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

Your comments and tips

16 Mar 17, Joan Fox (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Would tomato plant grow and produce fruit if planted in a pot on a sheltered veranda during winter months?. Would get all morning sun.
17 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Tomatoes need heat to grow and produce. If you can where the soil in the container will stay warm enough you could certainly give it a try. You would need maximum sunshine and protection from frosts and cold winds. I have heard of people putting pots against a brick wall so that some of the heat absorbed by the wall can help overnight. If you have a sunny spot near a window inside what about planting them inside in a pot or a hanging basket. 'Tumbler' is a good hanging basket variety that bears very well and looks good. Let us know on this site how you get on.
18 Mar 17, Robyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I agree that Tumbler is a great "cherry type" tomato, and a great performer. I grow both yellow and red variety. Plant two plants in each large hanging basket, feed well and you should get toms from Oct till April. I hang mine off the picnic table on my deck, we pick our own for meals, easy!
26 Jul 14, Deepak Bhatia (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How much sunlight does the tomatoe plant need Thanks
30 Mar 16, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
For best results, 6 - 8 hrs of direct sunlight per day. Calculate every hour before midday as being only a 1/2 hr. For instance, if your plants are sheltered from the morning sun until 10:00am, calculate that as only 1 hr, therefore you require another 5 - 7 hours of afternoon sun.
02 Oct 13, Peter (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Liz, what would be the best mulch to apply to the soil under tomato plants and vines? I'm growing them in a raised bed for the first time. The soil is very dark, whether wet or dry and I'd like to keep their roots cool until they can supply their own shade. I'm in Hawkes Bay. Thanks.
25 Dec 12, rob (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
have you had any experience with siberrian tomatoes?
01 Feb 17, Karen (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I live on the North Shore, Auckland and have done container growing for several years now, This is the third year of growing tomatoes on a large scale - predominantly determinate varieties. I source my seeds from Kings Seeds who supply a determinate variety called Sub Arctic Plenty which I have experimented with variable results. All plants raised indoors, gently hardened off then potted out into 15L tubs. I use 50/50 new compost/previously used container soil from a non-tomato pot mixed well with added slow release fertiliser and half a cup of powdered eggshell.. The top is mulched with straw and 4 marigolds to attract the bees. They also need a 5ft stake. Generally the plants like the morning and late sun and need shade from the glaring hot midday temperatures. Each year I am growing them earlier to avoid the heat of summer. The pots on the decking facing North fully exposed struggled, the pots that were shaded midday grew much better. Next year I plan to plant out in July/August and see how they get on then. They have a mild taste, personally I prefer the richer flavours of the dark toms but they are good for dehydrating. I also found that they prefer dryer soil than some of my other varieties. I liquid feed them once a week using a litre of water. Don't let them stand in trays, they need full drainage. Any run off from the trays I use on something else (the pineapple sage is very grateful). Spay every part of the plant with a brew of bicarsoda to pre-empt and control powdery mildew weekly. Please let me know if you want any other info - happy to share. Let me know how you get on.
15 May 17, Derek (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi. Thanks for the info which was informative. I tried last year to grow tomatoes and failed miserably. The bottom of the fruit was black and I have been advised this was overwatering and lack of calcium. They were in 15L pots outside and exposed to a fairly windy area. This year I have a geeenhouse and a bit more knowledge thanks to the likes of you:). I am just deciding what to grow in the greenhouse and in my small vege patch but definately have tomatoes on the list a bit later in the year, although I might try growing some now and keep in the greenhouse. Appreciate your comments and advice thanks. I live in Somerville near Howick. Cheers Derek
23 Nov 19, Lee (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Your Blossom end rot could be caused by the small pot. Try a 30L minimum for a tomato of up to 1m, and 50L+ tubs for anything taller. The problem in Northern NZ (Auckland upwards) in the intense heat, humidity, and constant winds on clear days that dry the soil. The soil seesaws from dry to wet, with us trying to compensate the loss three times a day, in small pots. You'll get excellent plants, but blossom end rot, and no useful fruit. I buy seeds from Southern suppliers who have clearly defined seasons in their districts. Here in West Auckland, the sun mid-spring onward is almost too strong for tomatoes (as noted in the comment from The Shore above), and the humidity is oppressive. They are part shade plants here, and 30L is absolute minimum for varieties that suppliers claim can be grown in 18L, or less. This year I'm using no less than 54L each plant, plus grass clipping mulch. So far so good. It's the only way to maintain soil a consistent moisture.
Showing 21 - 30 of 33 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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