Tomatoes are often the first vegetable a new vegie grower plants in their garden. Here are 10 reasons why!
- The lure of the flavour of a home-grown, sun-ripened tomato. The tomatoes we buy in the shops are often picked partially ripe and then ripened while going through the supply chain. As a result, they lack that wonderful, fresh taste of a home-grown tomato.
- Amazing varieties. There are so many different types of tomatoes, and many can only be enjoyed when grown at home - from the dark-fleshed ‘Black Krim’, which has a rich flavour, to the heart-shaped ‘Heartbreaker’ cocktail tomato. Tomatoes also come in intriguing shades of yellow-green (‘Corndog’) and blue-purple (‘Indigo Ruby’).
- Grow them anywhere. Tomatoes are versatile. There are varieties that need 2m high stakes and others that will grow very happily in a large pot on your sunny balcony. Look for patio varieties for containers where space is at a premium.
- Kids love them. The easy-to-grow cherry tomatoes such as ‘Sweet Bite’ are a favourite with children as a snack – and they’re healthy too!
- They are easy to add to any meal. From fresh in salads and sandwiches to cooked in pasta sauces and roasts, you’ll be enjoying home-grown tomatoes in many delicious ways.
- Long season. In frost-free climates, you can plant tomatoes from late August until early autumn. Your fruit will be ready for harvesting from late spring into early winter.
- Channel your inner domestic goddess (or god). Bottle, preserve and freeze excess crop to enjoy even after the plants have hit the compost heap! Home-made tomato sauce, pickles or chutney are great ways to show off your tomato crop at just about any meal - plus, they make great gifts!
- Topic for the water cooler chat and posts for social media. Once you are growing your own tomatoes, you’ll have a great topic to discuss with your work colleagues and friends. You’ll discover lots of people are growing their own tomatoes and want to share their knowledge and experience. And don’t forget to take some great shots for Instagram and Facebook - you can share them with us at @flowerpowergardencentres on both platforms!
- Bring out your inner warrior and creativity. Tomatoes can be a challenge, as they grow and the crop ripens. You need to protect the crop from fruit fly (check out organic fruit fly baits), birds and possums. This is your chance to work out how to offer your favourite plants the best protection from netting to bird scarers.
- Get the kids outdoors. Tomatoes can encourage kids to get involved in the garden, whether it is helping you with fertilising the growing plants, watering, weeding or picking the crop. They can also snack on tomatoes fresh off the vine when they are playing outside.
What do you love about growing tomatoes? Leave a comment and let us know!
To read our top tips on growing tomatoes in Sydney gardens, click here.