Tomato Sow-Along – for beginners

Final Video

The tomato sow-along is in reverse order with the last entry at the top of the page.

After the plants have grown around five trusses, it’s time to remove the growing tip. This allows the tomatoes to grow to full size and ripen more quickly.

Week Fourteen

Watering tomatoes in grow bags can be a bit hit and miss … the finger test usually works!

Week Thirteen

This week we’re using string and yoyo’s to support the Gardener’s Delight tomato plants

Week Twelve

More side shoots to remove and we see leaf cupping on some of the upper leaves. Apologies for a shorter than usual video this week.

Week Eleven

This week, in the tomato sow-along, we remove a few side shoots and any lower leaf branches that look a bit dodgy – usually with pale yellow leaves. Don’t over do it – just one or two of the bottom branches will be enough.

Week Ten

The three Gardener’s Delight plants are making roots in their new home and the fourth plant is now in an air pot.

Week Nine

This week the plants go into their final home … a grow bag and grow pots. The pots aren’t essential but enhance the performance of a grow bag with the benefit of being able to water and feed in the different rings.

Week Eight

This week, as well as an update on how the tomato plants are growing, we take a look at three different pots for growing tomatoes.

Week Seven

The plants are potted on to avoid becoming root bound. It’s still too early to plant out because of the danger of frost.

Week Six

The seedlings are doing well this week with a good leaf colour. Also a quick look at Heartbreaker Vita, a new variety that produces heart shaped tomatoes.

Week Five

An update on the seedlings and a quick look at four Red Alert plants growing in a Quadgrow Planter.

Week Four

Transplanting the seedlings into their own pots.

Week Three

An update on the seedlings and a few other ways to start tomato seeds.

Week Two – After Seven Days

Seedlings are beginning to germinate at four days – my airing cupboard may be a bit too warm!

Remove cover or cling film as soon as they begin to show through the soil and put them in a light place.

Give them a few days growth before leaving them in direct sunlight.

Week One – Sowing Seeds

Let’s start at the very beginning!

It’s mainly for people with little experience of growing tomatoes, or for those who haven’t had much success in previous seasons.

Useful seed sowing options for those joining the tomato sow-along.
Useful options for those on a budget or who like to recycle!

I’ve started a day ahead, making a short video each Friday. It will show the progress of my plants, so you can follow along and pick up a few tips in the Saturday video.

Start Date
You don’t have to start on the above date – you can sow up to the end of April in the UK. After that, it may be difficult for plants to produce mature tomatoes before the cooler weather arrives in the autumn.

Cherry Varieties
I highly recommend growing a cherry variety to begin with. They are usually easier and quicker to grow and most have a very good taste – often sweeter than larger varieties.

Here are a few suggestions.

Tall, also know as indeterminate or cordon:

  • Gardener’s Delight
  • Sungold
  • Moneymaker is a very popular medium size variety, but takes longer to mature than the others above. Also, the taste isn’t quite as good. Best avoided in favour of a quicker growing tomato.

Bush, also known as determinate:

  • Tumbling Tom – Red or Yellow
  • Maskotka
  • Garden Pearl

These varieties will be fine growing outdoors from the end of May in the UK.

If you don’t have room outside, you can grow dwarf varieties to maturity on a sunny windowsill.

  • Balconi Red or Yellow
  • Micro Tom

These are available from many seed catalogues and of course the internet.

Sow Indoors
Seed sowing and growing seedlings takes place indoors in the warm. A sunny windowsill is fine for seedlings.

If you wish, you can also buy seedlings or small plants at a garden centre.

What you’ll need:

  • Seeds
  • Compost (seed & cutting or multi-purpose)
  • A Seed Tray – food containers work well for just a few seeds.
  • A few 3 inch or 3.5 inch pots – yoghurt containers are a substitute.

You could buy a seed kit instead (Wilkinson’s have them) which includes a pot, seeds and compost to get started.

You won’t need tomato food or any other plant food until later in the season because there is food already in the seed compost.

So, if you would like to join me from Saturday 22nd March I’ll be very pleased to see you. All tomato sow-along videos will be available on this page.

See also:
When to sow tomato seed

How to sow tomato seeds