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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

30 Nov 16, Tia (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We have a plague of small flying insects attacking tomato and tomato plants, capsicum etc. They pierce fruit multiple times all over, stunting maturity of produce. I've not seen them before. Of a night they cluster on my white picket fence, they are attracted to white. What are they? How do I control them naturally?
30 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If they are piercing the fruit they are sucking pests (bugs) so natural sprays such as Yates 'Natures Way' won't help. This spray works for chewing pests. If they like white and are clustering on the picket fence at night try 'greasing' the fence with petroleum jelly (vaseline). if they are not too large they will stick to it. You could also fix some white plastic, ice cream containers or lids to a stake and grease that instead. Trust this helps.
20 Nov 16, Wayne (Australia - temperate climate)
I have two different varieties of tomato growing and both are very bitter. What could be causing this? I have grown several crops over the years & this is the first time this has happened
18 Nov 16, Ross (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, i have some tomato plants which are doing really well, but the white moths and small insects are attacking them, can you tell me how to stop these pests please
18 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Ross, The white moths will most likely be White Fly which rise in a cloud when disturbed and lnd again fairly soon. A piece of bright yellow plastic or card smeared with petroleum jelly will sort them out. They are attracted to the bright colour and will stick to the greasy surface. it depends on what the small insects are, what to do. If they are a very small fly that can fly forwards, backwards and sideways they will be hover flies. They are beneficial and will be feeding on the white fly or aphids so don't try and get rid of them! If the insects or grubs are chewing the leaves or fruit you could use Yates 'Natures Way'. This is a bacterial spray and is harmless to anything but chewing pests. It is organically approved and is 'safe'. Trust this helps
26 Oct 16, Felicity (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Would love your Tips for growing tomatoes in the cooler climate of the Strathbogie ranges in Victoria. Approx 300 m above sea level We are wondering if we need plastic "igloos" to protect ? And any varieties that would be better suited to this climate Thanks !
18 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
You could try starting off seeds inside in the base of an egg carton in September. That will give you a head start. The soil temperature needs to be 15-17 degrees for them to thrive, usually end of October or early November. Alternatively plant seed of short season varieties like Stupice (60 days). Most varieties that originated in the northern states of America, Canada or Europe will be suitable for a short growing season. Planting them in a sheltered position on a North, North-East or East situation will also help.
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?
24 Oct 16, Dee (Australia - arid climate)
Hi Di. If you try and grow tomatoes from the fruit, just squeeze the whole tomato into the soil and cover. I believe that tomatoes have an enzyme around the seed that stops it from sprouting and growing the whole tomatoe it will rot under the soil and sprout.
Showing 1 - 10 of 429 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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