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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
  • a)  Seedlings
    a) Seedlings
  • b) 6 weeks old
    b) 6 weeks old
  • c) Tomato Roma (acid free)
    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

14 Oct 17, Hayley (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello, is it too late to sow tomatoe seeds now (mid October)?
16 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could probably grow tomatoes all year round. Maybe better to plant some good strong seedlings - like about 6-9" tall. Next year plant a bit earlier. I transplanted some small seedlings out 2 days ago. If your soil is nice and fertile mulch around the plants and keep the water up to them.
04 Oct 17, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello.Green shield beetles are attacking my tomatoes and sucking the goodness out if them.I have to throw them away. How can I stop this? Thankyou.
05 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look up the internet. Maybe a garlic and chilli mix.
27 Sep 17, Daisy Brown (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi guys, do we need to do plant successive crop for tomato?
28 Sep 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Bush varieties (determinates - like Roma) of tomatoes will produce a crop all at the same time basically. Where as indeterminates (cherry) will produce over several weeks/months. Yes you need to plant successive crops if you want to be picking all year.
18 Sep 17, Irene kerford (Australia - temperate climate)
Beef steak does not have hardly any seed in them
07 Sep 17, John Simon-Codina (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
when is the best time to plant tomatoes in the Kilmore area Victoria Australia
10 Sep 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the notes here about growing tomatoes in Cool climate.
10 Sep 17, Bru (Australia - temperate climate)
i live in Adelaide south, and sow tomato early September (i have a 6 Beefsteak and 12 Cherry in greenhouse now). I don't usually plant out seedlings till late November when they're a good 4 to 5 inches high. Having slightly colder soil where you are, i'd prob wait till early/mid December to plant seedlings.
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Beef steak does not have hardly any seed in them

- Irene kerford

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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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