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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

29 Jan 16, Robyn (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Should I pick the flowers off my tomato plants while the plants are still small?
10 Jan 16, Jenny (Australia - temperate climate)
I am growing my first tomato Beefsteak or something like that can anyone tell me why do the leaves fold in or curl inwards ?? Is this because of too much water ??
20 Jan 16, Natalie (Australia - temperate climate)
when i have an issue with tomato plant leaves I bag the leaf and take to the a garden centre, they tell me whats happening. i then go home and look on internet for a natural DIY(DO IT YOURSELF) solution. it works a treat.
12 Jan 16, AnnonRabbit (Australia - temperate climate)
I also have this problem and was also wondering the same thing!
06 Jan 16, Prometheus (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Peter, The conventional wisdom is that yellow tomatoes are lower in acid, or even almost acid free in some cases. So I would probably stick with the best yellow varieties you could find. There is a yellow variety of Roma tomato available that is apparently quite good, though I personally have never grown them. Lemon currant and Jubilee yellow are worth trying. There is also an excellent seed provider on ebay who I have used before for rare chilli seeds - Rahi seed bank. He only packets them in small quantities but if you contact him he may be able to arrange more bulk offerings. I mention him because I just saw that he is selling on ebay a variety called 'Italian Ice' which claims to be 'acid free.' Hope that helps, and wishing you all the best.
02 Jan 16, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Yes, break off the piece of tomato in join of leaf and stem, and put in a glass of water. This will grow roots, plant in a pot or garden.Keep moist. In Winter if you need warmth protect with plastic over top but not completely covered. Certain tomatoes do better in winter so check varieties that grow in cooler climates. Cherry tomatoes do well all year in sub tropical. Always have new ones growing, and feed well. Planting fish heads and bits under tomatoes, well down, does wonders. Good luck.
01 Jan 16, Kim Evans (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Can you grow tomatoes all year round if so could you please tell me how
01 Jan 16, Derek Bennett (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
We are in S. Mozambique and would like to plant tomatoes yrear round. Please, advise best varities for this purpose, and, plants should be eelworm resistant.
02 Jan 16, RayS (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
My son lives in a similar climate. He grows currant tomatoes (Solanum pimpinellifolium) as these seem to be the only ones that produce most of the year. He sows often enough that he has plants developing all year. He doesn't get much in the height of the summer (wet season). Hope this helps.
31 Dec 15, Del Ramos (USA - Zone 13a climate)
Will Bush Beefsteak Tomato grow in my zone? Any growing recomendations?
Showing 1 - 10 of 391 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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