Whilst a greenhouse or polytunnel gives tomatoes plenty of warmth and makes a cosy home for them, you can also grow them outdoors. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’ll be growing them outside this year.
- Choose a suitable variety – technically you can grow any variety outside, but some tomato plants are better suited to outdoor growing than others. From the varieties in our collection of plug plants, the best for outdoor growing include: Outdoor Girl Tomato, Matina Tomato and Gardeners Delight Tomato. Tiny Tim also does well outside in pots.
- Find a sunny, sheltered spot, ideally against a south facing wall – tomatoes do best with warmth and sunshine. They don’t do well with wind or chilly nights. Growing against a south facing wall is a great idea as the wall will reflect heat, and will hold warmth through the nights to help keep the tomato plants warmer. Try to avoid areas that are windy. If you have a sun-trap spot in the garden, that’s an ideal spot to choose!
- Don’t plant out too early – it will be much better to temporarily grow tomatoes on a sunny windowsill or in a sunny porch, and then plant out in mid May/late May or even early June when you know that the nights are warmer and that cold winds and frosts are definitely over.
Those are our three top tips. In addition to the above, we’d really recommend that you keep plants well watered, give them a liquid feed fortnightly once they start flowering and pinch out side shoots regularly when growing outdoors.