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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, 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

08 Dec 19, Julie (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
something is eating my tomatoes as soon as they get a bit if pink on them. Any advice or assistance. We have put up netting to stop the birds but still happening
17 Oct 19, lindsayshand (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what can i use to set my tomatoes to fruit
18 Oct 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
A few tips on growing tomatoes - make sure you have good rich prepared soil. Dig a hole 50cm deep and 60cm diameter. Put compost/manure into the soil or a hand full of fertiliser and mix it in. Plant the tomato in a bit of a hole and as it grows fill the hole in. Give tomatoes a good deep watering. Too much N and you will have a lot of leaves and little fruit. Too little fertiliser and you will have a small plant and a little crop. The secret is to know how much fert to put on and when. And start with a good strong seedling.
19 Sep 19, Wendy Perry (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Please what is a good all rounder tomato to grow in a Glass house in Alexandra, Central Otago? Thank you.
02 Nov 19, Michelle (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Omarama & do very well with Sweet 100 & Money Maker in my tunnel house, just be aware of late frosts & cover. Use plenty of tomato fertilizer & a good all round compost & potting mix.
25 Sep 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Go to a nz seed selling website and compare different tomato types. Then pick one or two and try them. Or go to Bunnings or a nursery and ask.
23 May 19, Brod (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How can i grow Tomatoes all year round in CHB Do i need a Greenhouse?????? In winter we get regular frosts
23 May 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Tomatoes are frost tender, so yes you need some sort of protection for them, if you want to grow all the year round.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 26 comments

We grow short season tomatoes successfully, like Early Girl.

- Wendy

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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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