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

22 Oct 20, Gerald Swanson (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Can you grow tomatoes in the winter (Zone 10a)? Are there certain varieties better suited for winter months here?
23 Oct 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I believe I used to live in zone 10a when I lived in Los Angeles (Van Nuys). I *did* manage to grow some tomatoes over winter a couple of times, though I'm not sure it was worth it.
26 Oct 20, (USA - Zone 10a climate)
It wasn't worth it because you planted out of season. By the planting guide - plant late winter early spring for a summer crop.
26 Oct 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
There was more to my reply, recommending varieties (esp Glacier) and alternative approaches, but I'm not sure what happened to it. Maybe I wrote too much info. (Gardenate : Part of the last sentence was missing in your previous reply)
02 Oct 20, Ray Golimo (USA - Zone 10a climate)
When is the best time to grow tomatoes in zone 10A?
23 Sep 20, Alex (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi there, can you please tell me what the best fertiliser to use on my tomatoes and how often, Kind regards Alex..
27 Sep 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Any general fertiliser will do. Dig a hole 40cm deep and wide. Mix 3 hand fulls of fert into the loose soil. Put 3/4 of the soil back in the hole. Plant the seedling. When plant is 50cm high cut off some of the lower leaves and then fill the hole up with the rest of the soil. Always give a good watering 3 times a week
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 696 comments

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.

- Jerry nordin

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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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