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Grow Your Own Tommies

by Craven and Valley Life

Follow our top tips below for how to grow your own delicious and healthy tomatoes at home…

Poor weather overseas and soaring energy costs at home have been named as the cause of the current tomato shortage currently sweeping the nation’s supermarkets.With shoppers unable to purchase their favourite produce, some may be considering how they can grow their own at home…

Choose the right tomato variety

Before you can begin to prep for growing tomatoes, you first must establish which tomato variety you want to grow. ‘Gardener’s Delight’ for example is one of the most popular varieties to grow thanks to its reliable properties and sweet, bite-sized cherry tomato fruits.

Prepare the soil

Tomatoes favour well-draining soil. So, work in rich in organic matter compost, aged manure, or other organic material into the soil to improve it’s fertility and drainage.

Start from seed

The cheapest and most efficient way to grow tomatoes is growing from seed. Right now – from late February to early April – is the prime time to begin sowing tomato seeds. Tomato seeds need warmth to germinate and take on average between seven to 14 days to germinate. So, either leave them on a warm windowsill indoors or make the most of a greenhouse. Once germinated, the tomato seedlings can be transplanted into pots. Harvest times will depend on the variety of tomato plants and their level of care.

Provide support

As your tomato plant grows, its fruits naturally become heavier. While this is a sign of a healthy harvest, the increased load can weigh down stems and put tomato fruits dangerously close to the ground, attracting pests such as slugs and increasing the chance of picking up soil-borne diseases. Stakes, cages, and trellises can all be used to keep the plant upright and support the fruit.

Water regularly

Tomatoes require consistent watering – about an inch of water per week – and will need even more if they’re being grown in a pot. However, be wary of over-watering your tomatoes. Too much water can lead to root rot while irregular watering and fluctuating moisture levels can damage the tomato fruit, affecting the taste.


Fertilise appropriately

Fertilising can be a great way to boost plant growth and ensure a high yield come harvest. Use a fertiliser specifically formulated for tomatoes and feed once a fortnight once the first flowers begin to show, increasing water and feed as the tomato fruit increase in size.

Craven&ValleyLife Spring 23