The tomatoes are happiest in full sun. The potting soil should be kept slightly damp
|Latin name:||Solanum lycopersicum|
|Guarantee:||6 months growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||June - October|
Plant Solanum lycopersicum upon receipt in a pot containing fresh potting compost.
You can expect the best harvest from those plants grown on in the greenhouse because tomatoes do like it warm.
Once all chance of frost is passed and outdoor temps are continually above 12 degrees centigrade, your tomato plants can go outdoors. It is of course advisable to first slowly acclimatise them. Do this by standing them outdoors in the shade for one hour longer every day for a week. After one week they can be potted up to a larger pot - one that easily holds 3 plants. Stand the pot in full sun.
When planting straight into the ground, you need a sunny but sheltered spot where your tomatoes can grow in a row, 70 cm apart. They will need tying up to a good strong cane for support.
Tomato plants will not tolerate frost so beware of late cold spells in the spring.
Water your tomatoes continually sufficiently but keep the soil preferably dryer than wet. Do always keep up with fertilising during the growth period. Add plant food to the watering can - there is special tomato feed you can use too. Tomatoes can be ripened on a windowsill but will ripen best still growing on the plant.
Tomato plants are creepers that need a support to climb. The stems really need help. Compact growers will thrive in pots and planters too. Those grown in the greenhouse can easily reach as high as 2 metres with support! Outdoors, not quite so high. Bamboo canes of 1.5 m will usually be sufficient for those, but indoors, try garden twine hung from the ceiling - just wind the main stem around this.
If there are too many leaves hiding the fruit, cut them away in September - this helps the fruits to get a nice colour.
Do remove all side shoots and tie up new ones every week. This doesn't apply to bushy tomato plants or hanging toms. Outdoor plants need all their energy to form a good main stem and produce flowers (that then form the fruits).
Tomatoes generally manage well enough to pollinate themselves... with a little help from (bumble) bees etc. but a little careful shake of the plant or a tap to the cane now and then will also help things along and setting the fruit should be no problem.
Once the lowest bunches are pollinated and little fruits are visible, remove the lower leaves to encourage more growth.
Use our tomato fertiliser - your tomato plants will react favourably, for sure! Do give sufficient support to indoor plants as they will grow much taller than you probably expect (either very long canes or twine from roots to ceiling). When watering avoid wetting the foliage and water directly on to the soil.
Use both hands when harvesting to avoid damaging the plant. Using a sharp knife just cut the fruit loose - either the whole bunch or just one tomato at a time. The longer you leave them hanging, the redder (or one of the other colours) they will become. Outdoor plants should yield 5-8 trusses per plant. In the greenhouse, you can get as much as 2 or 3 times more than that. You can also pick the tomatoes and allow them to ripen on the window-sill. This provides energy to the plant which allows the plant to produce new fruit giving you a bigger harvest. At the end of the season, it's great to just harvest all the green ones and either let them ripen indoors or perhaps use them for your favourite chutney.
These round, red tomatoes will appear profusely on the vine.
So delicious to be able to pluck a ripe tomato off the vine and eat it! Suitable for a large planter on patio or decking too!
The first tomatoes came to Europe (Italy) from South America in the early 1500s but it took until the 19th century before it was grown commercially at all. It has since grown to be the most important vegetable of them all.
Tomatoes are good for you and contain among other things phosphorus, potassium, Vit. C and carotene.