How To Grow The Perfect Tomato
Tomatoes are the most commonly grown vegetable in the home. One reason for its popularity is that it is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. The best thing about growing your own tomatoes is that it is such a sensible plant to have in your greenhouse. They can be used all year round on sandwiches, salads, soups, casseroles, and sauces.
Much has been written about how to grow the perfect tomato. We for one have read as much information as we could find! The best environment to grow tomatoes in our opinion is in your greenhouse, reason being it gives you control over the growing environment.
The first thing you have to do once you decide to grow tomatoes is to decide on your variety. There is so much to choose from it very much depends upon your own personal preference.
The next thing to do is sow your seeds into moist compost about 5 mm deep and cover with a thin layer of compost. In about two weeks after germination (The seeds will germinate quite quickly). Once they are large enough to handle prick out the seedling and place into three inch pots. Hold them by the seed leaves and not the stem. Damage the stem and your careful work to date might be wasted. You’ll know it’s time to pot on into larger pots (about 5 inch) when you see roots starting to come through the drainage holes.
When the first flowers have appeared it is time to plant into their final positions. Now there is nothing wrong with planting your tomato crop directly into your greenhouse. Just make sure that you change your soil every couple of years, preferably each year, otherwise you will build up disease in your soil and that is something you should try to avoid.
It’s important when watering that you reach the roots and don’t just let water runoff the surface. To keep your tomatoes growing healthy it is important to keep the compost moist and feed weekly with tomato fertiliser.
It is also very important to look out for greenfly and white fly. However there is a way to minimize these problems. I have found the most effective way to simultaneously plant herbs such as basil and lavender in the greenhouse. This can most definitely help to deter these pests.
If it gets to the end of the season and you still have some ‘green’ tomatoes try putting them into a bag with a banana this will help ripen them, or better yet use them to make a green tomato relish, it’s delicious.
At the end of the day the most important thing is that you give it a go! The enjoyment you will get out of watching them grow and then hand picking them to put into a garden salad will be well worth it!