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

15 Oct 11, jeffrey (USA - Zone 5a climate)
found a great calendar all about tomato it is from the butte county Master Gardener program they have a great calendar out all about tomato i picked one up last week at an event you should check it out
29 Oct 13, Lorraine (USA - Zone 11a climate)
I live in Miami and my tomato plant (from seed) is about 2-3 feet high now but thin stem, very wiry, all over the place. I have wooden stakes in now, but how long after they reach this height will they have a tomato on it? I planted approx. 10 weeks ago.
01 Mar 14, GJX (USA - Zone 6a climate)
Tomatoes usually take 90 days to harvest. Tip: you need good fertilizer and do not water every day; yes it promotes growth, but once the plant is planted and well watered, then you should water only once a week. Of course this depends on your environment. Watering less will trigger the plant to produce more flowers. Plant 2" deeper than normal Use: 1 cup of gypsum in the hole 1 cup of calcium in the hole Your Tomato plant will be happy.
20 Mar 17, Bill (USA - Zone 10b climate)
In Miami, you'll want to plant your tomatoes in the cooler months.....the typical summer months that you'd think to plant tomatoes are too hot here in Florida....the night time temp needs to get below 80 degrees otherwise they will flower and then the flowers will fall off and not produce any fruit. So our cooler months, although still warm are the best months for tomatoes as well as some other veggies.....like peppers.
23 Mar 15, Edie (USA - Zone 7b climate)
What is the best tomato plant and also bush tomato plant for my Zone 7b?
16 Feb 16, Carrie B. (USA - Zone 7b climate)
There is a seed supplier specializing in heirloom in our zone. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Even if you don't buy seed the website and catalog are great resources.
27 Jun 15, Econ (USA - Zone 7b climate)
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!
31 Dec 15, Del Ramos (USA - Zone 13a climate)
Will Bush Beefsteak Tomato grow in my zone? Any growing recomendations?
01 May 17, Jack Zampella (USA - Zone 6b climate)
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
02 May 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If you have been adding 2" of compost every year for a number of years I would think your soil is quite fertile. You could, as you suggest, take some off. I would not add any this year, instead I would give the garden bed a dressing of garden or agricultural lime. The continual adding of compost to the soil is great for building up the soil but if there is a lot of organic matter still breaking down you would be safe to leave it for a season. The addition of lime will reduce the acidity and allow the release of a lot of nutrients currently there. Organic matter over time, while enriching the soil, will increase the acidity (lower the pH) and make nutrients less available. Lime reverses this. All the best.
Showing 1 - 10 of 11 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

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.