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, Cucumber
  • 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 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

22 Jun 20, Razan (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
How much daily watering is necessary for growing tomatoes inside greenhouse in black plastic bags?
24 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Little seedlings/plants need a light watering each day - if hot twice a day. Bigger plants need a good watering each 2-3 days. For pots - you need to check the top 10-20mm of soil to see if it is wet or dry. If dry then water. The size of the plant and pot will decide how often you water. You want your soil moist not wet wet. It is a bit of trial and error until you work it out.
20 Jun 20, ben (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
what fertilizer do tomatoes like ?
22 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try googling what NPK fertiliser tomatoes like.
02 May 20, Mike Begley (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I live in the Coastal Overberg Region and planted my tomato seedlings in containers during March. They seem to be doing well at 50cm. Have I planted too late to enjoy more than one harvest?
05 May 20, Anon (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Plant seeds Aug and transplant from Sept to Nov. If you planted indeterminate kinds of tomatoes they will crop over several months.
10 Apr 20, Kerry (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Greetings! I'm hoping to start a small organic vegetable garden. Would now be ok to plant tomatoes, lettuce, onion, green pepper etc. I have a partially covered courtyard so I have the option to plant in containers too. Our winters here are not too bad, lovely days, cool/nippy evenings. Please advise. Regards, Kerry.
14 Apr 20, Anon (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
This website is for people to look up when to plant different vegetables etc. Work out your climate zone and check each vegetable when to plant.
09 Apr 20, Amana abda seyid (Australia - temperate climate)
I am from ethiopia i went to ask some thing about tomato. My seedling is falldown and gridling of stem at the base in the green house .how can manage these diseases.
14 Apr 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
Had to say what your problem is, too much water, too little water, too hot. Maybe start again.
Showing 1 - 10 of 669 comments

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

- Gaurav

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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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