – try to avoid periods of drought or overwatering. This will massively help them to produce healthy fruits that don’t have split skin or blossom end rot.
- Pinch out side shoots to focus the plant’s energy on producing flowers and fruit (you don’t need to do this on bush plants like Tiny Tim)
- Pinch out the growing tip once you have 4 or 5 flowering trusses. Again, this will help focus energy on flowering and fruiting.