At this time of year, one of the most common questions I get asked online is “why are your tomatoes so big?” Or “why are your tomatoes bigger than mine?”. I hear “oh my god your tomatoes are huge mine are tiny”.
So in order to help you to relax and not get stressed about your garden, let me tell you why my tomatoes might look bigger than yours.
Firstly I think it’s really important to note that my tomatoes are probably way more mature than yours. Chances are you’ll see our tomatoes in a video early in the season when yours are a foot tall and ours are towering way above me in the greenhouse. Hence why you might think you had done something wrong. In fact it’s the opposite, I’m doing something wrong, we’ll not wrong exactly but I’m cheating Mother Nature a bit because I start my tomatoes in January or February using artificial heat and light. Usually when folk do this, they do it indoors using a heat mat to germinate and grow seedlings with a grow light to help make sure the plant gets the right amount of light. This year I did it in my greenhouse using a big heated propagator and lights.
So there you go, the first thing, they are a lot more mature.
Secondly, my plants have been transferred into their final pots where they have loads of nutrition and room to grow. If you’re still growing your seedlings on or if you’re growing indoors, chances are you haven’t potted up into the big tomato pots yet, so plants will still be constrained somewhat by the pot size.
Now there is also an other thing you may not realise, but my plants are not actually the height the appear on video, I grow in pots, which sit on top of a water reservoir, so the plants are probably a foot off the floor to start with.
Now just a word of warning before you decide to run off and try the early sowing thing for yourself, it might not actually be everything you want it to be. If you live in a similar climate to me, here in Scotland. You can’t actually put those large plants outside, not even in a greenhouse and definitely not in the garden for sometime. Tomato’s need consistently warm temperatures, so if you are still seeing temperatures drop below 15c at night, your tomatoes are going to struggle. Just be aware. Before sowing those seeds, think about how large those plants will get and when and just ask yourself if you have the space to keep them warm and protected and can you make sure they get the light they need… until… maybe June?