Tomatoes have a reputation for being challenging to grow, however with a few simple tips you can avoid a lot of issues and be on your way to delicious tomatoes this summer! Didn't get a change to grow any yet? Don't worry, tomatoes can produce up until November in Ireland - it's too late to grow from seed now, but our range of tomato plants will have you eating juicy tomatoes straight from the garden in no time!
Top Ten Tips for Growing Tomatoes!
Click on the slideshow to see each tip, or read the list below!
Plant in rich, fertile soil : a pot or raised bed filled with fresh compost is ideal.
Choose a sunny, sheltered spot: More sun = more tomatoes! Shelter = protected tomatoes!
Water regularly: Tomato plants are pretty fussy about being given the same amounts of water at roughly the same time each day, ideally in the morning. Water the base of the plant and try to avoid wetting the leaves. Make sure plants are getting enough water
Pinch! Only do this if you have indeterminate tomato plants (those which are not a bush-tip tomato). You can pinch off the centre leaves on the growing tip of the plant to stop it growing any taller (useful since some tomato plants can reach up to 20 feet in height!) This forces new growth to appear along the stem of the plant, creating dense, compact foliage.
Stake! For larger tomato plants, you may need to support the plant with wooden stakes to prevent branches splitting off with the weight of the tomatoes.
Feed! Once the tomato plant starts flowering, you might want to give it an organic feed every couple of weeks. You can buy special organic feeds, or make your own with nettles or comfrey.
Thin Foliage! As the plant grows, thin out any crossing, crowded, damaged or diseased stems and foliage to keep the plant open, airy and free of pests, fungus etc.
Prune! When the plant gets to 1-2 feet tall, you may wish to remove small branches growing off the main stem, to allow bigger branches more energy and space to give you tomato fruit.
Stop! As we approach the end of the growing season, there won't be enought time left for the plant to grow and ripen more fruit, and you may end up with a lot of green tomatoes. To prevent this, you can 'stop' the plant (usually when the plant has set four or five trusses but with some varieties you can get seven or eight). Just cut off the main shoot at the top of the plant - this allows all the energy of the plant to go to maturing the fruit it already has. The plant may then try to form new shoots - remove these also.
Remember - if you purchase plants from us, we are happy to answer any questions you might have through our Garden Guru service!