Just give tomatoes a go!

Not sure about this vegetable growing lark? Afraid of wasting money on seed packets? Then just try growing tomatoes. Why? Because...

  • They're as easy to grow as weeds
  • With pale yellow flowers and ripe red fruit, they're attractive enough to grow in the garden
  • Supermarket tomatoes are a pale comparison to your own

Just sprinkle the seeds on a tray almost full of compost, cover lightly with some more compost, and keep moist (but not too wet) and warm. A windowsill that gets some sun is perfect. After a week the seedlings will start to appear.

Once the second set of leaves appear, pot the seedlings individually into their own pots of compost and continue to keep somewhere warm and light. You can continue to use a windowsill, but the plants will tend to strain towards the light even if you turn them daily, and become leggy as a result. If you're in May already this shouldn't be too much of a problem since you'll be planting outside very soon. A conservatory full of light, or even better a greenhouse, are more beneficial locations.

Don't plant outside until all risk of frost has passed, say late May. Transplant into special tomato growing bags or large pots of compost, and stake with a cane. Feed periodically with liquid fertiliser, or even better your own nettle fertiliser or comfrey fertiliser.

Lots more detail about tomatoes at Allotment Heaven: Tomato.

Only the four trays on the right were planted with tomato seeds. Here are the seedlings appearing...

... and here are some of the 150 plants raised from those four trays, now developing in the shed.

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