Tomatoes grow readily from seed, but it may be easier to buy established seedlings. They can grow anywhere; in garden beds, pots and even in hanging baskets.

Once you have picked a location be sure to fertilise the soil well. For best results dig in manure, potash, and compost before planting.  Tomatoes are one of those plants that need to be rotated from one bed to another each year. This means that you can’t plant them in the same place every year.

Tomatoes will need to be staked, either on individual stakes per plant, or on a frame or trellis.  It is important the each plant has plenty of room, and that air can circulate around it. This keeps pests and diseases at a minimum.

Pinch out the leaves at the bottom of the plant so that they don’t rest on the soil – this will cause the plant to rot. Be sure to thin out the new branches too (air circulation again).

Tomatoes have little yellow flowers. You can pick the fruit when it is green or wait until it has started to ripen (red, black, stripe, orange, yellow or green – depending on the variety of tomato you are growing).

Towards the end of the season the plants start looking a bit scruffy.  They lose their leaves, the branches get a bit woody and they start looking a bit yellow.