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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

08 Aug 15, anna (Australia - temperate climate)
I brought some tomatoes inside last year and my grandson picked some that were not as red as the rest. I left the not so red ones on the kitchen bench and they became redder over a period of days. I love homegrown tomatoes - they are a joy to cook with - they seem to go redder and are tastier than shop bought tomates
08 Aug 15, Lola (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
my winter tomatoes are starting to ripen, but they are rotting at the top of the fruit, any solutions?
24 Jul 15, brent (Australia - temperate climate)
Looking at growing roma tomatoes this year and looking at doing multiple crops. How long after should i plant the 2nd crop of roma tomatoes to replace them once they have finished? So as soon as they die i can pull them out and put in new transplants.
28 Jun 15, Tassy Michele (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hiya Michael, I believe yellow tomato varieties are low in acid, also find that they are sweeter (probably due to a lack of acid) and very tasty. Have grown them and made Tomato Relish for an arthritic friend -- loved, loved, loved the relish (hadn't eaten home-made relish for years due to acid There are other fruits & vegetables that are yellow fleshed/low acid. Had an uncle grow Yellow Raspberries & yes, they taste the same as red ones. Have purchased yellow tomato plants at our local Bunnings -- don't forget to keep some seeds to grown your own plants from. Hope this helps. Good Luck!!!!
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!
21 Jun 15, Brian (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Don't know about the wrong time. I am just planting mine now, for Winter, and every year have an abundant crop. Summer, too many bugs. Mine last year were weli over 10ft high. Had to use a ladder to get the top ones Another tip, do NOT water the whole plant just the base. They don't like it. If no bees, use a feather to cross pollinate yourself. We had to do that on Manus Island as no bees there. Worked a treat.
07 Jun 15, kierian (Australia - temperate climate)
I'm trying to grow oxheart tomatoes and its been 12 weeks since they have been planted. I've steaked them and they are growing lushly and beautifully, flowering a lot too. I've even been keeping lower branches and suckers snipped but alas no fruit yet. I feed them every week with power grow for vegie gardens also. What else can i do to get these plants to bear fruit?
22 Jun 15, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Too cool for tomatoes, they need about 25 degrees or more consistent day temps to set fruit. Bees not required; they will grow in closed green houses!
09 Jun 15, dieter (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Kierian, it could be that there are not enough bees around to pollinate them, but it could also be just the time of the year, or the plants are still too young. Do they have flowers on them?
12 Jun 15, kierian (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi thanks so much for your help. Yeah they have flowers and are growing strong. Just not producing anything. I keep them well fed and watered also. Sorry just an amateur gardener. Thanks for any help
Showing 1 - 10 of 366 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Tomato

i amm growing gross lisse variety of tomatoes they are pretty huge on the vines but none of them are ripening as of yet ..what should i do theplants are a fairly average size with los of leaves and flowers and unripe fruits..

- stella

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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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