Life

Gardening advice: Our top tips on how to grow the tastiest tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes include Gardener's Delight, popular and ideal for growing outside

1. Sweet Aperitif: This tomato promises great trusses of the sweetest cherry tomatoes from July to September. Rather than confine their growth in a growbag, try growing them direct in fertile soil, or in a large pot in a sheltered, sunny spot (just one plant per pot). Feed them with high potash plant food to enrich the crop. As it's a cordon variety, you'll need to stake the main growing stem, which reaches two metres, and pinch out sideshoots as the plant grows.

2. Sungold: Another cordon which, this time, produces delicious, golden yellow-orange tomatoes – and is a favourite with children, who pop them like they're sweets. If you are growing them outside, add plenty of compost to the ground before planting out in early summer, after all risk of frost has passed, and create a shallow reservoir around the plant to help retain water. Water the soil, not the plant, stake them, pinch out the sideshoots as they're growing and pinch out the tops when they have set five to six trusses. Try companion planting basil underneath the plants, which will encourage whitefly to the herb, rather than the tomatoes.

3. Santonio: This mouth-watering plum tomato is a must for those who want the sweetest fruits. For the best results, grow this cordon type in a greenhouse, but it will also thrive in a sheltered, sunny spot outdoors. Expect a good acidic 'bite' with lingering sweetness from these glossy red fruits.

4. Gardener's Delight: This is probably the most popular cherry tomato grown by amateur gardeners, and with good reason. Widely available, they produce huge trusses of sweet cherry tomatoes, that are among the first to start ripening. These cordon types are ideal for growing outside in a sunny, sheltered spot. Greenhouse fruits should be ready from early July and outdoor plants from early August.

5. Black Russian: This heritage beefsteak variety is among the favourites of keen tomato grower Guy Barter, the RHS chief horticultural adviser, thanks to its succulent and slightly salty flavour, perfect sliced in salad with pepper and balsamic vinegar.

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