Tomatoes are by far our most popular greenhouse crop. Rightly so, the flavour of sun ripened, juicy home-grown tomatoes is unsurpassed. They are also relatively straightforward to grow for beginners.
If you are growing bush varieties of tomatoes (determinate) then generally side shoots should not be removed. However, if you are growing cordon ( indeterminate) types, then regular side shoot removal is beneficial.
By June, all tomatoes should be planted in their permanent positions and growth should be rapid now on warmer days.
In the greenhouse or polytunnel, once the bottom truss starts to set fruit it is time to begin feeding the plants with a high potash liquid tomato food. This will encourage the production of more fruits and make existing fruit grow in size. It is best to read the instructions for precise feeding instructions as some do vary slightly. As a general rule, later on in the summer as the plants carry more fruit, the frequency of feeding can be increased. To begin with, in June, once per week will suffice until the plants get bigger.
Consistent watering is essential throughout the summer, to avoid problems with the quality of fruit. Keep ventilation under control too, a good movement of air is desirable on hot days.
Specially bred outdoor varieties of tomato can be planted outside in a sheltered, south-facing location on the allotment. Yields will be significantly lower than indoor grown toms, but they are well worth having a go at, if you have the right aspect.