Growing cherry tomatoes with children
Growing tomatoes with children is a fun way to get them interested in gardening, especially cherry tomatoes as they're sweet and children can pick and eat them directly off the tomato plant.
They can be planted indoors now and they will then be ready to be planted out mid to late June or you can buy small tomato plants from a garden centre and plant them outdoors directly. If you do the latter at this time of year you'll get a longer crop of tomatoes.
What you will need:
A packet of cherry tomato seeds or small tomato plants
If planting from seed:
Small pots, seed trays or old plastic yogurt pots will also do, you can also use biodegradable pots, which are great as you can plant the tomatoes out directly without breaking any roots in the process.
Sowing instructions if planting from seed:
Fill the pot with the seed compost and level it out with your hands. Sow your seeds on the surface of the compost (spacing them according to the instructions on your seed packet) and cover with a small layer of compost and then water. Put them in a sunny and warm position. They will germinate in 5-12 days.
Plant your bought or grown seedlings outside in a sunny position when the first flowers are starting to appear and when any risk of frost has passed. They can either be planted into grow bags, large pots or directly into the ground. Plant them approximately 45cm (18in) apart and if planting in a grow bag, plant no more than two plants per grow bag. It's important to note that if planting in a pot or grow bag, they will need a lot more water then if planted directly into the ground.
If you're short of space, tomato plants can also be grown upside down in a hanging basket or bucket. Make a hole in the bottom of a basket or bucket and fill the container with compost and plant the tomato plant through the hole. Hang the container outdoors and your tomato plant will hang beneath it.
Tomato plants need a lot of water for best results. Ensure the compost is always moist and water little and often. For best results it's also good to feed them every 10-14 days with an organic liquid fertilizer suitable for tomatoes.