The benefits of growing moneymaker tomatoes and tomato plants
Have you ever tried growing moneymaker tomatoes?
I was introduced to this particular variety of tomato last year, when I first started getting into the whole 'grow your own' thing in the garden at home.
Now I should say that up until that point I had only ever grown flowers, and even then I didn't grow anything from seed. But I saw a brightly coloured pack in the garden centre one day and took a closer look. That was my introduction to growing moneymaker tomatoes, and boy am I glad I first started out with those few seeds on the windowsill. I'm far from being the best grower of tomatoes on the planet, but you wouldn't believe the enjoyment you can get out of growing them.
What exactly are moneymaker tomatoes?
Put simply, moneymaker is simply a variety of tomato. You might think all tomatoes are the same, but no, you get all different kinds of them. Some are different sizes - think of the baby cherry tomatoes, the medium sized moneymakers and then the large 'big daddy' beefsteak tomatoes, and you can see the different varieties. And these are just some of them.
On my first attempt I tried growing moneymaker tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes and another variety that was slightly smaller. They weren't cherry tomatoes but they weren't far off it (although it could have just been my failure to grow them into big ones!).
One particular variety I'd love to have a go at is the cascading variety of tomato that you can grow in a hanging basket. When the tomatoes grow they cascade downwards and look quite stunning. Imagine eating them straight from the basket once they are ripe. Instead of planting flowers in my hanging baskets this year, I might just go for tomatoes instead!
A moneymaker tomato is a nice, solid, multi purpose kind of tomato. You can slice it in salads or sandwiches; you can cook with it, and you can make a cool tomato sauce with it. There are plenty of things you can do with it, and as you are about to find out they are also extremely easy to grow.
Getting started with your tomato seeds
Let's find out something about growing moneymaker tomatoes. The great thing about this particular variety is that it is incredibly easy to grow. Just buy a packet of seeds and plant a single seed in each of about a dozen small pots filled with compost. Then just water them lightly and sit them on a sunny windowsill in your kitchen. Keep an eye on them and don't let them get dry.
After a couple of weeks or so the tomato plants - seedlings at this point - will start to sprout. Keep them watered and keep an eye on them. Once they start getting too big for the pots you will need to transfer them out into the garden.
This is the stage I am at now. They have been in the garden for a couple of weeks in nice deep troughs filled with soil. It's too soon to start supporting them with sticks but they are growing nicely in size.
How many moneymaker tomato plants should you grow?
It sounds obvious but this really depends on how many tomatoes you want. Last year I got started with loads of seeds, thinking I would end up losing a plant or two at every step of the way. But I got lucky and every single plant but one actually took and thrived.
In the end I think I had around thirty tomato plants to try to handle - it was probably a bit too much to begin with for my first attempt! We did get some great tomatoes though, even though they were practically coming out of our ears in the end. I grew three varieties last year and the moneymaker tomatoes were definitely the best. Hence why I have grown them again this year.
I have restricted myself to eight plants this time around though. I felt it was better to tend to just a few and get the most out of them than struggling to keep up with growing lots of tomato plants instead.
I'll let you know how the finished results come out soon! In the meantime why not consider growing moneymaker tomatoes yourself? It's a fascinating and exciting process - and the eating of the finished product can't be beaten.
UPDATE: last year's crop was the best yet! Fewer plants yielded more moneymakers, and this year I am hoping to do even better.
Finally, how about growing potatoes too?
- Planting potatoes in bags
I've written another hub which focuses on planting potatoes, so if you want to create your own little kitchen garden, this would be another step in the right direction :)