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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

15 Oct 16, Di (Australia - temperate climate)
I always choose small, sweet Salerno cherry tomatoes at the shops and would like to grow that variety at home but have been unable to find it anywhere. Do you know if they are available in South Australia? Cheers, Di
21 Oct 16, Margaret (Australia - temperate climate)
Di, you can save some seed from one or two of the better tomatoes that you buy and grow from them?
25 Sep 16, Karl (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Best varieties for Mozambique will be HTX 14, HTX 14 Turbo and a Brazilian variety Kilele available from Agrifocus Moz. (All determinate). Kilele gave me incredible results of 150 t/ha. They are processing type and need some staking. Moz market wants processing tomato and not round type. Disease control is your main problem due to very high humidity levels. Hope this helps?
17 Sep 16, Robert (Australia - tropical climate)
How do you control green stink bugs?
19 Oct 16, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, The best way is to squash them by hand in the evenings (or use gloves if you're squeamish), they are easier to catch later in the day. You end up decimating the population and at the same time you inspect the plant (when you are looking for the bugs). It takes 3 or 4 nights, then they are gone.
17 Sep 16, Bob Billingham (Australia - tropical climate)
I live in Cairns Nth Qld, which are the best varieties of tomato to grow in my area? Can I grow tomatoes all year if which varieties. Cheers Bob
24 Sep 16, Bob Dobbs (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is best you ask your local nursery for the best variety for your area. Yes, you can grow tomatoes all year round in Cairns, provided you keep the plants protected during the rainy weather. You could make up a small 'igloo' with UV resistant plastic and grow the tomatoes in these in the rainy season. Do not close off the ends of the igloo as the plants require plenty of fresh air around them. All the best. Bob.
07 Sep 16, Trish J (Australia - temperate climate)
The first crop of tomatoes I ever grew were sprawling over the Rosemary bushes (lots of them) and were amazingly abundant. Last year I read the notes above so planted them well away from the Rosemary - they received heaps of TLC - i.e. straw on the ground, good moisture and according to instructions - two separate locations, one lot in straw bale the other in garden bed... just didn't do a well, were not abundant and were very hit and miss. Back to the Rosemary this year and I haven't decided where else yet.
05 Sep 16, Hazrat (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi. I'm looking for indeterminate tomatoes. Thanks.i stay in kwa dukuza.
01 Sep 16, Terry Salisbury (Australia - temperate climate)
Live in Queensland Caloundra Having trouble with Tomatoes (Moneymaker) and Climbing Beans (Scarlet Runner) Both seem to start and then when they are about 12 inches high they just die Would it be the heat Should I shade them Any answers would be welcomed
Showing 1 - 10 of 420 comments

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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