As part of this 14 day celebration of the beloved and versatile fruit, we bring you seven top tips and interesting facts for growing tomatoes either indoors or out.
7 tips for growing tomatoes
- Sow your seeds between March and April for best results, planting in seed pods or modules in a greenhouse or on the windowsill
- Preheat the soil in preparation, as tomatoes love warm temperatures. Once the soil is warm enough, then mulch around the plants to maintain soil temperature
- Grow in a sunny position, as tomatoes love at least 6 hours of sun
- Grow different varieties. There are hundreds of tomato varieties, from marble-sized grape or cherry tomatoes, to juicy salad tomatoes, meaty paste tomatoes, and huge, sweet, beefsteak tomatoes. Their colours range from deep crimson to orange, yellow, green, purple, and chocolate.
- Bury the stems early on to allow roots to branch out, creating a stronger plant
- Pinch out the little suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches, as they will just take energy away from the fruiting branches.
- Water deeply and regularly whilst the fruit are developing to avoid rot and cracking
7 interesting facts about tomatoes
- Tomatoes originally came from Peru and the Aztec name translates to ‘plump thing with a navel’
- Tomatoes are the richest form of Lycopene which is important for the health of the prostate gland in men
- Tomatoes weren’t brought to Europe until the middle of the 1500s
- The first tomatoes to be brought back to Europe were yellow, and the Italian for tomato is Pomodoro, meaning Golden Apple
- There are over 10,000 varieties of tomato, with colours ranging from pink, purple, black, yellow and white
- People used to be afraid of tomatoes due to their relation to the belladonna or deadly nightshade plant
- A couple of tomato plants will produce hundreds of fruit and keep you in fresh tomatoes right through from midsummer to early autumn