GARDENING: Tips for growing giant tomatoes

The Gigantomo tomato from Van Meuwen.
The Gigantomo tomato from Van Meuwen.

RECORD BREAKER: The Gigantomo tomato from Van Meuwen.

Keep only four trusses on plants and thin these down to one fruit per truss.

Apply a mulch of manure around your plants, up to 10cm (4in) deep around plants. If a stake is not doing the job, cage the plant with chicken wire.

Individual fruits need their own supports. Use an old stocking, or similar to create a hammock under the fruit. Trusses can be held up with non-stick electrical tape or similar. Provide a steady constant level of moisture – erratic watering can lead to blossom end rot.

On top of your weekly feeding regime, apply a twice weekly foliar feed of seaweed solution – late in the day to avoid sun scorch. Pick competition tomatoes early - don’t wait for them to fully ripen. Measure fruit circumference. When they stop swelling, pick when still pinkish – not red unless you are very close to weigh-off time. If ripening occurs well ahead of time, a tomato will keep in a fridge for up to three weeks at 8-10C.

• You can read more of Mandy’s gardening writing at her website www.mandycanudigit HERE.