Originally from South America, tomatoes tend to prefer a warmer climate and suffer when the temperatures drop below 10°C. Consequently, take care not to plant your tomatoes outdoors too early. This will prevent a number of problems such as catfacing (malformation and scarring of the fruit), brown leaf spots and leaf curling. A tomato plant can usually survive these issues and recover in the warmth. However, if it was a surprise frost that caught your tomatoes then the damage is usually permanent and it is best to start over.
For best results we recommend covering the tomatoes until you are sure that the weather will be warm enough. A great indicator for this is usually when the temperature remains above 10°C overnight, so buy yourself an outdoor thermometer to check when you next pop in to one of our garden centres. Next, choose the warmest spot possible in your garden. Ideally keep your tomato plants in a greenhouse or plastic grow-house. Make sure that the spot is also aerated and a fair distance from your potatoes because blight can travel and flourishes in humid conditions. Another option to try out is planting your tomatoes in pots in the sunniest part of your terrace or balcony for great fruit and decoration!
Feeding tomatoes should start after the first truss (stem with small green fruits) has set in. We recommend the product Tomorite as it has been a gardener’s friend for decades. It is ideal for other plants too including flowering plants due to the high potash content. It contains seaweed extract which supplies many micro-nutrients and produces full flavoured tomatoes. Outdoors you feed every 7 days, in a greenhouse feed twice a week.
Start picking when fruit is ripe and fully coloured. At the end of the growing season if you have some green tomatoes still on the plant, we recommend this delicious green tomato chutney recipe.
We sell numerous tomato varieties throughout the growing season available in batches as they are ready from the greenhouses. Without a doubt our top selling varieties year on year are;
Gardeners Delight: a flavoursome cherry tomato known for heavy crops and great to grow in tomato bags or pots.
Shirley: an early maturing tomato that is known for heavy crops and also shows excellent disease resistance. Ideal for growing in a growbag or as a greenhouse cordon.
Moneymaker: grown as a cordon (vine) this variety produces smooth, medium salad tomato sized fruit that are delicious in flavour.
Tomatoes are often treated as a vegetable in cooking and in deed our classification on the garden centre beds. However, the tomato is actually a fruit since its seeds are inside.