When starting a vegetable garden, having tomato plants is a must-have. It is not the easiest vegetable/fruit to grow, but it is a fascinating process. When I started doing some research on how to grow tomatoes, it was brought to my attention several times that tomatoes should be grown in a greenhouse especially when you live in Belgium, where it can basically rain any time of the year. Tomato plants hate rain and wind. They easily get the Phythophthora infestans disease, which is a pain in the ass. However our garden is not big enough to place a beautiful glass greenhouse; I personally don’t like the plastic ones and usually it is in green plastic and that would totally ruin my vegetable garden attractiveness. So… what did I do? I worked out 2 ways, but both ways will end in the same way: outside, without any ‘rain protection’.
- The first way was growing tomatoes in pots/containers outside. Those plants will see every climate from the start of their ‘adult’ life– so wind, rain, sun,…
- The other one was growing the tomato plants in the ‘real’ soil but cover it with a mini plastic hood until they outgrow the plastic hood ;).
This way I can in the end compare these two ways of growing tomato plants and see what works best. The only difference is basically the ‘start’ of their growth. All tomato plants were seeded inside, on my kitchen window sill and once the ‘Ice Saints’ / ‘Frost Saints’ were passed, they were all brought outside. The ones that were covered were a bit more protected when the plants started their journey outside. But all plants are now uncovered and they are all thriving. The Spring / Summer has been really good this year; climate change is real!! So I’m not sure if I will be able to conclude anything when it comes to the best way of growing my tomato plants since both ways work this year. But this is my trial-and-error year.
But before starting all that, I had to decide what kind of tomatoes I wanted to sow. I did it the ‘Felien’ way, Go BIG / ALL IN. Here in Belgium there is a guy who is basically the Vegetable Garden Hero. He, Angelo Dorny, wrote a book with basic facts everyone should take into account when starting a vegetable garden. When he first started selling his book, he added his five favorite tomato seeds to it. So I’m growing those, but that of course wasn’t enough and I added 4 more. So I basically have about 9 kind of tomatoes in my vegetable garden so far. Plus I’m growing some of them in the 2 different ways I described earlier. Here is an overview of the tomato plants that are currently thriving in my vegetable garden:
- Blue Berries
- Ananas Bleue
- Amazon Chocolate
- Guernsey Island
- Black Cherry
- Sweet Baby
- Yellow pears