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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 = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 in same bed): Asparagus, Chervil,Carrot, Celery, Chives, Parsley, Marigold, Basil
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

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!
23 Mar 15, Edie (USA - Zone 7b climate)
What is the best tomato plant and also bush tomato plant for my Zone 7b?
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.
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

Post a question, comment or tip about Tomato

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

- jeffrey

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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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