Types of tomato include ‘F hybrid’, ‘open pollinated’ or ‘heirloom.’

Gardeners can save seed from their own open pollinated (but not hybrid) crops.

There are two main forms of growing habit – determinate or indeterminate.

Determinate tomatoes have bushy growth and do not need support or pinching out.

Indeterminate tomatoes – also known as vine or ‘cordon’ types – have a long main stem that needs to be supported by a cane.  You must regularly pinch out sideshoots.

Tomatoes love heat so do well with their soil covered in black plastic to retain moisture and enhance soil heat.

Ideal sites are flat, south-facing and protected from strong winds.

Do not plant out tomatoes until all risk of late spring frost has passed.


For a review of tomato cultivars see RHS’s The Garden, July 2014.