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Growing Tomato

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

(Best months for growing Tomato in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

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

  • 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
  • a)  Seedlings
    a) Seedlings
  • b) 6 weeks old
    b) 6 weeks old
  • c) Tomato Roma (acid free)
    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 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.


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.


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

17 Mar 18, jaheda (Australia - temperate climate)
my aunt rubys german green tomato has been producing a lot of fruit. one of the branches had a slight tear because of too many tomatoes. what should i do?
18 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Put a stake in near the hand of tomatoes and tie it to the stake to support it.
08 Mar 18, Martin (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Australia, a tomato plant poped out of the ground I live in Albion Park N S W The plant is loaded so I need to fertalze and what with. Plant age 2 months Thank you martin
09 Mar 18, Hamsa (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
We get chicken manure from a farm and we soak about 1 cup of manure to 1 litre water in proportion for a couple of days and use the liquid to water the tomato plants. You can keep adding more water to the manure. We did this on a regular basis, weekly and had a bumper crop
09 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Most of its early growth has happened so it doesn't require a lot of fertiliser. If you give it a lot of Nitrogen it will produce a lot of leaf and growth. It is requiring Potassium now for fruit production. So buy a fertiliser that isn't too high in N. What kind of tomato is it.
08 Mar 18, Dan (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have about 8-10 cherry tomato plants this year and they have grown tall. Have even special color tomato. We live in cold part of Australia (Melbourne) so frost will always be there. What will happen during the winter (ie they are going to die and I have to buy another tomato plants)? Is there anyway I can help them to survive and replant them next year ?(by bring them indoor). Is there any technique to move tomato plant from outdoor to indoor? (They are very tall, and not sure I can accomodate the size) Thanks in advance
09 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What you do is keep some of the tomatoes when they are really ripe - seeds from the different colored tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and mash them up - take the flesh out and just have the seeds left. Put the seeds in a container and put some water in it to cover them. They will ferment - have a white fungi scum on the top. After about 5-6 days wash the white stuff off and then place the seeds on some paper towel to dry for a week. Place the seeds in a sealable bag and put in a jar with a lid and tighten it - then put in the fridge until next spring. Tomatoes are easy to germinate and grow. Tomatoes are usually a 6-8 mth crop and then removed. Won't really grow inside - need sunlight.
15 Feb 18, francie hancock (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what tomato do people recommend for cooler climate please
24 Feb 18, Wendy (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
We grow short season tomatoes successfully, like Early Girl.
21 Feb 18, Gaurav (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Francie, I am not sure of the variety though I've seen something in Bunnings couple of months ago and that was specific to tomatoes. May be worth going/asking there? Not sure if this is of any help though. Good luck! Regards, Gaurav
Showing 1 - 10 of 540 comments

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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. GardenGrow 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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