Tips for growing organic tomatoes filled with flavor and natural goodness

Organic gardening is often thought of as the preserve of eccentrics who refuse to accept the self-evident truth that twentieth-century progress has transformed the ancient art of gardening. Why fiddle around with compost and garlic spray when modern fertilizers and insecticides are so much more efficient and easier to use?

Opinion has changed and now most gardeners regard organic as the most sensible way to garden as the benefits of twentieth-century technology have come at a price. Chemical sprays and fertilizers have done much damage to the environment. We might not think that we can do much to change the world, but we can take sensible care of the one part of the environment we control: our own garden. And by doing so, we do make a difference, particularly when you add up all the home gardens in the country – and indeed the world – they represent a fair chunk of our environment.

Organic gardening is simply the application of common sense such as people have been practising for centuries. Growing organic tomatoes follow the same principles. It involves digging manure into a planting bed, putting kitchen scraps onto a compost heap, using blood and bone on your tomatoes instead of sulphate of ammonia. There is much satisfaction to be gained from spreading a rich compost you have made yourself rather than a bag of chemical fertilizer. You know that it will benefit not just the immediate growth of your plants, but the health of your soil for years to come. You are working with nature in harmony with her own rhythms.

Tomatoes love lots of compost and manure. Ideally this should be dug into your site at least eight weeks prior to planting to give it time to break down and give good texture to your soil. Time is also required for the nutrients in the compost or manure to be released.

To grow organic tomatoes, spread your compost and fork it in to mix with the soil when preparing a new tomato bed. Around established tomato plants spread in onto the surface as mulch. As it decomposes it will sift down into the soil and the worms will come up and take it down with them.