Hello I am Keith Wheeler the owner of Tomato Plants Direct. I am bordering on obsessively nuts about Tomatoes I have grown Tomatoes myself for nearly 50 years starting when my dad gave me my first veggie patch aged 5.
My aim is to get as many people as possible growing some of the amazing and tasty tomatoes there are out there in the world after all there are over 7000 to choose from and I currently stock over 700 of them as plants so you have plenty to choose from. Growing and tasting your own homegrown Tomatoes is way beyond anything you will ever buy from a supermarket
However, I was a bit of a latecomer to start growing professionally as a career I started my first ever nursery in the latter half of the 90s which I had for 3 years growing a wide range of plants for local shops and markets before having to give that up for personal reasons after which I moved on to managing large production nurseries In Buckinghamshire and later Worcestershire where I grew a huge range of crops for their garden centres.
In 2003, I became production manager at one of the countries biggest and most technically advanced plug plant producers in the UK.
My biggest ever challenge in my professional career was growing 50,000 Poinsettias (which I had never grown before) from unrooted cuttings in the sweltering heat of August 2003 the first major crisis was how the hell were we going to keep them alive in that heat it was over 40c in the greenhouse with the vents open and the fans on we ended up putting them in long fleece tents with misters running through the middle and misted them every half hour we lost a few but the majority made it and despite another major issue that nearly killed them half-way through the growing period when the Bore hole our water came from had got so low it had too much chalk in it which caused the PH to alter so dramatically it locked the nutrients up in the pot and it wasn’t available to the plants But come Christmas we had a fantastic crop and according to the owner it was the best crop of poinsettias he had ever seen on the nursery in 50 years so it became my proudest achievement in growing plants.
I later had the opportunity to start my own nursery again and supplied a wide range of plants to local garden centres and shops in and around Fife in Scotland before moving south to Cornwall where Vegetable Plants Direct was launched and has been my main business for 12 years.
4 years ago I launched a standalone Tomato Plant business Tomato Plants Direct which proved an instant success and has now grown to the point that from 2019 this will be my main business and the veg business will cease when I move to new growing facilities at the end of 2018
I will be doing other plants as well out of the Tomato season to sell on e-bay and also in the owners farm shop at the new site and may well do some veg there as well
My website currently boasts over
700 varieties of Tomato
49 Varieties of Aubergines
33 Varieties of Courgettes
32 Varieties of Cucumber
79 Varieties of Hot Peppers
62 Varieties of Sweet Peppers