Tasty tomatoes

Of all the things grown on the allotment, it's the tomatoes that give me the most pleasure. Easy to grow, with huge numbers of attractive fruit. And the taste margin over supermarket offerings is never greater. Sweet allotment versions seem quite a different fruit from the normal bland offerings.

So this time of year is full of hope and expectation. Plant the seeds. Watch them grow. Wait until near the end of May to avoid any late frosts. Then up with the tomato frames, in go the plants with a helping of my special compost. Finally, tie each plant to the frame.

One thing I've learned this year is how important it is to remove side shoots right from the start. Tomato plants have a desperate desire to become bushes. If you leave the side shoots on, it's not long before the upward growth disappears. All the plant's energy goes into developing the side shoots.

Here are a few of snaps of this Spring's tomato seedlings. There's more detail on how to grow tomatoes in Just Give Tomatoes a Go. For more extensive information on the health benefits, how to grow, varieties on offer, common problems and delicious recipes, click All About Tomatoes.

A forest of seedlings. Have I planted too many?

The first flower.

End of May and all planted out and tied up.


  1. Too many? Are you kidding me...lol. You can never have too many tomato plants. My seedlings, in my Vancouver garden, were checked by a very late hail storm. Could you believe it? I babied them back to health but bought some new seedlings to make up for it. It was a very freak thing because our Van weather is milder than our OXON weather. I've got about three weeks left here in my Van garden before I switch countries, then I have to battle with the OXON garden.

    1. Good luck with the battle Veronica. In our climate tomatoes grow like weeds. I almost agree with your view that you can never have too many tomato plants... but there are limits!


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