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

27 Dec 21, Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
I am living near Wyong NSW and have a bit of a problem with my tomatoes. I live in a retirement village which has veggie plots and have acquiried one. Lots of the tomatoes grown wilt from the bottom up, until al the plant is dead except for the tomato fruits. Does anyone know how I can avoid this?. The wilt seems to affect the quantity of tomatoes.
07 Jan 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
More information is needed: for example amount of water... soil conditions. The MOST GENERIC, and probably most correct answer is LACK OF NUTRIENTS. Most people plant their plants (tomato) adding lots of compost and/or manure at the time of planting. The plant grows using the nutrients (some are washed away... maybe trees manage to confiscate some nutrients); but as the soil nutrition drops, the plant, still wanting to grow, starts to take nutrition from its lower leaves so it can grow leaves higher up. That is, it is deciding how to best used it's own self to maximize it chances of success; since it can't source the needed nutrition from the soil What you need to do is: ADD manure or compost or anything else you may have to put nutrition back into the soil. I rinse my coffee pot in the garden, I also try to drain things (like the water from soaking dried beans) into the garden. Manure/compost/nutrition (in any form) needs to be added at planting, middle of the season, and close to the end of the season to give that LAST burst of energy to bring the fruit/vegetables into full form. Don't feel like you need to spend a lot of money; get creative; in Canada we can stop by our local coffee shops and pick up the days used grinds for use in our gardens (free); you can add micro nutrients to your garden by filling a pail with water and adding a layer of rocks (rocks are minerals) stir and use this to water your plants. Left over tea bags, left over coffee grinds, stuff that you might rinse down the sink (food juices), blood from meat when you wash it before cooking it ..... anything like that all puts nutrition back in the soil.
31 Dec 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They recommend you only plant tomatoes every 3 yrs in a bed. Helps reduce disease. I have the same problem with lavender, 3 plants going great, two weeks ago one just wilts and dies, ??
30 Dec 21, Jill (USA - Zone 9b climate)
This sounds like root rot. You may be over watering early on.
28 Dec 21, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
You probably need to shade it from the harsh sun. Give it a dose of Epsom salt and see what happens. It's not too late to get some new plants but this time put an umbrella to protect it from the harsh sun.
24 Nov 21, Dan (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Good morning sorry to bother you I just want to know about planting tomato in Capetown what is best time? thanks a lot (Gardenate says: Make sure that you select your zone at the top of the tomato page, then you can see which months are suitable)
06 Nov 21, Clara (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have good success with oxhearts and rouge de marmande. They fruit all through winter too and I'm more southerly than you. You can get these varieties in DT Brown seeds from Reject Shop for $2 a packet. Mine self seed after the first season and I'm about to harvest a pair of oxhearts weighing 300gms each. They don't seem to revert to wild tomato types when self seeding which a lot of other varieties do. Cherry toms are prolific fruiters and easy but a PITA to harvest and not useful for sandwiches. But perfect to toss into a salad. I prefer the larger types. I harvest the toms as soon as I get a small blush of pink/yellow on the skin and then they ripen perfectly inside without inviting pests. But you need to let them get the colouring enzymes going on the vine first in a small amount for this to work.
06 Nov 21, Clara (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I never use anything and get large crops. Maybe I am just exceptionally lucky? Who knows.Try tomato fruit bags. These are fine mesh bags you tie over the green fruit trusses that prevents insects from getting at them. If you can sew you can probably make a heap out of an old fine net curtain to save $$$ as they tend to be rather pricey to buy. Just a rectangular bag with a drawstring large enough to house the truss.
01 Nov 21, John Ellis (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Tomatoes grew well last season until whitefly arrived. I found that Pyrethrum spray only reduced the numbers for a week or two and then it was basically ineffective. Suggestions as to effective control?
04 Nov 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I basically only grow cherry tomatoes, they are fairly disease resistant. Bigger tomatoes the fly and grubs just feed on them especially when the warmer wet weather comes.
Showing 1 - 10 of 734 comments

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Can you please recommend a tomato variety which will grow, in-spite of cool nights (WANAKA)

- Jan Shearer-Paulson

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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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