Growing tomatoes

by Jane Moore

It feels like spring is on its way down here in the balmy southern slopes of Bath.

Growing tomatoesIt feels like spring is on its way down here in the balmy southern slopes of Bath. The daffodils are in full bud, the birds are twittering away and there are more than a few dozy bumble bees blundering about.

It's bound to go horribly wrong of course - a really cold snap will set in at the end of February for two or three weeks and finish us all off. I daren't check the weather forecast.

Nonetheless I'm starting to grow tomatoes from seed this week. They always take such a long tome to get going and I'm now in the habit of getting them underway as soon as I think the light levels and temperatures are reasonable. It makes for big, strong plants that are ready to go out nice and early at the end of May or early June.

This year I'm sticking to tried and trusted varieties. I always grow a few 'Tumbler' for home - they're cute and contained so perfectly for the patio. 'Sungold' and 'Gardeners' Delight' are my favourite tomato varieties. This year I'm trying a new variety, 'Sweet Olive', which was recommended to me by a friend who thought it was great for growing outdoors. It's an F1 variety so the seed is expensive but if the flavour is as good as I'm told then it will be worth it!

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Gardeners' World Web User 02/05/2007 at 10:56

Is it too early to plant out my tomato plants out in grow bags in sunny position? They are in a cold frame at the moment getting used to the colder conditions (they were taking up too much space on the windowsill!!) they're looking strong but I don't want to let them get too leggy.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 00:00

Having heard and read so much from professionals about the virtues and joys of growing your own, I decided to grow tomatoes this year - 4 pots of them in fact. I have no greenhouse so they stayed outside all summer. I live in the south east. I watered, fed and generally nurtured them like they were my kids. They did well. Then I went on holiday for a week in early Sept and came back to find ALL of them had been affected by blight from so much wet. I have had to destroy all but six tomatoes, and even they are suspect. I am SO upset and disillusioned with home growing after all the work I put in. Can anyone out there give some words of encouragement at this sad time of loss?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/02/2008 at 09:38

Is it too soon to sow tomato seeds on the kitchen windowsill? Have tried in the past & they became leggy before it was warm enough to plant them out.

Gardeners' World Web User 12/02/2008 at 04:29

Have sown my tomato seeds on a kitchen window and moved the seedlings into a heated greenhouse, they appear to be growing ok and are coping with the lower temperatures of the greenhouse at night.

Gardeners' World Web User 13/02/2008 at 19:50

Seem bit late to starting tomatoes from seed. Don't you want get an early start under protection. Such as walls of water in hoop houses. I have 5 plants outside already. But I forget most people did not bother to spray for blight last season and had no tomatoes to speak of. But what can expect from a site that has someone claiming Gardener's Delight is great tasting tomato and beefsteak varieties are not worth the trouble.

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