Tomatoes can be the most rewarding of vegetables. They are easy to grow from seed, and can be grown in any size garden providing they are in a warm, sheltered spot. But it's important to choose the right variety, suited to the space you have available, and the location.Greenhouses and polytunnels offer the best conditions in the UK for producing a summerlong feast of tomatoes. But outdoor ripened fruit can be worth waiting for. There are varieties suited to growing indoors and outdoors and some bred especially for containers and hanging baskets. Whichever variety you choose, all need fertile soil, and plenty of regular sun, heat, food and water to produce sweet, juicy fruits.
Sowing from Seed
Fill a 7.5cm (3in) pot or seed tray with seed compost, lightly firm and water.
Scatter seeds thinly. More seeds will grow than you need so thinner is always better.
Allow time to germinate within a couple of weeks.
Prick out into individual pots by gently holding the leaves while levering roots with a dibber, lowing seedling into a small hole in multipurpose compost.
Gently firm the roots and water.
Growing in Grow Bags
When the first truss or 'branch' of flowers has appeared, tomatoes are ready to go into growing bags.
Loosen compost in bag until a fine loose soil.
Puncture the base for drainage and cut out the pre-marked planting squares.
Make holes for the roots of the toimatoes and plant.
The top of the root ball should be beneath the top of the bag and have a light covering of compost. Firm in and water.
Use canes or tomato grow frames for supporting the plant
Secure this to the frame and as it grows, tie the tomato to the cane every 10cm (4in).
We want to make a single stem plant generally unless bush varieties. We do this by pinching out any side shoots, that form between leaves and the main stem.
The plant requires heavy feeding for a large crop. A feed such as Tomorite is recommended.