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
  • Tomatoes on plant
  • 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 like lots of food! 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 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

07 Jun 24, Nick Thegardner (USA - Zone 10b climate)
We have planted two different tomato transplants in our raised bed. Bed is about 18" deep. Have good soil, topped with compost, then covered with straw. How often should we be watering this time of year? Current daily temps are around 70-75.
10 Jun 24, (USA - Zone 9b climate)
If it is hot a good watering 3 times a week - not so hot 2 times a week. Small plants need small waterings more often. The finger test is a good indicator also.
09 Jun 24, dan (USA - Zone 10a climate)
nick, I've read just to stick your finger in about 2 in. and if it's dry, then water. There's also fertilizing to consider. Homestead and Chill is a great website that has articles on Tomato's (deep watering/ shade cloth) and alot more. dan
05 Jun 24, Melissa (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I started my seeds back in January and transplanted them out mid-march like the diagram said. However, it does show you can plant them in April, but I would be careful because just as they are starting to take off the heat and humidity will be setting in. Depending on the variety most plants will not produce fruit when temperatures are consistently about 90 degrees. Which we are almost there in our zone. Adding shade over them can help! Otherwise, I use the tapping method to aid with pollination :).
08 May 24, Carla Stacy (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I’m growing tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket. I have flowers but no fruit. Planted April 19th. Last year same thing lots of flowers but no fruit. What am I doing wrong?
30 May 24, Ali T (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Do you see any pollinators? Try using a tiny paint brush to mix pollen on each flower.
27 May 24, Victor (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Just lightly tap the flowers in order to pollinate them and they will form tomatoes.
19 May 24, s ott (USA - Zone 3b climate)
Try watering with a mixture of epsom salt (1 Tbsp per gal of water). Also, if you,ve seen the banana peel water combination I swear by these two methods. I have the biggest plants and the tomatoes are just loaded on every single plant. It works great for peppers too!
12 May 24, Texas Grown (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Maybe you don't have enough pollenators. Have flowers around. Make sure you're not spraying something that kills or repels pollinators.
11 May 24, (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Try a bit of pot ash or potassium.
Showing 1 - 10 of 92 comments

It says plant spring/summer, give them time to grow.

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