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)

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

10 Aug 20, Gina (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I grow everything in pots due to lack of any place to have a full garden. After the tomato plant is done for the season, what can I grow in the container that will enhance the soil for the next year's tomato plantings? In years past, if I reuse the same soil the plants do not do very well year after year. It is not easy to dump the old soil and start fresh - again, no real space to do so. I had two San Marzano plants that did very well plus one small patio tomatoe Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you!
11 Aug 20, Sally O'Neil (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Compost and/or Manure
02 Aug 20, Bruce (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Will a plastic grow tent protect seedlings from frost
03 Aug 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Maybe if it is totally air tight. You are really stacking the odds up against yourself. It is recommended to start planting seeds in Oct/Nov in cool/mountain NZ and you are trying to grow them in winter. More chance of a good crop when the conditions are with you than against you.
31 Jul 20, Dennis Naidoo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I want to plant tomatoes in containers due to know space in my backyard. What size container can I use and what nutrients should I feed my tomato plants. Also what fertilizer can be used. Regards Dennis
03 Aug 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
My daughter recommends a big container, about 30+ liters. A general all round garden fertiliser, make sure you mix about 2-3 handfuls into the soil before you put the soil in the container.
30 Jul 20, lisa johnson (USA - Zone 8b climate)
cannot get my tomatoes to form fruit - in large containers - dropping flowers before forming - all varieties - healthy plants but no fruit - extremely hot in Southern Alabama with humidity and good rain - what times of year are best to plant —please advise!
10 Aug 20, Janelle (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I just pull mine for the same reason. Is too hot to fruit. When the flower form the sun burn it. And the rain doesn't help much. If you are able to move it under a roof and keep it with sunlight, you may hold on until it gets cooler. It will produce then. Also it is time to start sowing tomatoes seeds indoor or in shade. Good luck!
22 Jun 20, Razan (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
How much daily watering is necessary for growing tomatoes inside greenhouse in black plastic bags?
24 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Little seedlings/plants need a light watering each day - if hot twice a day. Bigger plants need a good watering each 2-3 days. For pots - you need to check the top 10-20mm of soil to see if it is wet or dry. If dry then water. The size of the plant and pot will decide how often you water. You want your soil moist not wet wet. It is a bit of trial and error until you work it out.
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How much daily watering is necessary for growing tomatoes inside greenhouse in black plastic bags?

- Razan

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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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