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 = Sow seed

  • 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 beside): Asparagus, Chervil,Carrot, Celery, Chives, Parsley, Marigold, Basil
  • Avoid growing close to: Rosemary, Potatoes, Fennel, Cucumber
  • a)  Seedlings
  • b) 6 weeks old
  • c) Tomato Roma (acid free)

TOMATOES


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.

Determinate:

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.

Indeterminate:

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

06 Sep 20, Lou (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Is the July and August direct sun to much for tomato plants? My plants get to about 12 inches high then the leaves begin to shrivel up. Thanks, Lou
09 Sep 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Tomatoes need to be planted deep and then watered deep. A really good watering 3-4 times a week. If your climate is really hot and or dry then maybe plant a bit earlier to avoid the hottest part of summer.
30 Aug 20, Pam hohenstreet (USA - Zone 6a climate)
What is the biggest tomato best grown here? What is the meatiest large canning tomato?
31 Aug 20, Liz (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Google or use DuckDuckGo and search for 'large meaty tomato varieties' .
18 Aug 20, Jane (USA - Zone 9a climate)
What are the best tomatoes to grow in 9a to slice in salads and sandwiches?
19 Aug 20, (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Look at the different tomatoes on a seed selling website that might suit your climate. Most varieties would grow in your area probably. The more important thing is plant them the right time of year.
17 Aug 20, Jerry nordin (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Planted indeterminate in April hard freeze late in may covered plants at night until night temps reached 60f. Planted in elevated box planters. Is this enough soil for the roots plants never really produced. Im looking at the last tomato of the year 8-17-20.
19 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Tomatoes need good rich deep soil. Dig your soil about 40cm deep x about 60cm across. Put some fertiliser in the bottom of the hole and mix with some soil. Keep doing this until the hole is only 10cm deep. Put some Epsom salts in the hole also. When the plant has grown 60-80cm high fill the soil in around the plant and even hill it up a bit. Put some compost/mulch around the plant. Tomatoes need a good deep watering 2-3 times a week.
10 Aug 20, Gina (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I grow everything in pots due to lack of any place to have a full garden. After the tomato plant is done for the season, what can I grow in the container that will enhance the soil for the next year's tomato plantings? In years past, if I reuse the same soil the plants do not do very well year after year. It is not easy to dump the old soil and start fresh - again, no real space to do so. I had two San Marzano plants that did very well plus one small patio tomatoe Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you!
12 Aug 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I suggest growing a legume you like--or a succession of them. You could start with beans and then peas when the days get very short. If you like fava beans, those are very useful--you can eat the tender shoots and leaves, and they make big beautiful plants with pretty flowers that look so cheerful in the coolest months (but they take a LONG time to make beans!). When the beans/peas are done, leave their roots behind in the soil. They'll add a little nitrogen, though not as much if you let them grow to maturity. You will still need to replenish other nutrients with compost or a good tomato-specific fertilizer in the spring. One thing to consider is that tomatoes catch a lot of diseases that accumulate in the soil year after year, so that might be why you have trouble when reusing the soil. You could try solarizing any infected soil by covering it with clear plastic in full sun for a few hot months (March through June minimum), but that's tough when garden space is precious!
Showing 1 - 10 of 32 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice 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

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate 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.