You say tomato, I say how many?…

wild garden

I went tomato crazy last year! Although 2020 brought with it: the doom and gloom of covid; the obsessive washing of groceries; rationing of loo rolls…..oh and finding endless uses for bananas, it also brought with it (for me anyway) a renewed interest in growing my own vegetables.  War time quotes like “Dig for Victory” took on a whole new meaning.

summer house

My final total of tomato plants was probably pushing 30.  I forced them on friends and family (whether they enjoyed a tomato or not) and still didn’t have time to care lovingly enough for the ones that remained.  However we did enjoy some lovely cherry tomatoes.

bluebells geum

The flavour of a homegrown tomato just doesn’t compare to anything I have bought from the supermarket.  This year I have been a lot more conservative – lets see if I can improve quality rather than quantity.  I have to admit I panicked when only one champion shoot shot up, however more seedlings are now creeping up behind.

Sowing the Seeds…

1. Fill your pots or trays with seed compost.

tree felling

2.  Evenly spread the seeds over the surface (I planted about 20 into a 10.5cm pot).

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3.  Cover seeds very lightly with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite.   Water and cover with a plastic bag or cling film to retain moisture.  I have placed my pots on a sunny windowsill (dreaming of a greenhouse one day).

tree felling

5.  Once the seedlings begin to appear, uncover them.  When the seedlings are about 10cm, pot them on deeply to support their stems.

tree felling

6. By late May, the tomato plants should be ready to harden off outside in preparation for them being planted in their pride of place in the garden.

Top Tip

Keep rotating the trays or pots around so that the stems are encouraged to grow upward (they will always bend towards the sunlight).

Tomato Facts

*  Tomatoes have great health benefits, with a high vitamin and        antioxidant content.

*  Tomatoes come in more colours: yellow, purple, pink, black and white.

*  La Tomatina Festival is an annual event in Spain, where crowds gather to throw 150 thousand tomatoes at each other!

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