Tomatoes are a popular plant to grow thanks to their delicious fruit, but they can be prone to blight and low cropping. The way to avoid these issues is to keep up their maintenance. With a bit of work you’ll find your tomato plants will flourish and give you a fantastic harvest.

There are two types of tomatoes, cordon and bush. Bush tomatoes will be your go-to if you have a smaller space and want something that’s fool proof and can be grown in a container. Cordon tomatoes need a support to grow up such as a string or bamboo cane and are more commonly found in greenhouses and larger spaces.

The most important job to do with Cordon tomatoes is pinching out. This is really important to encourage the plant to put its energy into making more fruit. To pinch out you just need to remove the small side shoot that grows between the main stem and the main sides shoots. These break away really easily and can be discarded onto the compost heap. 

With both bush and cordon tomatoes, you will need to do a bit of thinning out to allow air flow and to let the light ripen the fruit. Simply remove some of the foliage around any hidden clusters of tomato fruits.  On cordon tomatoes, you’ll also want to remove the lower side shoots coming off the main stem once the plant starts to fruit and reach a good height. This  is a great way of preventing blight which occurs when theres not enough ventilation . 

Finally dont forget to feed your tomatoes! You can purchase liquid tomato feed in most garden centres or make your own with some comfrey leaves. 

I hope these tips are useful and will help you grow tantalising tomatoes this summer!

PS make sure you check out my monthly gardening tips over on Vanessa Feltz’s show on BBC Radio 2!