Noth­ing bet­ter than a home-grown tomato picked straight from the vine

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Spring usu­ally ar­rives in late March and the more fre­quent sunny days pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity for an in­creas­ing range of gar­den­ing

tasks.

It’s time to get busy pre­par­ing seed beds, sow­ing seeds, cut­ting back win­ter shrubs and gen­er­ally just giv­ing the gar­den a good tidy up. As it reaches mid-March it’s the per­fect time to start sow­ing veg­etable seeds which is what I’m go­ing to dis­cuss with you to­day.

If you have never bit­ten into a fra­grant, vine ripened sun warm tomato, har­vested fresh from your back gar­den you haven’t tasted a real tomato.

Toma­toes you buy nowa­days in su­per­mar­kets have prob­a­bly been pumped with lots of dif­fer­ent chem­i­cals and pes­ti­cides and dur­ing that process I’ve found that the taste has gone with it which is why I try to grow as much of my own as pos­si­ble.

Grow­ing toma­toes is sim­ple and just a few plants will re­ward you with a de­li­cious har­vest of fruits in the sum­mer months. There are many va­ri­eties to choose from but I’ve found grow­ing the va­ri­eties ‘Gar­den­ers De­light’ and ‘Tum­bling Tom’ work best for me.

Af­ter you’ve got your seeds all you need to do is fill a few plas­tic pots or you could re­cy­cle some empty food trays mak­ing sure you make a few holes at the bot­tom to al­low good drainage and fill with some gen­eral multi-pur­pose compost and wa­ter lightly.

Sow your seeds evenly and thinly on top of the compost and cover with a thin layer of soil. Keep wa­tered and place on a bright and sunny win­dow ledge to ger­mi­nate.

Af­ter a few weeks your seedlings should have emerged and will be ready to trans­plant into sep­a­rate plas­tic pots.

If you’re wor­ried that your plants are too tall which means they are leggy due to a lack of sun­shine, then it’s a good idea to bury them deeper when re-pot­ting into larger pots.

When the risk of frost has passed you can plant your toma­toes out­side or in a green­house in a sunny lo­ca­tion.

You can grow them in veg­etable grow bags which are widely avail­able in most gar­den cen­tres or just fill a large pot with compost.

Keep wa­tered and feed with a gen­eral tomato feed weekly and look for­ward to some great tast­ing toma­toes in the sum­mer.

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