Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Tomato

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              S S T T T

(Best months for growing 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 beside): Asparagus, Chervil,Carrot, Celery, Chives, Parsley, Marigold, Basil
  • Avoid growing close to: 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

17 Aug 17, John C (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi folks, Looking for a seedless, or near seedless, tomato please. (My partner cannot physically handle the seeds but loves tomatoes.) Lots of people tell me they do exist (near seedless at least) but nobody I know has any clues on where to find them. I've looked in lots of catalogues but no luck. Any tips/leads would be greatly appreciated.
19 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Amish paste is another fleshy type of tomato.
18 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Seems to be a few of these in the USA. Probably in aussie you would look for tomatoes for paste - like Roma, Super Roma and San Marzano. Best if you GOOGLED and have a look around for ones with more flesh than seeds.
12 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the notes for tomatoes. Plant seeds now and keep in a warm place. After the frosts have finished plant out in the garden.
11 Aug 17, Joanne (Australia - arid climate)
Hi, can i sow seeds in my greenhouse or is it still to cold, or can i start tomatoes that are allready baby stage. Jo
17 Jul 17, brian jones (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Should i remove yellow flowers from immature plants just planted?
20 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What variety of tomato have you planted. No, they will flower as they grow. If it is a bushy type of tomato most of the fruit will ripen at the same time. If it is an indeterminate type of tomato it will keep growing - as it grows it will keep flowering and when you come to harvest them, the harvest will be spread over weeks months. If it is not a bushy type (determinate) it can grow to several meters high.
03 Jul 17, Len (Australia - temperate climate)
How early can I grow tomato seed under a cold frame in Victoria? We don't get frosts, but I was hoping to start sow seeds late July then repot under cover a couple of times before planting out in the garden in October. I know traditionally you wouldn't plant out tomatoes until Melbourne Cup day. I've yet to grow any tomatoes in my garden as this is a new project. Any feedback would be beneficial
07 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The guide says start seedlings in Aug Sept. Planting seeds and growing them for 1-2 mths isn't as easy as it sounds, especially if growing undercover. They can become spindly if trying to find light. I'd suggest you wait until August and after they have developed a few leaves give them some sunlight each day to toughen them up.
07 Jul 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I'd probably wait until September to sow seed in a cold frame to reduce the chance of having 'leggy' plants.
Showing 1 - 10 of 430 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Tomato

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.