If you’re looking to add a veg patch to your garden, a good fruit to start with is tomatoes. And there’s nothing quite like growing your own tomatoes. More than 90% of home gardeners who grow veg, grow tomatoes. They are juicy, rich and full of flavour – and nothing like the ones you buy in store.
Whatever type of garden you have, don’t be afraid to start growing your own veg. It can be easier than you think, and there are plenty of handy online guides you can refer to on the internet if you get stuck.
Here are a few tips to getting your veg patch off to a good start with tomatoes:
Follow instructions – Read the seed packet carefully to follow the instructions for that particular tomato variety. Make sure you use a new packet of seeds and not any old packets that you have had lying around for a while.
Seed in a greenhouse – it’s a good idea to start the seeds off in a warm, humid environment like a greenhouse. Windowsills can also be warm and provide a good atmosphere for tomatoes. Get some good soil from your local garden centre to provide plenty of nourishment.
If you don’t have a lot of room– If your garden is small, plant the tomatoes in pots. As long as you have good drainage and access to sunlight, your tomato plants should do well.
Avoid overwatering – Garden Design Magazine says that raised beds and well-draining containers filled with a high-quality planting mix helps to improve drainage. Periods of heavy rain can also take their toll. Picking fruit when it’s half ripe (with a strong blush) prior to cracking is a good way to save your tomato plants if there’s been a lot of rain.
Support them – Tomato plants should be tied to stakes, cages, or a sturdy trellis. When staking tomatoes, put the stake in the ground to minimise the possibility of root damage.
Prune carefully – Pruning the foliage too much could leave fruit unprotected from the direct sun. However, if you’re growing tomatoes in a cage, then they do not need to be pruned at all.
Do regular checks on your plants – It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with tomato diseases so you can spot them quickly and act accordingly. Perhaps the most common problem is early blight, which is a yellowing of the lower foliage. Treatment with a fungicide can help in this instance. Some, like the tomato hornworm, can be removed with the hand.
Pick them before they fully ripen – You don’t have to wait until tomatoes are fully ripe before you pick them. Tomatoes can overripe quickly, particularly in hot weather. So, if you pick your tomatoes a little early, they will continue to mature on the kitchen counter and taste great for a days to come.
If you want any more help designing your garden, Gardens R Us are a good company to contact. Gardens R Us is a newly founded Garden & Landscaping company in Scotland and can help you to redesign your garden, however big or small, and with whatever you may have in mind.