Hooters Hall

Tomatoes

If you’re new to growing your own fruit and veg tomatoes are a great place to start. I start mine off inside on the windowsill around the middle of March using a pretty basic plastic propagator. Initially they’ll need warmth to germinate then make sure they have plenty of light so that they don’t go too long and straggly. Don’t be afraid to move them around the house if no room meets all their requirements. Our spare bedroom is nice and warm for starting germination but being North facing has quite poor light so as soon as seedlings appear I move them to the study which is cooler but South facing so has better light. Don’t forget to water them as well.

Once the seedlings are big enough to pot on, and if the weather is warming up, you can gradually move them outside, perhaps initially using a greenhouse or cold frame. If you want to guard against the dreaded blight it’s best to keep them in a protected environment like a greenhouse or cold frame as blight is air born. Don’t be too worried about this though. I’ve always ended up with too many tomatoes to keep in the greenhouse and cold frame and (touch wood) I’ve yet to suffer blight. I keep my tomatoes on a North east-ish facing patio and they do just fine.

One of the most reliable croppers and easiest to grow inside or outside is Gardener’s delight but this year I’ve decided to experiment with a variety of tomatoes including:

  • Red robin which is a minature bush variety only growing 30cm and able to set fruit even in low light conditions, so ideal for indoor growing.
  • Purple Calabash a dark,almost black tomato with a honey taste. Apparently thrives in less fertile soils and partial shade,
  • Beefsteak a large bush variety good for slicing and stuffing.

Here’s a pic of my baby tomatoes Beefsteak on the left, Purple Calabash in the centre and the little Red Robin on the right.

I get my seeds from The Organic Gardening catalogue. Mainly because I’m a member of Garden Organic which means I get 10%off !

Garden Organic is an organic growing charity which does excellent work in education, seed conservation, international development and scientific evaluation of organic gardening practices. They are also a great source of information for anyone new to gardening or interested in going down the organic route.

This is the link to Garden Organic www.gardenorganic.org.uk

And this is the link to their catalogue www.OrganicCatalogue.com

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