A Beginners Guide to... Growing Tomatoes (outdoor bush varieties)

Tomatoes taste just lovely picked fresh from the vine, tomatoes ripened by the sun have a unique flavour and sweetness making them great to add to salad, snack boxes or reduced to make delicious sauces.

Some types of tomatoes are easier to grow than others; bush tomatoes are the best to try for the first time as you don’t necessarily need a greenhouse or supports for plants to climb up.

Bush tomatoes have the following advantages;

  • Can be grown outside
  • Produce tomatoes without any pruning or removal of stems
  • Can be grown in pots or baskets without support


What you will need


When to start

In May or June, you’ll receive young tomatoes plants that are ready to be planted into a bigger container. Early summer’s the perfect time for you to grow these young plants on in containers.


How to plant bush tomatoesBG_empty trug

  1. Fill your trough with Vegetable growing compost to so that the soil level is about 4cm (1 ½ in) below the top of the trough
  2. Dig out a small hole in the centre of the filled trough with a trowel just big enough to take the young tomato plant
  3. Transfer the tomato ‘Montello’ plant into the trough and firm the base of the young plant into the surrounding soil
  4. ‘Montello’ is a spreading tomato plant that will cover the area of the trough
  5. Water in well after planting. Water every evening if the weather is cool and water every morning and every evening if the weather is warm

How to take care of the plants once they have started growing

Once the flowers appear, which will turn into the tomatoes, start to feed the tomato plants. For ease, use ready-made tomato feed sticks that you simply insert into the soil.

Wait for the fruits to ripen and expect handfuls of tomatoes that are lovely eaten fresh off the plant or reduced for flavoursome sauces.

However, do not over water. This will cause the soil to become waterlogged. Irregular watering is not good for the fruit as it can result in splitting and blossom-end rot, whereas over-watering can impair flavour.

How to Harvest the Tomatoes

Wait for the fruits to ripen and pick as required. Make sure when you pick the fruits that the calyx (the stalk) is still attached. Expect handfuls of tomatoes that are lovely eaten fresh off the plant or reduced for flavoursome sauces.

In early Autumn, when cropping slows down. The green fruits can be gathered and stored in a warm, dark location to ripen.