Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

Your comments and tips

03 Jul 17, Len (Australia - temperate climate)
How early can I grow tomato seed under a cold frame in Victoria? We don't get frosts, but I was hoping to start sow seeds late July then repot under cover a couple of times before planting out in the garden in October. I know traditionally you wouldn't plant out tomatoes until Melbourne Cup day. I've yet to grow any tomatoes in my garden as this is a new project. Any feedback would be beneficial
07 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The guide says start seedlings in Aug Sept. Planting seeds and growing them for 1-2 mths isn't as easy as it sounds, especially if growing undercover. They can become spindly if trying to find light. I'd suggest you wait until August and after they have developed a few leaves give them some sunlight each day to toughen them up.
07 Jul 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I'd probably wait until September to sow seed in a cold frame to reduce the chance of having 'leggy' plants.
16 Jul 17, Len (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks John and Mike. Will hold off until Mid to late August. Much appreciated.
30 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Further to my posts below. I have found this which I believe is the problem with my bunchy curly leaves on cherry tomatoes. It is called -Tomato yellow leaf curl virus. TYLCV. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Qld In March 2006, tomato leaf curl disease was found in cherry tomato crops in the south and west periphery of Brisbane. The disease has been found in many crops, with infection levels ranging from 5 to 100 per cent of plants. Losses in severely affected crops have been very high and the disease is a major threat to tomato production. In April 2006, infected plants were also found around Bundaberg. By June 2007, the virus was present in the Lockyer Valley, Fassifern Valley, Esk, Caboolture and Redlands areas. Since 2009 it has become a serious production constraint around Bundaberg. In February 2011, it was found in backyard tomato plants in Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands. Tomato leaf curl disease is caused by viruses in the Geminivirus family of plant viruses, and is spread by whiteflies. The virus causing this disease is tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). This virus is distinct from tomato leaf curl Australia virus (TLCV), which occurs in the Northern Territory and at several locations on Cape York Peninsula. Silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Biotype B) was first recorded in Australia in 1994, it is now a widespread pest in Queensland and Western Australia and could become a major pest in most irrigated agricultural areas of Australia. Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) is also known as poinsettia or sweetpotato whitefly and in USA literature it is now referred to as Bemisia argentifolii. SLW has a wide host range (over 500 species) of crops and weeds, and is difficult to control as it has developed resistance to conventional insecticides. Biotype Q was discovered recently in Queensland. There is also an Australian native species. These three biotypes are indistinquishable in the field.
11 Jun 17, LenM (Australia - temperate climate)
Planning to grow some heirloom cherry tomatoes when the time is right. Has anyone here in Vic -Aus had any success with the Florida Weave as a support method .? Cheers
19 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
They are grown similar to that commercially in Qld. They put a post in the ground each end of the row. Then 2" square posts each 5 m or so. As the plants grow they run wires along both sides of the plants. They then crimp the two wires together at the post. Rows are about 3-4' apart. I have done something similar this year - 2 posts 8' apart with a post in the middle. Run twine each 12" and pull together and tie at the middle post. Saves tying 10 times to a stake for each plant.
15 Jun 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
I haven't done exactly that but have seen it done. The advantages of it a easy vine management, easy picking, and more airflow which will reduce fungal problems.
08 Jun 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I haven't grown tomatoes much - usually fairly cheap where I live. I have grown cherry tomatoes the last few years at the end of the growing season (Mar- Oct) and just let them spread all over the garden. Have had pretty good crops. This year I have staked them. I have planted Roma and Cherry next to each other. Done this twice. A row with 3 Cherry and 1 Roma. I know the Cherry tomatoes are Cherry because I just use them when they germinate from one that had fallen on the ground. The Roma I purchased seeds - can't be totally sure they are Roma. On a couple of the Cherry plants they start out big spread out leaves and then turn to very tight bunched leaves. You would think they are turning into Roma. IS there some deficiency in the soil to do this. And the Roma are just producing a lot of growth and little fruit. The fruit on 1 Roma is like a Cherry - very small. The weather here has turned cold for here, Night temps have fallen from low 20's to low teens in the space of 4-5 weeks. Last night was about 8. Anybody have any clues to what is happening to my tomatoes. Help!!!
11 Jun 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Try some potash on your tomatoes. This will encourage them to fruit. And cut down any other fertilizer you might be using. As Sean has said, there could be too much nitrogen.
Showing 21 - 30 of 516 comments

I am hoping that you will be able to answer this question for me. I have raised beds that I vegetable garden in. Everything I have read over the past 10 years says that 2 inches of compost should be added to the beds yearly which I have done. I fertilize with organic fertilizers. My question is I no longer have room for additional compost in the beds. Should I remove some of the "great" soil from the beds to add additional compost or wait until the compost decomposes to add more( this usually takes about 2 years) Thank you in advance for your help. Jack Zampella

- Jack Zampella

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.