How to Grow Tomatoes

Nothing beats homegrown tomatoes. Sow seed indoors in early spring and pot up as plants grow, or buy young plants in late spring.

Sungold Tomatoes Bred for Sweet Fruits

Sungold Tomatoes Bred for Sweet Fruits

Not only are sungold tomatoes a sweet variety of tomatoes, but they are a gardener's favorite because of their ability to resist diseases and viruses.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1: Plant Tomatoes After Threat of Frost

Plant Tomatoes After Threat of Frost

Plant Tomatoes After Threat of Frost

Once nights are frost free and tomato plants are hardened off, fill a pot with compost and plant tomatoes deeply, as buried stems will send out extra roots.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Once nights are frost free and plants are hardened off, fill a pot, at least 10in (25cm) wide, with compost to 2in (5cm) below the rim. Plant the tomato deeply, as the section of buried stem will send out extra roots.

Step 2: Stake Tall Tomatoes

Stake Tall Tomatoes as They Grow and Set on Fruit

Stake Tall Tomatoes as They Grow and Set on Fruit

Tall tomatoes will need to be staked for support as fruits set on and continue to grow.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tall cordon cultivars need training up a support. Push a couple of tall bamboo canes or other sturdy stakes into the compost to keep the plant stable. Bush and trailing types do not need the help of supports.

Step 3: Stake and Pinch Sideshoots

Stake Growing Tomato Plants and Pinch Sideshoots

Stake Growing Tomato Plants and Pinch Sideshoots

As tomato plants grow, tie the main stem loosely to stakes using garden twine. Pinch out side shoots growing between leaves and main stem.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

As the plant grows, tie the main stem loosely to the stakes using garden twine. Pinch out fast-growing sideshoots growing between the leaves and main stem on cordon cultivars. Leave sideshoots to develop on bush types.

Step 4: Water and Fertilize

Fertilize Tomatoes When First Fruits Appear

Fertilize Tomatoes When First Fruits Appear

When first fruits appear, feed weekly with tomato fertilizer. Pinch out growing tip as plant reaches top of its stake.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water regularly. When the first fruits appear, feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer, and add extra compost if the roots become exposed. Pinch out the growing tip as the plant reaches the top of its stake. Ripe fruits twist off easily.

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