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Tomato

Vegetables you can grow at home

Tomatoes

These colourful fruits are some of the most nutritious food on the market. Whether you grow red, yellow, green or purple tomatoes you will be getting a great source of vitamins A, C and K plus potassium, fibre and other nutrients. If you cook the tomato you retain all the vitamins with the exception of vitamin C, which is destroyed by heating, and you gain almost no calories along the way. Of course the perfect way to enjoy tomatoes is straight from the vine while they are still warm from the sun.

Tomatoes

 

These colourful fruits are some of the most nutritious food on the market.

Whether you grow red, yellow, green or purple tomatoes you will be getting a great source of vitamins A, C and K plus potassium, fibre and other nutrients.

If you cook the tomato you retain all the vitamins with the exception of vitamin C, which is destroyed by heating, and you gain almost no calories along the way.

Of course the perfect way to enjoy tomatoes is straight from the vine while they are still warm from the sun.

 

Beef Tomatoes

How to Grow Tomatoes

Read more in our How to grow section.

Types of Tomato

Tomatoes come in four main colours (red, yellow, green and purple) and two sizes (cherry and traditional). There are also some that are fleshier which makes them more suitable for preserving than those with higher moisture content.

There are two types of growth habit for tomatoes too. One type, the determinate varieties, flower and produce all their fruit at one time. This is great for preserving and making sauces but not so good for grazing or continual harvest. The indeterminate varieties keep growing all summer and keep producing tomatoes along the way but the vines can get quite large. You can restrict the size of these plants by cutting off the excess growth at the top.

Heirloom tomatoes continue to be a favourite for many home gardeners including the San Marzanno and Coeur des boeuf, which are popular in southern Europe. Heirloom tomatoes are known for their great taste and come in a variety of interesting shapes and sizes. Some heirlooms do have a problem with soil borne diseases which is why grafted heirlooms are a preferable way to grow them.

Cooking Tomatoes

Many recipes call for tomatoes in different ways. They can be eaten raw or grilled, or cooked to make a sauce. For most people putting fresh tomatoes on summer salads is perhaps the ideal way of eating them. With so many colours available, you can make a colourful salad just with tomatoes!

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being difficult) tomatoes are a 1 with a greenhouse and a 2 or 3 with field grown tomatoes depending on the weather conditions.

 

Cooking Tomatoes

Many recipes call for tomatoes in different ways. They can be eaten raw or grilled, or cooked to make a sauce. For most people putting fresh tomatoes on summer salads is perhaps the ideal way of eating them. With so many colours available, you can make a colourful salad just with tomatoes!

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being difficult) tomatoes are a 1 with a greenhouse and a 2 or 3 with field grown tomatoes depending on the weather conditions.

 

To Harvest Tomatoes

With so many colours it is sometimes confusing to know when the fruit is ready. A gentle squeeze of the fruit will give some indication and if they give just a little they are ripe. Twist the tomato from the vine. If it does not come free easily then it needs another day or two to ripen. 

   

Types of Tomato

Tomatoes come in four main colours (red, yellow, green and purple) and two sizes (cherry and traditional). There are also some that are fleshier which makes them more suitable for preserving than those with higher moisture content.

There are two types of growth habit for tomatoes too. One type, the determinate varieties, flower and produce all their fruit at one time. This is great for preserving and making sauces but not so good for grazing or continual harvest. The indeterminate varieties keep growing all summer and keep producing tomatoes along the way but the vines can get quite large. You can restrict the size of these plants by cutting off the excess growth at the top.

Heirloom tomatoes continue to be a favourite for many home gardeners including the San Marzanno and Coeur des boeuf, which are popular in southern Europe. Heirloom tomatoes are known for their great taste and come in a variety of interesting shapes and sizes. Some heirlooms do have a problem with soil borne diseases which is why grafted heirlooms are a preferable way to grow them.

 

Insects and Diseases

Tomatoes can suffer from blights which are brought on by cool damp weather. They also have a range of wilts that can affect them and rotating where you grow you tomatoes is important to reduce the chance of soil borne wilts becoming active. Look for resistant varieties, or try one of the grafted varieties if you have problems with wilting. Grafted tomatoes use a virus free root stock grafted onto the individual tomato variety and is used by professionals to increase yield as well as protect against virus problems. Using grafted tomatoes increases the choices available to those growing in compromised situations such as no room for rotation or soil borne diseases.

Aphids may also find the plant and they can be dealt with by spraying with a hose pipe. 

   

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