How to: Grow tomatoes


Once you’ve tasted a home-grown tomato you’ll never look back – bursting with flavour, they simply knock the socks off anything you can buy in a shop. Best of all, growing tomatoes is easy – just sow a few seeds and you’ll be inundated with juicy fruits in no time. You don’t really need any special kit to get started, and don’t worry if you haven’t got tons of space or a greenhouse. It’s possible to grow tomatoes in containers on a patio, with some varieties even small enough to fit in a hanging basket or window box. Any why not grow several types? Yellow, black and orange tomatoes are available, as are salad, cherry and beefsteak types – growing your own gives you loads of choice. Of course, prepare to be inundated with tomatoes by summer! You’ll soon have an endless supply for delicious salads, hearty sauces and tasty soups – and all from a few seeds.

What you'll need:

  • Small plastic pots
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Watering can
  • Freezer bags
  • Tomato food
  • Bamboo canes

How to grow the best tomatoes:

Step 1
Fill a few plastic pots with compost and water it well – go carefully so you don’t splash water everywhere. Let excess water drain away.

Step 2
Put seeds on the surface of the damp compost, allowing five or six per pot. Add a layer of dry compost so the seeds are just covered.

Step 3
Put each pot in a freezer bag and keep them on a warm windowsill until seedlings appear. Remove the bags and continue to grow on. 

Step 4
When seedlings have four leaves carefully remove them from the pot and transplant them into containers of their own. Water well.

Step 5
Watch your seedlings grow, watering regularly and putting them outside on warm days. Plant them out when they’re around 15cm high.

Step 6
There are lots of ways to grow tomatoes. Plant them in the ground, growing bags, pots or hanging baskets – the choice is yours.

Step 7
Start giving plants a weekly liquid feed once they begin to produce flowers – you’ll find several to choose from in-store.

Step 8
Support plants with bamboo canes if they get big and, here’s the best bit, begin picking juicy tomatoes as soon as they appear and ripen.

How to grow the best tomatoes

Grow dwarf or training tomatoes if you’re short on space – they’re ideal for a pot or hanging basket and still produce a bumper crop.