When to plant tomatoes outside in the UK – top 4 tips for the best tomatoes

Tomatoes are an ideal fruit to grow for any budding gardener and can yield delicious fruit perfect for barbecues or snacking. You can buy tomatoes as young plants, but if you’d like to try a rarer variety you can opt to grow tomatoes from seed.

Many choose to plant tomatoes first inside or in a greenhouse and then plant them outside during the warmer months.

Young plants can be bought from garden centres in spring, however, they aren’t a shortcut to planting outdoors.

Young tomato plants will need frost-free conditions and hardening off before planting outside.

So when should you plant your tomatoes outside?

Read More: Garden pests: How to get rid of insects on your plants

If the plant is actively growing, you should also strive to water regularly.

GardeningKnowhow explains: “A good rule of thumb is to supply water once every two or three days at the height of summer.

“Remember that water supplied by Mother Nature counts towards watering tomato plants in the garden.

“Once the weather cools and fruit has set, scale back watering to once a week.”

3. When to pick

Tomatoes begin to grow ripe from the middle of summer onwards, however, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explains this depends “on the variety, weather conditions and fruit size.”

For smaller cherry tomatoes you may find they ripen quickly, while larger fruits and greenhouse tomatoes can also ripen earlier than those grown outdoors.

The RHS advises “checking plants every few days and pick tomatoes individually as soon as they’re ripe and fully coloured.”

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