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How to Grow Tomatoes
You can get plenty of tasty fruit from just a couple of well-grown tomato plants, so they are well worth growing. If you like the more up-market tomatoes like those sold on the vine, organic tomatoes or unusual varieties, you will be surprised that these are just as easy to grow as conventional tomatoes. You'll get the biggest crop by growing them in a greenhouse rather than outdoors. But they are still worth trying outdoors, either in the ground or in a container, if you have a warm, sunny and sheltered spot. To grow outside, choose a bush variety (these do not need training), harden off plants and plant out after the last frosts have passed (late May to early June) protect with a cloche or garden fleece for a few days.
you will need
Tomato plants; pot and compost or a growing bag; watering can; tomato feed; string.
Buy a couple of young tomato plants from a garden centre in late spring. To raise your own tomato plants from seed you need to start sowing in March in a heated propagator. The young plants will need protecting from frost so keep them in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, but get them used to cooler, less humid conditions gradually.
Plant into their final positions in late spring (May). A greenhouse with its own soil border that you have enriched with a generous helping of well-rotted manure or garden compost is ideal as this means less work watering and feeding. However, you can use large pots filled with multipurpose compost or growing bags. Plant 1 plant to a 10 or 15 litre pot. A standard growing bag will take 2 or 3 plants.
Most greenhouse tomatoes are grown as cordons, this means you need to train the long stem up a support. You can bury a length of soft string under the tomato plant and attach the other end securely to the top of the greenhouse frame. Or, better still, place a garden cane next to each plant and tie the top to the greenhouse. Allow about 45 cm between plants. As the main stem grows, tie it loosely to the support. Pinch out any side-shoots that form but take care not to damage the tiny clusters of yellow flowers.
Water the plants frequently, which may mean twice a day in growing bags or pots on the warmest days. Feed plants with a tomato feed, following the instructions on the packet. Keeping the greenhouse door and windows open on sunny days will reduce the need for watering.
In early September, pinch out the growing tip of the main shoot. This will stop further trusses of fruit developing and allow the trusses already formed to ripen. Keep pinching out any side-shoots. Pick fruit, and remove dead or yellowing leaves or mouldy fruit from the bottom of the plant.
Young tomato plants need protection from frosts.
2-3 tomato plants will fit into a grow bag.
Pinch out side shoots and growing tips to ripen trusses.

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