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Growing Tomato

(Lycopersicon esculentum)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    S P P P            

(Best months for planting Tomato in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.

  • 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
  • b) 6 weeks old
  • 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

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27 Jan 15, Alan Patterson (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you any tomatoes at this time of the year
09 Jan 15, Blake (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Got catapillers try Beat a bug natural pesticide and prior to planting tomatoe i mix in a solid amout of cow manure and this seems to work where i am keeping the plant healthy and producing tomatoes
07 Jan 15, Khing (Australia - tropical climate)
tomato leaves with purplish veins. What could be the causes?
10 Jan 15, Yuri Dreason (Australia - temperate climate)
I dare say it is either psyllids feeding on your plants or a deficiency in phosphorus.
16 Dec 14, Kevin Spencer (Australia - temperate climate)
Try Dipel, it is an environmentally friendly product which is dynamite with caterpillars.
13 Dec 14, kevin spencer (Australia - temperate climate)
My tomatoes (mortgage lifter) are growing and flowering but not setting fruit. Are they dependent on bees? If so can I manually pollinate?
09 Jan 15, Nathalie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi. I have read that before the flowers open, you gently tap the flowers branch so that they gently vibrate and that apparently pollinates them.
29 Nov 14, Michael J Garrett (Australia - tropical climate)
As I suffer from Gout.I am looking for a non or low acidic tomato plant,which will grow in Cairns Qld Humid Clmate. Regards Mike
31 Dec 14, (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Michael :) I lovvvvveee non acidic tomatoes and as far as I am aware, Roma tommies are the only ones with no acid :) Good luck !!
20 Nov 14, Shaun (Australia - temperate climate)
Try scattering a handful of lime around the base of your plants and water it in and also as Derbyiter mentioned, some ash from burnt, untreated wood. Has done wonders for my tomatoes. Comfrey tea will set them free.
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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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