Grow Guide: Tomatoes
A great one to grow in raised beds and pots alike, home grown tomatoes take their sweetness from the sun and leave you with a tasty ingredient for any meal. Smaller tomatoes, such as cherry or santini are great as they ripen quicker than the traditional beef tomatoes, whose size takes longer to develop. If you only have limited space in your balcony or hanging baskets, tomatoes can still be relevant for you, but be sure to pick a variety that is compact and won’t spread too much, for example SunGold tomatoes would work well.
In order to get the best sweetness from your tomatoes, they should be placed in direct sunlight. In addition, many tomatoes favour growing against a wall or fence to ensure they get all the support they need.
How to Plant
You can either plant your tomatoes from seeds indoors or simply buy the tomato seedlings from your local GroMór expert.
Seeds are best sown indoors from the second week of March to the beginning of May. It usually takes about 8-10 weeks for the seeds to grow enough to be then put into their final pot, but be sure to keep them out of the frost(ie until late May) as this can kill tomatoes very quickly.
If you buy seedlings, they can be transplanted when they are 16cm high, ensuring that the soil is damp when planting into their new pot/raised bed. Put the seedling in a hole that is deeper than the pot, and ensure that the seedling is well supported by filling soil around it. To give your tomatoes the best opportunities to grow, gently tie a support stake to the plant’s stem using some soft twine.
Pick your tomatoes as soon as the colour is fully developed and the tomatoes is at full size. This helps to give your plant more energy to produce more tomatoes.
A handy way to keep the flavour of your perfectly ripe tomatoes is to make a big pot of tomato sauce and then to freeze it to guarantee you a strong flavour in all your cooking in the winter.