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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

12 Feb 17, Joe (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted a crop 6 plants of Roma in virgin beds this year and did quite well, how ever in years gone by have had poor results in beds previously cropped with tomatoes, why is this so?
13 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
The tomatoes would have done well because of your 'virgin' beds. Vegetables have varying nutrient requirements, with leaf crops able to take lots of nitrogen from recently manured soil. If you follow a leaf crop with a fruit crop, such as tomatoes, beans or pumpkins (or plants from within that family), then complete the cycle with a root crop such as carrots you will end up with a fairly good balance. After the root crop add more manure or compost and start the cycle again. The only extra thing I will say is - don't plant tomatoes, capsicums, potatoes or egg plant in the same spot next year as this will encourage soil borne diseases that they are susceptible to. Trust this helps.
13 Jan 17, Penny (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it too late to plant a Roma tomato plant now? Ta
16 Jan 17, John Mauger (Australia - temperate climate)
Roma tomatoes need about two and a half months from planting to harvest, so if you planted some now you would have them ready by late March. You should scrape in before any frosts. If they are still bearing and frosts are imminent pull the whole plant out (including the roots) and hang it up by in a sheltered place where the remaining tomatoes will continue to ripen. The worst case scenario would be to make green tomato pickles at the end of the season. Trust this helps.
11 Jan 17, Sandra (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I got about 5 varieties of tomatoes growing and they are all doing great and tasting fantastic! And totally organic as only problem is that I am sharing my delicious fruit with these big fat green caterpillars I end up throwing a lot away.......would you have an idea what I could do to get rid of them? A non-chemical solution if possible.... Thank you :)
16 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't like to recommend particular brands but Yates Natures Way is an organically safe control for your caterpillars. It is harmless to pets, chooks, humans, etc. only affecting chewing pests. The caterpillar could subsequently be eaten by a bird with zero side effects. Trust this helps.
10 Jan 17, Winnie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
It's probably too hot at the moment that's why the leaves looks crimped and blossoms is not opening. Try to give your tomato plant some shade and water them twice a day. Once the temperature cools down a bit, you should see an improvement. My tomato plant is doing ok so far with the daytime temperature up to 34C but they are growing very slowly due to the heat.
08 Jan 17, marcus peter rogers (Australia - temperate climate)
why have my tomato leaves crimpling up ? I cannot find any diseases .Thanks.
16 Jan 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
There are many viruses that can affect tomatoes. 'Wilt' viruses can be identified by cutting one of the main stems on a long diagonal cut. If there are brown lines in the 'veins' it is an indicator of wilt virus. The other important consideration in tomato growing (including potatoes, capsicums, egg plant,) is not to plant them in in the same location for 3 years to reduce the risk of soil born diseases. Trust this helps.
09 Jan 17, Joanne2167 (Australia - temperate climate)
Yes, mine are crimping too. They are also not producing much fruit and not very bushy at all. I am not very good at this and don't know what the problem is but these are the worst I have had.
Showing 1 - 10 of 447 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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