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Growing Tomato

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

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

S = Plant undercover in seed trays 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 61°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches 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)


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.


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.


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

23 May 19, Brod (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How can i grow Tomatoes all year round in CHB Do i need a Greenhouse?????? In winter we get regular frosts
23 May 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Tomatoes are frost tender, so yes you need some sort of protection for them, if you want to grow all the year round.
22 May 19, Nkhangweleni (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
I want to know about how we can treat the diseases or just give me the name of medicine that can be used?
21 Apr 19, Geoffrey Wilson (Australia - tropical climate)
I have tried to grow tomatoes at Palm Beach Gold Coast for many years. They will grow nicely up to when they start to form fruit and then the bush starts dying off from the bottom up until there are no leaves left I have asked so many people about this but no one can give me an answer Maybe you can give me some suggestions of what is wrong
02 Jun 19, Ruby (Australia - arid climate)
I have grown tomatoes for many years on the coast and now in Hervey Bay. Forget growing in summer. It's too humid. The soil temp at night is too hot and too humid. I start on April once night temps ate under 29 deg. Back off on watering too much and less nitrogen. Plant deep, cut off lower leaves and talk to them!!! Hope this helps.
03 May 19, Green thumb (Australia - temperate climate)
Try a new area. Dig the soil and add compost/manure or fertiliser. Add some Epsom salts to the soil - buy at supermarket. As the plants grow up to 600-800mm tall, pick off the bottom few leaves and suckers. Always leave the top 6-8-10 leaves. Tie plants to a stake each 300mm in an 8 configuration around the plant and pole. Water in the morning and water at the soil level. When a tomato plant grows and you prick fruit, the bottom leaves die. Little plants need a little water each day or two - big plants need a good deep watering 2-3 times a week, unless it is summer they may need more. My toms are 1.8m high, green as anything and not a dead leaf yet. Fruit developing.
25 Jun 19, Green Thumd (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
These tomatoes were seeds from seedlings given to a seed seller who grew them out and harvested the seeds and sold them. They are from Guyra Glasshouse (NSW) - biggest tomato grower in Aus I read. These plants have been unbelievable. I grow them on trellises 6-7' long - 3 plants to a trellis. I have 3 trellises about 2.5' apart running N -S and another trellis at my house. The middle trellis of the 3 hasn't produced too many tomatoes - shaded by the others but gee have all the rest produced heaps. I don't know what variety they are (a hybrid) but they produce a lot of fruit and no disease or grubs. Have picked about 40kg and still have approx. 25-30 kg to pick.
18 Apr 19, karen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
re: end rot_ always put calcium of some kind in the planting hole then feed with powdered calcium and maybe spent coffee - diluted, a couple of times in the growing season. I collect all my eggshells and use, powdered, for all the mandrake plants, especially the ones in pots - once a month application for potted plants.\
13 Apr 19, Sandy (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Can I plant my tomatoes now and til April 24 without any damage to my plant. I plan on putting straw around them for added protection
08 Apr 19, Di Gates (Australia - tropical climate)
I have been planting tomatoes in my veggie patch, but the fruit never goes a nice bright red, they are always blotchy orangey red. I have tried different varieties, but they all do the same thing. Is it the soil, or too much sun, or the bore water which is quite hard? They taste ok, just look unattractive. I was going to try growing them in pots this year, then at least I can rule out the soil.
Showing 1 - 10 of 600 comments

John (Australia) thanks for your response. That was going to be my course of action. You just confirmed it. Again thank you for your input.

- Jack Zampella

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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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