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 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
  • 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

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
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
03 Feb 22, Steven Winner (USA - Zone 9b climate)
What are the best Beef Stake Tomatoes that grow well in Zone 9b?
24 Feb 22, Cynthia M. (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I live in The IE, zone 9B, and Kelloggs Breakfast tomatoes do really well for me here. All of the warm season veggies I grow in full sun, I put up sun clothe over the top of the beds, once it starts staying in the 90's F.
11 Feb 22, Theresa (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Im in 8A and my fall tomatoes did nothing I planted only 6, different varieties , no one tomato, Too HOT. the blooms just fried and fell off. My neighbor planted under a big shade tree, and earlier, had beautiful tomatoes, hope that helps.
Showing 1 - 10 of 66 comments

Last year I planted cherry tomatoes from seedlings in January. I saved some seeds. When and how should I plant the seeds to develop seedlings for the coming year and how do I plant the seeds?

- Anthony Jennings

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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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