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Growing Tomato

(Lycopersicon esculentum)

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

(Best months for planting Tomato in Australia - temperate regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

August: Frost tender. Start undercover

  • 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 16°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm 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

15 May 14, allan nicolas (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My tomatoe bushes grow real healthy and get flowers and only some turn into fruit but then the fruit dosent grow and ripen Help please
12 Jul 14, Yuri Dreason (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
You grow wrong type for your climate. Try a good heirloom such as Reisetomate or a cherry tomato such as yellow pear.
09 May 14, Bernie Bernhardt (Australia - tropical climate)
I live in Thailand and would like to know the names of tomatoes best grown in this region. Thank you, Bernie.
27 Mar 14, (Australia - temperate climate)
when I pick my appolo tomatoes they leak juice and when I cut them open they have a brown strip through the centre
01 Mar 14, Stephen Matthews (Australia - temperate climate)
I have been told that some varieties of tomatoes can be grown successfully in winter. Has anyone done so? What varieties can be used and what special provisions...e.g. frost protection?
02 Mar 14, Paul (Australia - arid climate)
I grow tomatoes year round in wire cages with shade cloth around them to protect from too much sun in summer and frost in autumn and winter. Not found one type to be useless but the best are San Marzarno, Apollo, Roma and any of the cherries. Be careful of overwatering and fungal disease in areas other than arid zones. I make sure the cage is large enough for the plant to have good air circulation and room for the flowers to form fruit, no less than 1.5m long ring lock joined to form a circle. Chooks scratch around the outside and keep earwigs etc away.
25 Feb 14, Issam (Australia - temperate climate)
Can i plant cucumber and tomato next to each other
15 Feb 14, sad tomatoes (Australia - temperate climate)
I know its the end of tomato season but even during the peek of summer, the tomato plants produced minimal crops. My garden is above ground and packed with manure, vegie mix soil, compost and pea straw. I feed them fish emulsion regularly but still not a lot of tomatoes. They are positioned in full sun near zucchini and basil plants except one plants which is located near cucumber and capsicum plants. What did I do wrong?
04 Apr 14, Derbyiter (Australia - temperate climate)
What I have found is the plants are getting to much nitrogen in the soil mix... Therefore :- look at burning some green material( once it drys out with paper etc) or buy a bottle of POTASH, and mix into water, and give regular feeds of it. This counters the non- flowering stage, and kick starts ya fruiting cycle on your plants ! I had the same problems years ago, and a old bloke passed this trick onto me. I now use potash to self induce my passion fruit vines, with the best results ever seen and recorded for the fruiting vines around us here.... # my own dad swore by the use of potato e manure on his! but I never found it doing much for my plants! until meeting another old hand from the market days of yesteryear. Hope it helps ya..
14 Mar 14, Denise (Australia - temperate climate)
Sadly I can't offer help, but I have had the same problem. Above ground, mulched garden bed, seasol & water regularly. Plants receive lots of sun & are planted with capsicum, with lime & lemon plants nearby.
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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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