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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 Apr 15, Trish - (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have never grown Roma acid tomatoes before. At first I watched the plants growing in leaps and bounds day by day - then they seemed to come to a standstill. I am in Cairns. But this morning went out to look them over and noticed that one plant has 3 tomatoes on it but the plant itself does not look happy. Trish
20 Apr 15, Jane (Australia - temperate climate)
We had a great crop of mixed tomatoes this year but could you please tell me why the skins on the tomatoes are tough. Many thanks
08 May 15, Tom (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
that depends on the variety you are growing and where you live. In Canberra the nights are COLD and I notice some of them have very tough skin. Now I grow one with no name, Grossie Lissie, s. Marzano and Jersey Devil, they all good.
21 Apr 15, TOM TOM TOMATO (Australia - temperate climate)
they would be hybrids which are bred for a tough skin for transport so they don't bruise.
13 Apr 15, Mars (Australia - temperate climate)
can I grow burnley bounty tomato in my area
10 Apr 15, Helen (Australia - temperate climate)
My Roma tomato bush is laden with fruit but don't seem to be turning red as this is my first time growing these how long does it take for them to turn red please.thanks for your time
12 Apr 15, ALFONZO (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
how long is a piece of string ?
12 Apr 15, Rob (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
About 7 weeks from when the fruit first appear, varies depending on soil and climate but that's the average.
21 Apr 15, Alan c (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi .Roma normally put out a lot of laterals. If they are all left on the vine not much will ripen quickly as the plant makes more trusses. To ripen I pinch most if not all of the new laterals off , the plant put energy into ripening the green tomatoes . A week or so later new laterals appear with more flowers etc. I do this with all indeterminate plants to make them ripen when I want them to .
08 Apr 15, naymi (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Sydney and currently have a thriving tomato plant still producing tomatoes. With the temperatures dropping, I want to know what to do with the plant. Do I just let it slowly die? Will it actually die in winter temps in Sydney? (not sure if we get actual 'frost') Thanks :)
Showing 1 - 10 of 355 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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