Starting Out

How to start growing tomatoes

If you are a beginner and want to start growing tomatoes, you are in the right place! 

How to start growing tomatoes

What to begin with when growing your own tomatoes

The easiest way to start growing tomatoes is to buy ready grown plug plants in your local garden centre. You can use them to grow your tomatoes in pots outside or plant them in the ground. 

How to choose the right plants?

Look for sturdy plants with several branches and dark-green leaves. Don’t go for those with yellow leaves or tried oud soil.

When to plant tomatoes outside?

You can plant tomatoes outside when there is no longer a danger of frost. In the UK May to June is the right time to do it. 

How to start growing tomatoes from seeds

You can start off sowing seeds either outdoors or indoors. 

In the UK you can sow them outside from mid March, from mid February in an unheated greenhouse and even a bit earlier if you sow them at home in a seed tray or in pots.

Things you need to start growing tomatoes

Compost for tomatoes

The best compost for tomatoes is the one meant specifically for growing seeds and seedlings as it contains more nutrients. However, you can use any compost to grow your tomatoes. 

Seed tray or pots

You can buy such trays or pots in your local garden center or even in supermarkets, but you can also recycle yogurt cups or egg trays using them to grow tomatoes. 


If you want to go all guns blazing, you can buy an electric propagator to keep your seedlings at a constant temperature all the time. This way they will grow more quickly. 

But if you just want to see how it goes, you can simply cover the seedlings with a yogurt cup or a plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse and keep them in a high humidity environment. 

One thing to remember is that these plants don’t like sudden changes in temperature, so for example a sunny window where the temperature changes depending on the sun, may not be their favourite spot. 

Optional gadgets

Hydroponic units are another fancy tool for growing tomatoes, but they are more pricey. These units don’t use soil and can produce really good results. To be honest, you can do without them easily, but if you like gadgets, have a look at them. 

Most plants can grow without soil as long as they have enough nutrients. You can set it up so you can go away on holiday while it will water itself. This is a huge joy when you return to a fruiting tomato plant after a couple of weeks. 

Pots and grow bags

What size pots do you need?

A sufficient size to grow tomatoes is about 30 centimeters (10-12 inches) across the top. 

Grow bags are a convenient option for those starting out growing tomatoes or other produce. They come with balanced compost all in one packet. You can put two or three plants in one bag of a standard size. 

So these are the basics of growing tomatoes for beginners. Check our next articles if you want to learn more about growing your own tomatoes. 

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