Monday, 22 February 2016


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

Tomatoes are such resilient plants and are very easy to grow, and you often see them growing as weeds in compost heaps.  However, getting tomatoes to crop successfully is trickier and requires some management.

You can grow tomato plants outside successfully from seed, either collected by yourself from tomatoes or using shop bought packet tomato seeds. The advantage of growing your own tomatoes is that you can select the variety you want, rather than the few varieties on offer in the supermarket. 

Tomatoes have been grown successfully in grow bags for many years, and they can easily be grown in other containers too. However, pot grown tomatoes are at a disadvantage to plants grown directly in the soil and need careful watering and feeding.

It is best to transplant tomato seedlings into containers outside in order to give your plants the best start in life.  Sow tomato seeds indoors or in a heated greenhouse around mid march. They will need to be protected from frost, and temperatures at night should not fall below 10 degrees Celsius.

The tomato seedlings are ready to plant out when the risk of frost is over and the young plants when they are about 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) tall, when the flowers of the first truss are just beginning to open. Harden off your plants before planting outside.  

Fill your container with general purpose compost, with layer of gravel at the bottom to aid drainage. Plant a single tomato plant in each pot and gently water.  

Water the container regularly to keep the soil regularly moist. If the soil dries out and is then flooded with water it will cause the fruit  to crack. Feed the plant with a liquid fertiliser every 10-14 days, changing to a high potash feed when the first fruit start to appear.   

Remove the growing tip of the plant once four trusses have been formed to allow the plant to bush out and to maximise fruit production. Stake your plant as it grows, although bush or trailing varieties do not require a stake.

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