10 Tips for the Best Tomatoes

Huw Richards - Huws Nursery
Thursday, 27th April 2017

Huws Nursery shares his top tips for getting the best results from your tomato plants.

You cannot beat the flavour of a fresh, homegrown tomato. These top tips are taken from Huw Richards Youtube channel, Huws Nursery.

1. Sow successionally. Sow half your seeds 3-4 weeks after the first batc, to get later plants, and therefore later fruit. This will extend your harvests.

2. When seedlings have two leaves, re-pot them into individual pots. Their root systems will want to branch out so don't put more than one per pot.

3. Tomatoes need a good amount of sunlight to grow efficiently. Find an area that gets at least 10 hours of natural light. When planting them out, give each plant plenty of space for good air flow to prevent fungal dieases.

4. Plant tomatoes to their first set of leaves. This will encourage them to create stronger root systems, and therefore a stronger and healthier plant.

5. They will need a good support system as many varieties grow tall. You can either plant them next to a trellis, stake each plant, or you can use string.

6. When plants reach around 3ft tall, you need to remove the first set of leaves. These are more prone to disease, especially blight. If you're removing the leaves before they're diseased you can compost them.

7. As the plants grow, remove any suckers that appear between leave nodes and the stem. At the beginning stages you want the plant to focus on growing taller and stronger. Once fruit appears, energy needs to be focussed on ripening and not creating new shoots. You can pot on the suckers and in the right cnditions they will grow into new plants. (See Charles Dowding and Steph Hafferty's article in PM92).

8. Once the first set of fruit appears, feed your plants with an organic fertiliser. Make your own with nettles and comfrey. Or you can add a layer of compost around the base and water in.

9. Don't leave fruits to over ripen on the plant. This can cause disease and rotting. If you need to pick them early, they will ripen on a sunny windowsill.

10. Companion plant your tomatoes with nasturtiums, anything in the onion family, borage, basil. These help distract or avert pests like aphids.

To watch the video click HERE

Useful links

Preserving tomatoes

A greenhouse that thinks it's a forest garden

The winter polyculture