Its British Tomato Week and we’ve gathered a few basic tips to get you hooked on tomato growing. Although they need regular attention they are one of the most rewarding plants, providing you with fruit all through summer.
The more roots your tomato plants have, the stronger they will be. A great tip is cutting your grow bag in half vertically and standing it on its ends. This way you’ll have deeper soil for your tomato plants to grow, but still get all the benefits of optimal soil conditions and preventing the water from draining too fast. If you don’t have room for grow bags, try them in hanging baskets as most tomato plants like to naturally hang and trail.
Tomatoes love potassium, but don’t start feeding them until your first flowers have appeared. Our current favourite is Westland’s Big Tom. This new feed promises you’ll get the juiciest tomatoes, with a formula full of extra strength nutrients and enriched with seaweed.
Deciding how often to water your plants can be a hard task to master. They’ll need to be moist, but you don’t want to flood the roots. Get them watered first thing in the morning and possibly in the evening if it has been a hot day. Don’t worry if they begin to droop when the sun is at it’s peak, they’ll usually perk up by sun-down – if they don’t they’re asking for water.
Make sure you’re leaving vents and doors open to allow pollination. Think about planting ‘Perfect for Pollinator’ plants elsewhere in your garden to really increase your butterfly and bee count. If you’re struggling you can help pollination buy lightly shaking your plants to mimic the movement of pollinating insects.
Once your fruit is ready for picking, don’t be tempted to store in the refrigerator as you won’t be able to experience their optimum flavour! The cold will stop their ripening process, so your best leaving your tomatoes out in a covered bowl to increase their juicy sweetness. Just keep an eye on any ripening too fast or they will spoil the others around them.