Click here to send us an email. Click here to call us.

Category: News

Tomato plants are staples in many home gardens, and their success depends greatly on frequent watering, particularly during the hot summer months.

Striking the right balance between hydration and overwatering is essential for healthy and productive tomato plants. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best watering practices for tomato plants during summer.

  1. Consistent Moisture is Key

Tomato plants thrive when provided with consistent moisture throughout the summer. Water tomato plants deeply, ensuring that the water reaches the plant’s root system. Deep watering promotes strong root growth and helps plants access moisture during dry spells. Aim for 1-2 inches of water per week, applied in one or two deep watering sessions.

Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the base of tomato plants. Mulching helps retain moisture, reduces weed growth, and regulates soil temperature. It also prevents excessive evaporation and conserves water, promoting healthier and more resilient plants.

While tomatoes require consistent moisture, they also need well-draining soil. Avoid overwatering, as excessively wet soil can lead to root rot and other diseases. Monitor the soil moisture by checking the top few inches, and water only when it starts to dry out.

     2. Watering Techniques for Optimal Absorption

The way you water your tomato plants plays a significant role in their hydration, direct the water at the base of the plants, near the soil surface. This method ensures that the water reaches the roots directly, allowing for efficient absorption. Avoid overhead watering, as it may increase the risk of fungal diseases and waste water through evaporation.

Water your tomato plants early in the morning, preferably before the sun is at its peak. Morning watering allows the plants to absorb moisture before the heat of the day intensifies.

Consider using drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water your tomato plants. These methods deliver water directly to the root zone, minimizing water loss through evaporation. They also ensure a consistent and even distribution of water, promoting healthy growth.

    3. Monitor and Respond to Plant Needs

To ensure your tomato plants receive the right amount of water during the summer, closely monitor their hydration needs.

Watch for signs of both overwatering and underwatering. Yellowing leaves, wilting, or stunted growth may indicate either condition. Adjust your watering routine accordingly to meet the specific needs of your plants.

Use your finger or a moisture meter to check the soil moisture level around the plants. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Consistent monitoring will help you maintain the proper moisture balance.

Remember that watering requirements may vary as summer progresses. Adjust your watering schedule based on the weather conditions, rainfall, and the growth stage of your tomato plants. Monitor the plants’ response and adapt accordingly for optimal results.

Watering tomato plants appropriately during summer is crucial for their growth, productivity, and overall health. By ensuring consistent moisture, using effective watering techniques, and closely monitoring the plants’ needs, you’ll be well-equipped to strike the perfect watering balance. With these practices in place, your tomato plants will thrive!

As the warm breeze of summer sweeps across the UK, there’s a delightful reason for tomato enthusiasts to rejoice – British Tomato Fortnight! 

This annual celebration pays homage to the vibrant and versatile tomato, showcasing the incredible variety and exceptional flavors grown here in Britain. 

Want to know more about British Tomato Fortnight? Keep reading…

  1. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate an array of tomato varieties:

British Tomato Fortnight provides a fantastic opportunity to discover and savour a range of tomato varieties cultivated in Britain. From plump and juicy vine tomatoes to the unique and tangy heritage varieties, there’s a tomato to suit every palate.

The event highlights the efforts of local growers who are dedicated to growing and nurturing these plants, resulting in an assortment of colours, sizes, and flavours. From vibrant red and sunny yellow to green and even striped tomatoes.

The diversity of tomatoes available during British Tomato Fortnight encourages individuals to experiment with their culinary creations. Whether you’re making a zesty salsa, or a mouth-watering Caprese salad, these tomatoes add a burst of flavour to any dish.

  1. We can celebrate British tomato growers:

British Tomato Fortnight shines a spotlight on the hardworking farmers and producers across the UK who nurture these flavourful fruits.

During this fortnight, many events and farm visits are organized, offering the public a chance to engage directly with the farmers. These interactions not only provide valuable insights into the tomato-growing process but also foster a deeper appreciation for the efforts required to bring fresh and tasty tomatoes to our tables.

By supporting local tomato producers, consumers contribute to the growth of a sustainable and resilient food system. The British Tomato Fortnight serves as a reminder of the importance of buying local, seasonal produce and the positive impact it has on both our taste buds and the environment.

  1. We can enjoy a tomato-themed culinary experience:

British Tomato Fortnight also presents opportunities for food enthusiasts to indulge in tomato-themed culinary experiences. Many restaurants, cafes, and farmers’ markets offer special menus and promotions featuring delectable tomato-based dishes.

From tomato tasting sessions to cooking demonstrations and workshops, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

British Tomato Fortnight is an exceptional celebration that honours the luscious and diverse range of tomatoes grown in the UK. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the extraordinary flavours and colours that local growers produce, while also highlighting the importance of supporting sustainable agriculture. So, mark your calendars and embark on a tomato-filled journey during this delightful fortnight – your taste buds will thank you!

On 20 May each year, we come together to celebrate World Bee Day and shine a spotlight on the incredible role that bees and other pollinators play in ensuring the health of both people and the planet. Here at R&L Holt, we are proud to say that bees are the unsung heroes of our tomato plants, helping them flourish like never before! 🌼🐝

Bees are essential for maintaining the crucial sequence of pollination in our tomato plants, which directly contributes to their growth and quality. 🌿 Their diligent pollination efforts keep our plants healthy and thriving, resulting in tomatoes that meet the highest standards. 🍅🌿

It’s fascinating how bees act as nature’s health inspectors for our tomato plants. Their keen instincts guide them to healthy plants, where they happily collect pollen. 🐝💪 Conversely, if a plant is struggling or not at its best, bees won’t bother with it. Therefore, these wonderful creatures serve as indicators of a tomato plant’s overall health and readiness for production. 🌱🌼

So, the next time you enjoy one of our delicious tomatoes, remember to thank the bees for their invaluable contribution! Their tireless efforts ensure that our tomatoes are bursting with fresh flavour and delightful taste. 🍅💛

Let’s take a moment to appreciate and protect these remarkable pollinators, not just on World Bee Day but every day. Join us in spreading awareness about the importance of bees and their impact on our food system. 🌍🐝 Together, we can create a brighter future for both bees and the bountiful produce they help us cultivate. 🌻✨

Note: We’re passionate about our tomatoes and the incredible journey they take from seed to your plate. Feel free to share your thoughts, stories, and recipes featuring our tomatoes. We’d love to hear how these buzzing little friends have brightened up your meals! 🍅🐝✨

There are plenty of things that reflect the best bits of Britain, but did you know that tomatoes are on the list too?

British tomatoes are well known for their tantalizing taste and texture, but that’s not all! Here are seven reasons why you should be buying British tomatoes over any other: 

  1. British tomatoes are more environmentally friendly, this is because locally grown British tomatoes don’t pollute the air when they are transported, unlike when tomatoes from overseas are imported. 
  2. Buying British tomatoes helps support local UK growers and boost the economy, by increasing the amount of money that goes towards British tomatoes results in a surge in money within the UK. 
  3. British tomatoes are more tasty. This isn’t biased, we promise! Because british tomatoes are kept on the vine for longer, this means that they are filled with more flavour and taste better for it.
  4. British tomatoes are full of nutrition due to the rich soil they’re grown in. The nutrients help to improve your immunity and heart health.
  5. British tomatoes are an all-round healthy fruit as they include antioxidants and compounds such as lycopene and beta-carotene which can protect you against some cancers and other serious diseases.
  6. Last but not least, British tomatoes are grown with love meaning that they are the best of the bunch!

Make sure British tomatoes are on your next weekly shopping list!

Tomato soup is a timeless classic meal, in winter and summer alike it’s always a great, fulfilling meal that continuously leaves you satisfied after eating. But have you ever wondered which tomato soup is the best of the bunch?

Most of us would go straight to Heinz, of course. 

However, a recent study conducted by Which? Concluded that there are some own-brand supermarket tomato soups that are just as good (if not better!) than Heinz, and here are the results… 

  1. Sainsbury’s Cream of Tomato Soup – 81% 
  2. Tesco’s Cream of Tomato Soup – 80%
  3. Asda’s Cream of Tomato Soup – 75%

If you’re wondering where Heinz came in the ranking, it managed to bag 6th place with 69% overall satisfaction, but some panelists were disappointed with the strength of the tomato taste. 

Where will you be buying your next batch of tomato soup? You could try making your own, there will be a recipe coming soon so keep your eyes peeled… 

Did you know that R&L Holt have been supplying tomatoes since as far back as 1979? But that’s not all… Keep reading to find out 5 of our most significant dates since our establishment over 40 years ago!
1979 – It all began here with the purchase of Sandylands, a typical market gardening site with indoor and outdoor areas for tomato growth.
1985 – The construction of our first glasshouse called Tom, Dick and Harry meaning that we could increase the amount of tomato plants we grew.
1999 – Our glasshouse Fred was built showing how well R&L Holt was progressing for the need of ANOTHER greenhouse to store all of our tasty toms.
2009 – Springhill Nurseries were built after a long time trying to get planning permission, we finally got the green light! The new 125m row lengths paved the way for a new challenge with NFT. This site has everything we need to produce and grow the best quality tomatoes in an environmentally friendly way. From a steam biomass boiler to an Anaeobic Digester, our Springhill Nurseries really have it all!
2020 – The Springhill Annex Solar Edge PV was introduced which enables us to power the pumps that irrigate the crops and motors to ensure that we are providing the best possible growing environment for our crops.
Have you learnt anything new from these key dates in our history? We’re sure there will be many more significant milestones to come…

Have you been trying to grow tomatoes from seeds but you’re not having much luck? Not to worry, we have 8 top tips that will help you with your tomato growing at home, who knows, you may even give us a run for our money!

Step 1 – Start Fresh

Spring is the perfect time for a fresh start by blowing away the winter cobwebs and allowing spring to flourish, so why not that include this in your tomato growing process? If you are reusing plastic module trays, wash thoroughly in warm, soapy water to remove old soil and other accumulated minerals. Also, use a new bag of high-quality seed-starting mix to help the growth of your plants. Avoid cheap imitations, which are often the cause of seedling failure.

Step 2 – Keep your containers organised

A great way to improve your seed growth at home is by organising your containers and keeping track of what plant is where. Write variety names on your containers with waterproof markers to ensure that you can clearly see which plant is where no matter the weather conditions.

Step 3 – Plant your seeds in dry soil

It is important to plant your tomato seeds dry because the furry coating on tomato seeds softens when water is added. This helps the seeds stick in place among soil particles and promotes better and healthier growth.

Step 4 – Ensure your plants have plenty of water and light

Your plants should be having plenty of water and sunlight to promote their growth. This can be done by keeping the tomato seeds at a warm room temperature and spraying them with water twice a day. In doing so, your plants should sprout within a week. Once the seedlings break the surface, move them to bright light for optimum photosynthesis opportunities.

Step 5 – Be wise when watering

Make sure you thoroughly moisten the seed starting mix, until the containers feel heavy with water. Then spritz more water over the top to ensure your plants are hydrated.

Step 6 – Don’t rush hardening off

Don’t rush the process of exposing your plants to sunlight. Instead, gradually expose your indoor-grown tomato seedlings to increased sun and wind. A good hardening-off chamber is an opaque storage bin with the lid removed, this is because your plants will then be exposed to the elements but not so much that they will be damaged. Allow at least a week for your plants to prepare themselves for outdoor life.

Step 7 – Pot your plants in stages

As your plants grow, ensure that they are in a pot to accommodate their fluctuating size. It is important that your plants have enough room to expand as they progress into a fully grown tomato plant, if they are squashed or don’t have enough room this will hinder their growth.

Step 8 – TCL goes a long way

Last and certainly not least, ensure that you are growing your tomato plants with love and handle them carefully during the growing process. Never touch the main stem of tomato seedlings, because the juicy tissues are easily bruised which can affect the growth of your plant. As long as you handle them with care, your plant will flourish into a fully grown tomato plant.

And there you have it, our top tips on growing tomato seeds! Let us know if these tips work for you, we can’t wait to see your homegrown tomatoes!

We have some exciting news we would like to share with you… R&L Holt went on tour!
On the third week of March Roly travelled internationally and flew over to Detroit with group of growers from all over the world! This was a really exciting opportunity which allowed him to learn more about growers from Australia, Europe, Japan and the US/Canada. Not only did he form friendships but he also learnt a lot about other cultures and different aspects of growing in different parts of the world.
Here’s a summary of what Roly got up to on his travels and some things that he learnt along the way:
Day 1 – Ontario (Canada)
On day 1 of the trip to Ontario Roly visited the Leamington Growing area and saw tomato and cucumber crop and a propagator. This was extremely insightful and it was interesting to see how the same plants we grow here in the UK are harvested differently on the other side of the world.

Day 2 –  Niagara 

Roly spent the second day in Niagara and this visit was dedicated to the Signify Research and Development update and of course a visit Niagara Falls.

Day 3 – Cornell University (near Buffalo – USA) 

The third day involved Roly visiting Cornell University, a widely accredited university in the states that is known worldwide. He travelled here to see LED lighting trials in tomatoes.

These were a great few days away and Roly definitely learnt a lot on his travels. Who knows where our next trip will take us, but we’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

It’s that time again… It’s time to learn more about our tomato varieties!

This month we will be discussing the piccolo variety.

Here are five facts you may not have known about piccolo tomatoes:

  1. Piccolos have been the main variety in Hornsfield Nurseries for 18 years 
  2. Piccolo is a cherry on the Vine type tomato
  3. It is the most popularly variety in Northern Europe 
  4. It has a sweet and slightly acidic taste
  5. It can be enjoyed in warm or cold dishes 

Will you be enjoying a piccolo tomato in your next meal?

Eating healthier and having a better diet are goals for many of us, but it can be a lot more challenging than it sounds. Eating healthier is easier said than done, seemingly ‘healthy’ foods are sometimes concealing hidden salts and fats that actually make them worse for you than foods that are notorious for being ‘bad’ for you. However, this is something that you don’t need to worry about with tomatoes because tomatoes are food for health. 

Not only are tomatoes delicious (especially those from R&L Holt!) but they are filled with vitamins and nutrients that will keep your body healthy. The average tomato has only 0.2g of fat and is made up of vitamin C and E as well as a staggering 237mg of potassium. Whether eaten raw or cooked, tomatoes offer the same benefits no matter how they are enjoyed, so including them in your favourite dishes will make them much healthier.

There are a number of health benefits that come with eating tomatoes, such as: 

  • Lowering the risk of some cancers 
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease
  • Helping to maintain a healthy immune system 

As well as being great for your health, eating tomatoes also helps to combat diseases such as vascular diseases, liver diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases. This is due to the beneficial antioxidants that are rampant in tomatoes protecting cells in your body. 

There are many positive aspects of eating tomatoes, besides their great taste, and even more reason to incorporate tomatoes into your daily diet!