The simple way to grow red, ripe tomatoes.
One of the joys of summer is slicing juicy, homegrown tomatoes into a salad. They are so simple to grow - you don't even need a garden. For more expert advice on tomato varieties visit GardenersWorld.com.
Tomatoes need a sheltered, sunny spot - a south facing wall is ideal. Plant out in late May or early June, when there is no danger of frost. Growing bags are ideal for patios and balconies: the compost is clean and pest-free, and the bag has a good balance of nutrients and warms up quickly, so roots grow rapidly. You can also grow salads in them next year.
You will need:
- 1 growing bag
- 2 x tomato plants per bag
- Sharp knife
- Tomato food
- Watering can
- Garden twine
- Bamboo canes, available from garden centres
- Using the sharp knife, cut several drainage holes in the sides of the growing bags and two evenly spaced planting holes on top.
- Plant the tomatoes in the bags and support the plants, by inserting a cane behind each one.
- Tie the stem loosely to the cane with twine, then water well.
- Using your finger and thumb, remove the shoots that appear between the leaf and stem as the plant grows. Once four clusters of fruit have developed, remove the main shoot from the top of the plant as well.
- Harvest when the fruit are ripe (about 12 weeks). To pick, lay each tomato in the palm of your hand and gently bend it upwards. Pick just before watering so the flavour is not diluted.
Spend a bit extra and choose a growing bag that contains plenty of compost.
When watering, soak the compost thoroughly. Check it every morning and water if it feels dry to the touch.
Feed weekly with tomato food.