Grow Your Own Tomatoes and more…

February, YAY it’s that time of year again.

I love growing my own veggies, tending to them from seed and watching them grow into adult food-bearing plants. The flavour is so much better and as we can grow organically it is so much better for the environment (no bee and insect-killing neonicotinoids which can be used on non-organic foods you buy in the supermarkets)

Would you love to grow more of your own food?

If so, I’ve put together a quick start guide for you to get going. You can grow them on in pots or even just inter-plant with flowers in your garden. We’ve had courgettes, tomatoes, and fruit plants all dotted around in the flower beds making the most of the space available.

Mid-late February is the time to sow your Mediterranean veggies:

  • Tomatoes
  • Aubergines
  • Chilli’s
  • Peppers
  • Courgettes/summer squashes
Eight packets of seeds lying ine two rows of four on a work surface. The lable on the packet shows they are Real Seeds, which sell organic heritage seeds. You can see the seeds in each packet and they are for different vegetables including Aubergine, Cucumber, Courgette, Vine Tomato, Sweet Pepper and Cherry tomato. There is a description of each plant on the front of each lable under it's name.

What You Need To Do To Get Started

Photo from above of 2 square black plastic pots with soil in and you can just see the tops of the sprouted tomatoes peeping through the surface. On the left edge of the image is the side of a tray of more pots with seeds growing in.

First of all, make sure you have small pots. If you don’t already have plastic ones to reuse then other options include coir, toilet roll inners, cardboard or making a pot from your newspaper.

You will need a tray to place underneath for protection, your seeds, some compost and a warm environment to put them in.

If you can buy organic seeds as they won’t have any chemical residues on them, they are still good value. We buy from the Real Seed Company. They let you know how you can seed save so that once brought you’ll never have to buy seeds again. Plus, these seeds are from heritage varieties, so the flavour is even better.

Other excellent companies for organic seed are:

There are many more, these are a few examples of companies to get you going.

You can use seedling compost. Personally, I just use an organic peat-free compost and they have always grown well.

Once you have your seed place one in each small pot and give them a little water. All Mediterranean vegetable seeds germinate at higher temperatures so you will need at least 20 degrees celsius. You can pop a cover over the top to retain warmth and moisture

That’s it really just make sure that you keep them moist and check in on them as they grow. As they get larger pot them on into bigger pots. Keep them sheltered until the night-time temperatures stay above 10 degrees.

If you have been tending to them indoors you need to harden them off, so that they get used to the feel of the outside world. Leave them outside during the day (unless the temperature drops) and bring them in overnight.

Photo of a black square plant pot with soil in it and two seedlings that have sprouted and showing their two baby leaves. It is sitting on a shite table.

Tomato Seeds After 1 Week


A young tomato plant is in the ground with a wooden pole in the ground next to it to give support later. You can se the hands of a person wearing balck gardening gloves wtering the plant using a light blue watering can.

Keep them well-watered. There are different types of roots in tomato plants. The ones that are closer to the surface of the soil are the feeding roots. These are the ones you want to target your tomato feed for so use less water when giving your feed.

The deeper roots are for drawing up the water. This means that it is better to give your plant a really good watering once or twice a week, or when your pot or grow bag dries out than a little bit every day. We tend to use this philosophy for all of our plants. One good soaking encourages deeper roots and helps you through drought periods as your plant will already be able to access moisture deeper in the soil.

Try just water the soil for all of these plants and avoid watering the leaves and stems. This will help to keep the chances of diseases to a minimum.

Tomato Maintenance

As well as watering if you have a bush-type tomato plant you won’t need to do anything if you have more of the upright types you just need to pinch out any shoots that come out between the main stem and the side branches to make sure you get as good a crop as possible. If they are small you can just pinch them off between your thumb and finger.

Make Sure You Get The Best Crop

To make sure you get the best crop and keep your plants healthy you will need to feed your plants. All of the plants mentioned in this blog will do well with an organic tomato plant feed once a week.

Close up of someone pinching out a side shoot on a tomato plant that's started to grow between the main stem and main side branch. They are mud in the fingernails. this is something to do to stop the plant getting too leafy and focus it's efforts on producing fruit on the main branches.

How To Treat Blight Organically.

Close up of a sick tomato plant. In focus in the foreground are scrivelled up brown leaves and one that is half green, half yellow with curled up edges and black spots on it. You can see other leaves in the background that have turned the same colour and some of the fruit that is still green. This is the sign of Blite.

Blight is the bane of many a potato and tomato grower’s life. There is an excellent mixture that you can use as a preventative as well as when the brown spots showing that blight is present are already there. Last year we had blight. It was mild and kept raining which are perfect conditions for this fungus. We removed and disposed of the diseased fruits (they have black spots on them) sprayed the plant and the fruits that followed were all in excellent health.

Simply mix 1 teaspoon baking soda into 1 litre of warm water and add a drop of washing-up liquid to help the solution stick to your plant, pop them in a spray bottle and make sure you apply it meticulously to the stems and leaves. Once you have your eye in, it doesn’t take long and is quite therapeutic – mindfulness in action.

I hope this inspires you to grow your own this year. If you do please share your fabulous crop to our Facebook or Instagram accounts we’d love to see them 🙂

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