Growing Tomato

Lycopersicon esculentum : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      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

Your comments and tips

14 Oct 08, Ron (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone have figures for the average water requirements for tomatoes and cucmbers in Melbourne sandy soil?
15 Oct 08, Frank (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am new in Canberra, can someone give me tips on when and how to plant tomato plants in garden.
16 Oct 08, Grahame (Australia - temperate climate)
Frank, I used to live in Canberra and the rule of thumb was that you shouldn't plant your tomatoes until you know the winner of the Melbourne Cup. But if you are growing them from seed, you can get them started earlier if you have a nice sunny window sill. Basically, you don;t want the frost to get them so if you do plant them out just keep an eye on the weather and cover them up if it looks like frost.
19 Oct 08, Jaci (Australia - temperate climate)
Latest advice I got was this: Don't over water or feed your tomato seedlings!!! Your aim should be to deprive the seedlings of much water and fertiliser until they begin to bear fruit. That's right, when growing, feed them NO fertiliser and very little water! Just give them a pinch of Potash (Sulfate of ---) to strengthen the stem and the occasional watering when young. The trick is to make the plant think it is going to die (sort of like lowering its metabolism), so that it flowers and bears fruit earlier. You should note that the tomato plant WILL need extra fertiliser/water once it begins to fruit. You can also ripen your tomatoes inside the kitchen once they begin to change colour - there's no need to wait for them to ripen on the vine. It is said to dilute the flavour and increases the chances of letting the pesky birds get them first.
27 Dec 10, brett (Australia - tropical climate)
i have grown tomatoes in my home garden and its 2 months now but i get only few tomatoes .how can i bring more fruits to plant.which fertilizer should i use .i am living in melbourne thank you
20 Oct 08, Grahame (Australia - temperate climate)
Jaci, I think that is a good way of getting your tomatoes to set early fruit. But I don't think there is any need to treat all you tomatoes quite so harshly. When it gets hot in the summer they tend to get punishment enough. I reckon you should treat some of your tomatoes more kindly so that they can develop strong root systems to get them to bare well through the summer. That doesn't mean you have to treat them with kid gloves but it could help extend your season.
20 Oct 08, bert (Australia - temperate climate)
I like to know were I can buy "agri fleece " my neighbor brought a piece back from the U.K helps against pests etc. I like the hint about short lengths of copper wire bye Bert
24 Oct 08, Perry (Australia - temperate climate)
I first grew cherry type tomatoes in Brisbane from seeds in late 2007 and again in April '08 when I bought eight 12 litre plastic buckets that I saw on special when I was looking for some pots. I put store-bought soil in 4 buckets, and some soil / debris from under a 10 year old pile of lawn clippings in the other four buckets. Both soil types achieved the same abundant results with little fertilizer and maybe too much water. They had about 9 hours of sunshine at best each day. I kept the soil around the plants covered with lawn clippings to retain heat in the soil. The 2007 crop, in smaller pots, had a good yield despite having only a couple of hours sunshine each day. One tomato plant and a young paw paw shared the same large pot. I am now trying to get four different types, cherry, roma, money maker, and marzano on the table for Christmas.
24 Oct 08, Jaci (Australia - temperate climate)
Grahame, thanks for the additional advice on how to treat the tomatoes. As you advised, I can't quite bear to treat them all so roughly and am attempting to grow 5 different varieties this season to allow me some early, mid and late season tomatoes. I am looking forward to my speckled romas and my green zebras along with a few others. I also have some unknown tomato varieties popping up from compost about the place.
11 Nov 08, Kevin Coombes (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
The leaves on the tomatoe plants that I have put into pots are going yellow/brown, do you know why?
Showing 21 - 30 of 788 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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