Growing Tomato

Lycopersicon esculentum : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

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

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

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

Your comments and tips

09 May 22, LouElla Chevalier (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Use shade covers. I set 4x4's . 8' high. 40% white shade cloth. Prune bottom leaves to insure plenty of air flow. You can get a higher shade cloth, for your zone, I would get a 50% white shade cloth. I only use mine for late May, June, July and August. I take them down when I see the temps go below 95 deg. I also mulch to retain water. I do not water the leaves, only at soild level and in early mornings. During the hottest months, I water daily.
05 Apr 22, chris (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I am in Zone 8b and was expecting seedlings from a relative so i didn't start any myself. Now, that plan fell through. It's April 5 and I am buying seeds today. Should I start indoors or directly in the soil today? I would just buy new seedlings but I am going all organic again and organic seedlings are too expensive! thanks
10 Apr 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
You can look up the germination (seed hatching) temperature for various vegetables online. Compare this temperature to your soil temperature (even your air temperature to get an idea) -- the germination temperature needs to be met and sustained for the seeds to germinate (in addition to water, soil and presence of light for some shallow planted seeds). Most likely you will still benefit from starting indoors -- it all depends on temperatures AND which veggies you are planting - some veggies seeds have fairly low germination temps - beans, chard, mustard etc. Other veggies have very high germination temps: tomatoes, peppers etc. Remember that the germination temp needs to not only be met, it needs to be sustained. Since you can control your inside temperature - I would start my seeds indoors -- and potentially add a heating pad under the seedling tray. If you plant outdoors you can use a tarp to help warm the soil; I prefer clear elevated about 6" above the ground (like a green house) to help warm the soil when the sun hits it
08 Apr 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Check the planting guide here for the zone you live in
15 Mar 22, Sue Di Giacomo (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Does it help to run a misting system during the heat of Florida summertime or would that do more harm than good; ie risk burning the leaves or inviting diseases etc.
17 Mar 22, Kylee (USA - Zone 5b climate)
my understanding is that keeping the leaves wet may make the plant more susceptible to disease and fungal issues, so its probably best to only water the base of the plant. Just make sure to give your tomatoes some shade throughout the day and i think they'll be alright
01 Mar 22, Gary Hall (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Did anyone else have problems with tomatoes this year I had to convert back to my tiny Toms ( skin too tough for those pesky pests next year I going back to Nicotine spray that'll knock them around a bit) .
07 Aug 22, Tom (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My summer toms had a lot of rust but I kept cutting out the infected foliage and the rest of the plant produced just fine. The vines didn't look great but I had bumper crops of large, delicious tomatoes. Also a long season the seed came up in early spring and they produced for 6 months.
10 Mar 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have a problem with wilt at the moment - never had it before. Very annoying.
04 Mar 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I don't have much problems with cherry tomatoes - other varieties the pest generally get to them and yellow leaf curl virus. I'm going to try double layer of bird netting I bought cheap.
Showing 11 - 20 of 763 comments

Check the planting guide here for the zone you live in

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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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