You simply can’t beat the taste of tomato which you have grown yourself.
Tomatoes are so easy to grow and so very rewarding. They will flourish in the garden, on the patio in containers and even in hanging baskets, what could be better?
Choose a container at least 12 inches/30cm in diameter, from a patio pot to a hanging basket. Tomatoes are thirsty plants so the bigger the container the easier it is to keep them evenly watered. If you wish to start them from seed then you will need a suitable pot or container.
If you decide to grow from plants then pick your tomato plants to suit your container – bushy, upright ones for patio pots to trailing ones for hanging baskets.
Place a layer of stones or crocks in the bottom of the pot for drainage, then fill with good quality multi-purpose compost.
Use a hand trowel to plant your tomato when potting on your seedlings or plug plants, firming into place with extra compost if needed. Plant basil and marigolds in the same container as a natural pest deterrent.
Tomatoes love the sunshine so position your container in the greenhouse or outside in a sunny sheltered spot once all risk of frost has passed. Support with a bamboo cane as needed.
As they grow, remove side shoots on tall varieties as this will help them produce more fruit, but leave short bushy varieties as they are.
Top Tip: Water regularly, adding tomato food after the flowers appear.
There are great varieties of tomatoes in the garden centres and all taste fabulous.
HCR104fm is beginning a new monthly gardening series this Friday entitled Trevor’s Gardening Diary. Trevor Mallion is a keen local gardener who loves both vegetables and flowers. Trevor is a serious gardener and allotment grower; he plans out his gardening tasks for each month and will be sharing these and his top tips with you.