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Growing your own delicious tomatoes at home is a skill allowing you to enjoy free and fresh vegetables in your salads on a daily basis. How can Britons ensure their homegrown tomatoes are big and full of flavour? Daisy Payne behind @gardentogarnish, who appearers regularly on This Morning and grows gorgeous vegetables and fruit in her garden, explained all to Express.co.uk readers.
Daisy, a gardener, allotment holder, and TV presenter, described her “secret” to growing tomatoes.
“The secret to this is not planting too close together and using tomato feed on them every two weeks when we’re in the dizzy heights of spring and summer,” the gardener said.
“The feed has all the nutrients your veg and fruit need to keep producing and it’s super cost-effective too.”
Fruit and veg need a specific feed with more nutrients than other plants in order to support their growth.
Potassium is an essential nutrient to grow tomatoes, so make sure your feed is high in it.
However, tomato feed can also be great on patio plants like petunias and begonias.
Daisy went on: “Tomatoes, particularly patio and bush varieties, are fantastic if you’re short on space too because they’re lovely and compact plants.
“Growing them from seed is straightforward too.”
The gardener described her journey to planting fruit and veg and how she tackles the tasty hobby.
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She said: “I started out by growing my own lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, and strawberries.
“They’re definitely the easiest because they don’t take up much space and you can keep on top of them without needing lots of time.
“Lettuce can be grown in little tubs or window boxes, so you don’t need lots of space or a garden even.
“Strawberries are easy to grow in pots or hanging baskets and as for courgettes, they need a little more space but make every dinner delicious! So they’re worth giving a go.”
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How to grow tomatoes
Sow tomatoes from February to April and then enjoy the harvest in July through to September.
It’s a good idea to sow tomatoes inside and move outside after a few weeds when seedlings have grown strong.
The plants like sunny and sheltered spots, in a border or in pots.
If planting in a border, space the plants 40cm apart with 40cm between rows.
Tomato plants like to be watered regularly, up to daily in hot weather. Inconsistent watering can cause splitting or rot in the plant. It’s a good idea to feed them every 10 days to two weeks.
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Daisy also discussed with Express.co.uk how to get rid of slugs.
“For all the new plants I put into borders, for example, I surround the young plant with a barrier of wool pellets,” she said.
“They’re an eco-friendly solution and it’s really cost-effective too.
“Alternatively, you can also use grit. If you’re putting new and young plants into your gardens at this time of year, make sure you’re protecting your plant babies from slugs or you’ll be wasting your time.”
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