It’s the season for scrumptious tomatoes – always delicious in a salad, pasta dish or whipped up into a passata, tomatoes are definitely a family favourite! They’re also very easy to grow and a great way to start your ‘grow your own journey’. It’s how I started out on mine a few years ago. So, if you’re growing your own this year, here are my top tips…
- Grow your tomatoes in a location that has as much direct sun and shelter from winds as you can. I’m growing mine in my greenhouse, but this isn’t essential. Last year, I grew lots of scrumptious tomatoes outside and it worked a treat!
- Make sure your tomatoes are planted in good soil or compost – add peat free compost to give your plant that extra boost.
- Companion planting works well with tomatoes. Try sowing nasturtiums underneath to repel aphids.
- Your tomato plants will need good support to grow – use canes for tall varieties and make sure they are tied in well. You can also pick up other types of support, so just go with something that works for your plant!
- Water the soil, not the plant. The stems and leaves don’t like getting wet. I’m growing my tomatoes in Hozelock’s Growbag Waterer and it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s perfect because it releases just enough water for your tomatoes and your life’s made so much easier! My tomatoes are doing really well and I’ve actually just planted out my cucumbers into a grow bag with the watering system too.
- Every week or so from when flowering starts, also give your tomato plant a feed using tomato feed. This will make sure your plant is creating tasty fruits.
- Eat your yummy tomatoes straight from the vine. This is when they’re at their most delicious. Be sure to give them a rinse under the tap first.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a big haul of juicy tomatoes, experiment with making your own sauces. Last year, I made a scrumptious passata using my excess of tomatoes and it was a perfect addition to my cooking!
- If you have any tomatoes that haven’t ripened toward the end of the season, bring them inside and put a banana with them – the ethylene given off by the banana helps to ripen the fruits.
About the Author
Daisy Payne (AKA @gardentogarnish) is a passionate amateur gardener, who’s love of gardening and growing all started when she said goodbye to London’s city life and created a new chapter in the Cotswolds back in 2015.
It’s a love that’s grown and Daisy established Garden To Garnish to inspire others; showing just how easy it all is to connect with nature, nurture plants and grow your own fruit, vegetables and salad.
Daisy’s following on Instagram has grown rapidly and earlier this year, Daisy joined ITV’s This Morning. She now presents regular gardening segments, staying true to her ethos of sharing the basics, in the hope of inspiring people to take that first step into gardening and growing your own.