Growing Tomato

Lycopersicon esculentum : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S                  
      T T T            
      P P              

(Best months for growing Tomato in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 16°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-17 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Asparagus, Chervil,Carrot, Celery, Chives, Parsley, Marigold, Basil
  • Avoid growing close to: Rosemary, Potatoes, Fennel, Cucumber
  • a)  Seedlings
  • b) 6 weeks old
  • c) Tomato Roma (acid free)

TOMATOES


There is nothing like the taste of a freshly picked tomato, warm from the sunshine. In the smallest of gardens or even an apartment with a window-box, it is worth growing at least one tomato plant for the pleasure it will give you. They will grow in pots, troughs or even hanging baskets.

Tomatoes should be grown in shelter or under cover in cool climates.


Tomatoes need feeding. In a garden bed, compost and mulching will produce a crop from one or two plants. In containers, use some suitable long term fertiliser pellets or feed regularly when you water. Feeding also improves the flavour of the fruit.


When you plant out, put the seedlings in a deep holes, up to the top set of leaves. The covered stems will put out extra roots and you will have a stronger, healthier plant.

There are many different varieties of tomatoes but they all have one of two growth habits.

Determinate:

Compact bush growth, stops at a specific height and useful for containers. If left without supporting stakes, they will form a dense carpet which excludes weeds and keeps the soil cool and damp.

Indeterminate:

Will continue growing a main stem, or vine until stopped by frost. The majority of heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate.

Both types need stakes to give them some support otherwise they will sprawl across the garden.

Varieties include Acid-free, Bush, Tall, Cherry, Yellow and many others.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Tomato

Use in sauces, with fried meals, in sandwiches. Can be frozen whole or in pieces.

Your comments and tips

19 Feb 23, Belinda (Australia - temperate climate)
Right now my tomatoes are very big and look almost successful however they arn't turning red?! A few of them have but the rest are just happy sitting in greenville for quite some time. I would love some help! I planted around october from memory. Its they are beefsteaks. Thank you so much for your help. I would love to show my 7 year old that we can do this!
27 Feb 23, Judy (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Belinda, when I grew tomatoes in Armidale NSW, I used to pick them just as they started to turn, the put them somewhere dark and ripen them that way. Worked every time. Also didn't have to worry as much about birds and critters!
20 Feb 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They do take a while to ripen.
02 Jan 23, Irma (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I always gets my seeds From Burpeeā€™s online. They have always yielded great amount of tomatoes.
14 Dec 22, DENNIS (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I'm looking for a large juicy tomato to just plain eat whole. Looking for a good producer. Can't seem to find a recommendation for my area!
18 Dec 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google big tomato varieties. Most crops will grow from cold weather to hot weather, just have to plant at the right time of year for your area.
25 Aug 22, Hannah (Canada - Zone 3b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I have grow small tomatoes plant about three inches inside pot , now the plant grow about two feet tall n have a lot of tomatoes . I know the plant will die in winter . My question is will it grows back next year spring n summer ? Should I throw away the old plant n grow from small tomatoes plant every year ? Please advice .
28 Aug 22, Philip Morton (Australia - temperate climate)
Let it die off and start anew. Even indeterminate tomatoes are annual and not perrenial. It could survive in a warm sheltered area but you will very likely be disappointed with a new season crop. Disease is likely to take hold of the plant as well causing further stress.
03 Jun 22, Siva Sutendra (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
I live in Yellowknife, nwt, Canada. I have arctic tomato plants from seeding and grown to about 2 to 3 ft tall. When can I plant them in ground? What is the min temperature during night. Currently, the night temp is about 5c and daytime is 17c.. Thanks Siva
13 Jun 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
The KILL temperature for tomatoes is 2c. If you expect your night time temperatures to be below 4c, I would cover the tomato plant with plastic, and remove the plastic in the morning. The plastic should not be touching the plant. You can cover the plant umbrella style or tent style (fully enclosed like a mini green house). If for some reason you expect to get a really bad cold snap, I would dig the plant up, taking as much soil as possible, you can place the root ball on a piece of plastic (tarp and wrap the root ball), or on burlap, or in a pot, or in a cardboard box... whatever, then move the plant into the shed/garage/on a covered porch close to the house and keep it there until the temps warm up again. The goal when temperatures drop is too keep the morning dew off the plant, and if possible provide warmth by placing it close to the house, or in a enclosed shed.
Showing 1 - 10 of 769 comments

I planted a tumbling Tom from nursery in mid April and it is doing great. If I had to do over I would have bought 5 or 6. I planted about 8 different tomatoe plants with 7 of them indertiminate. So far the best are Lemon Boy. They melt in your mouth!

- Econ

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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