Look after your tomatoes well

Look after your tomatoes well

Look after your tomatoes well at this time of year and they’ll reward you with baskets of gorgeous sun-ripened fruits bursting with juice and flavour.

Tomato care

Go through your plants weekly nipping out any side shoots emerging between the main stem and the leaves. Let them grow and the plant produces lots of greenery at the expense of fruit, so snap them off between thumb and forefinger at no more than 10cm long.

Keep temperatures as even as possible between day and night so plants grow and ripen fruit steadily. Open vents during hot days then shut the greenhouse up on cool nights. Watering, too, needs to be as regular as possible as letting plants dry out then soaking them is a recipe for split fruit. Gauge how much water each plant needs from the weather: on hot days, plants drink up to two litres, but that can drop to half a litre on a cloudy, cool day.

Finally, feed with a liquid tomato fertiliser once a week. You’ll find specialist feeds at the garden centre here in Youghal and they’re very straightforward to use: just pour a couple of capfuls into a five-litre watering can to encourage flowers and fruit to form right into autumn.