IT’S BRITISH TOMATO FORTNIGHT!
As part of this 14 day celebration of the beloved and versatile fruit, we bring you seven top tips and interesting facts for growing tomatoes either indoors or out.
7 tips for growing tomatoes
- Sow your seeds between March and April for best results, planting in seed pods or modules in a greenhouse or on the windowsill
- Preheat the soil in preparation, as tomatoes love warm temperatures. Once the soil is warm enough, then mulch around the plants to maintain soil temperature
- Grow in a sunny position, as tomatoes love at least 6 hours of sun
- Grow different varieties. There are hundreds of tomato varieties, from marble-sized grape or cherry tomatoes, to juicy salad tomatoes, meaty paste tomatoes, and huge, sweet, beefsteak tomatoes. Their colours range from deep crimson to orange, yellow, green, purple, and chocolate.
- Bury the stems early on to allow roots to branch out, creating a stronger plant
- Pinch out the little suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches, as they will just take energy away from the fruiting branches.
- Water deeply and regularly whilst the fruit are developing to avoid rot and cracking
7 interesting facts about tomatoes
- Tomatoes originally came from Peru and the Aztec name translates to ‘plump thing with a navel’
- Tomatoes are the richest form of Lycopene which is important for the health of the prostate gland in men
- Tomatoes weren’t brought to Europe until the middle of the 1500s
- The first tomatoes to be brought back to Europe were yellow, and the Italian for tomato is Pomodoro, meaning Golden Apple
- There are over 10,000 varieties of tomato, with colours ranging from pink, purple, black, yellow and white
- People used to be afraid of tomatoes due to their relation to the belladonna or deadly nightshade plant
- A couple of tomato plants will produce hundreds of fruit and keep you in fresh tomatoes right through from midsummer to early autumn