As the weather begins to warm-up and salad comes back onto the menu, have you thought about growing your own fruit and veg? (Everyone’s at it these days.) If you haven’t had a crack at this before, tomatoes are a good place to start as you don’t need to be blessed with green fingers to produce some fantastic results that will be the envy of your neighbours. To help you on your way, here’s our list of top tips:
No matter which variety you choose to grow, your tomato plants will need plenty of sun, heat, food and water.
Like most fruit and vegetables, tomatoes will grow best in a sunny and sheltered spot.
Seeds sown in late winter should be started off in the home or in a greenhouse. This will protect them from the weather and slugs when they are at their most vulnerable.
Unless you’re growing a bush tomato, the aim is to create a single-stemmed plant.
To increase the fertility of your soil, add compost, which you can pick up from your local garden centre.
Tomato plants need plenty of room to grow upwards, as their rapid growth rate would suggest they’re a distant relation to the beanstalk that Jack grew.
Growing as tall as they do, the plants will need to be supported or else they are likely to keel over.
To boost a plant’s growing power, you should prune it regularly.
Another way to increase your yield is to remove all the side shoots. These are the shoots that grow at a 45° angle between the main stem and plant branches.
If you have loads of green tomatoes at the end of the season, put a few in a kitchen drawer with a banana to encourage them to ripen.