The best thing about tomatoes is that they don’t need a lot of space to grow. You can choose to grow them indoors, outside or in a greenhouse. If you are limited for space, pots make excellent space savers for growing just about anything but most especially tomatoes. These tips are for growing tomatoes outside in the warm summer weather.
I started out with tomato seedlings from a garden centre, and if this is your plan, then you can buy them around May when they are in stock and allow them time to establish their roots into a full grown plant before transplanting them. If you are starting your tomato journey from seeds, then sow them outside thinly in prepared soil from March- April time. This is after the last frost. If you have a greenhouse, you can sow earlier, around February time.
Firstly, when it comes to growing tomatoes, sunshine is key! More sun equals more fruit. When planning your garden space, make sure that you choose the sunniest spot for your tomatoes. Tomatoes like any other plant absolutely love the sun, as much as they love water. Pest control- tomatoes attract pests and those pesky little bugs that want to ruin your harvest. I found that planting herbs, such as rosemary, spring onions, garlic and onions will keep your tomatoes happy and away from bug attacks. The strong smell of herbs and onions repels the pests. Go to Click and Grow to get your own self- growing herb garden and enjoy excellent tomatoes.
Water, Water, Water. I can’t say this enough. Water is your best friend when it comes to plant care. About an inch of water a week during the hot weather and less during the spring months. This is especially important for potted tomatoes. I noticed that my potted tomatoes started to wilt from just one day of no watering during the hot summer. Make sure to water your tomato plant everyday. It will thank you.
Mulch/ Feed- Feed your tomatoes at least once or twice a month with tomato fertiliser. Tomatoes should be first fertilised when you plant them as they need it the most to grow. Once the roots have established in the ground or in the potted soil, then you can relax with the fertiliser. I fed mine once every 2 weeks as seedlings and once every 2 months after that.
Pruning- Tomatoes also need pruning. You might think to yourself, why do tomatoes need pruning. Well, as your tomato grows, it produces baby buds which you will notice in between the tomato branches. Once it has flowered, these buds need to be pruned/ removed as they won’t produce any fruit later on but they will take up the plant’s nutrients and divert it away from the growing tomatoes. Prune out any crowded, damaged or crossing leaves to keep the plant open.