Greenhouse or outdoors?

Give your greenhouse a good wash down before planting to maximise light transmission and get rid of disease spores.

Late (potato) blight can damage or even kill outdoor tomatoes and spoil the fruits before you can harvest them, but it is less of a problem if you grow your plants in a greenhouse or polytunnel.   If you have to grow outside, choose the sunniest spot you can find (e.g. in front of a south-facing wall).  There are also a few varieties which are more blight-tolerant e.g. Delfland’s Blight-tolerant Outdoor Tomato Collection or Sutton’s Crimson Crush

Tomatoes will not stand a frost – keep your seedlings indoors or in a heated greenhouse until the risk of frost has passed – sometime in May for most areas, but check your local weather forecast.

Soil or grow bags?

Getting the watering right in a grow bag or pot is always more difficult than if you grow tomatoes in soil.  If you have a small greenhouse and always grow your tomatoes in the same place, then there can be a build up of soil-borne diseases such as Fusarium (wilt; crown and root rot), Verticillium wilt and Corky root rot.  You can get round this either by not growing in the soil or by using grafted plants: see To graft or not graft?

Fact 12

Did You Know?

2.5 million British native bumblebees pollinate all the tomato crops in the UK. That’s 24 billion wing beats per minute in British tomato greenhouses.

Roly Holt

Meet the grower

Roly Holt

R & L Holt is a family business in the historic Vale of Evesham originally formed in 1979 by Ric…

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