How to Grow Tomatoes by Rachel Hammond


Many people like to grow tomatoes, and March is the time to sow seeds.

There are just a few things to consider:

1. Avoid F1 varieties – this means first generation bred seeds, and so there is no genetic strength.  We always advise heirloom seeds or seeds saved as a preference – more on seed saving later.

2. Feed – Tomatoes need a lot of food to produce high yields.  A cheaper, and more environmentally friendly version of Tomorite (mass produced, with many chemicals and a large carbon footprint, profit driven brand) is Comfrey feed.  You can make your own or buy tonic or pellets.  We’ll cover Comfrey feed in a later post.

3. Water – Consider catching rainwater – in a water butt or just in buckets outside.  If you’re growing tomatoes in pots rather than in the ground, they will need regular watering and you will save money and water by reusing rain.

4. Diseases – blight is the main problem for tomatoes – it’s an airborne fungus and so the only way to avoid it completely is to protect your plants from winds either by growing indoors or in a greenhouse.  Wherever you grow them though will need ventilation, so you will not be able to completely remove the risk.

Rachel Hammond

Rachel Hammond from Newbury is a landscape architect, urban designer, gardener and master composter, specialising in edible landscapes, food production and biodiversity planting. She has worked in the sustainability sector for the last 20 years, always growing her own food. She now runs edge, a non-profit which educates on and designs urban food production systems and ecological farming practices.


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