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 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, 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

04 Jul 23, Mary Terrill (USA - Zone 9b climate)
What do I need to make a home made good potting soil for grow bags, to grow vegetables?
11 Sep 23, Sid (USA - Zone 10b climate)
A simple potting soil can be made with peat or Coco coir, perlite and any compost in a 1:1:1 ratio. You can use steer manure from lowes or home depot since it is pretty cheap or if your city has a composting program use that for free compost. It's a good idea to add 1-2 cups of fertilizer per cubic foot of soil you prepare with the above recipe. If you want to keep it simple, but a 10-10-10 balanced fertilized and add 2 cups per cubic foot. If you want a more detailed and balanced soil recipe I recommend checking out Buildasoil for info https://buildasoil.com/blogs/news/17627464-build-a-soil-from-scratch-in-2-simple-steps%20
02 Jan 23, Irma (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I always gets my seeds From Burpeeā€™s online. They have always yielded great amount of tomatoes.
14 Dec 22, DENNIS (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I'm looking for a large juicy tomato to just plain eat whole. Looking for a good producer. Can't seem to find a recommendation for my area!
18 Dec 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google big tomato varieties. Most crops will grow from cold weather to hot weather, just have to plant at the right time of year for your area.
31 May 22, Iris Sullivan (USA - Zone 11b climate)
where to buy tomato seeds for tomato plants that can withstand 11b climate.
19 Jun 22, susan pawley (USA - Zone 10b climate)
its really hot and humid in south east florida. too far inland for any sea breezes too. I had great luck with a variety bred by UofF for growing here called Floridade. Another one also bred for south fl climate is Talladega and Amelia. I havent grown them for a few years I think I got the seeds on line at rareseeds.com but not sure. Only getting back into gardening last winter as Ive been on hiatus due to illness.
29 Apr 22, (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Any tips for growing tomatoes during the summer in zone 10b USA?
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 73 comments

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)

- colleen

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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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