Learn the basics of growing tomatoes, from sun requirements to planting tips to harvesting. Get your garden ready for a bountiful tomato harvest this year!
What soil is good for Tomatoes?
Rich, well draining soil with plenty of compost mixed in.
How much sun do Tomatoes need?
Are Tomatoes frost tolerant?
How much space do Tomatoes need?
Roughly 50cm apart
When should I plant Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are warm season crops that are best planted when soil temperatures reach roughly 20°C (68°F).
Seeds can be sown indoors in late winter and planted out in spring once the danger of frost has passed.
If transplanting a potted plant, dig a hole 2-3 times the width of the root ball. Unlike most plants, tomatoes have the ability to grow roots along their stems, so don't be afraid to plant them deeply. Planting deeply will also help stabilise tall and leggy seedlings.
If transplanting, plant out in the early morning or evening and/or on an overcast day. Avoid planting at peak sun times or on windy days, this will allow your plants to settle in comfortably and protect them from windburn and sunburn.
What do I feed Tomatoes?
A regular application of organic fertiliser throughout the season. Water plants deeply and consistently.
When can I harvest Tomatoes?
Ripe tomatoes have a bit of give when pressed. Depending on the variety planted, ripe tomatoes will generally have transitioned from green to the colour planted (red, yellow etc). Tomatoes will continue to ripen off the vine.
What pests do Tomatoes get?
Aphids, Slugs, Snails, Cutworm, Stem Borer, White Fly, Caterpillar, Fruit Fly, Tomato Leaf Miner, Spider Mites, Tomato Hornworm, Armyworm, Cabbage Looper, Corn Earworm, Flea Beetle
What diseases do Tomatoes get?
Anthracnose, Black Mold, Early Blight, Late Blight, Fusarium Wilt, Gray Mold, Septoria Leaf Spot, Target Spot, Verticillium Wilt, Bacterial Canker, Bacterial Spot, Bacterial Wilt, Mosaic Virus, Powdery Mildew, Tomato spotted leaf Virus, Root Knot Nematode
Is there anything else I need to know about Tomatoes?
Tomatoes plants are grouped into two categories- Determinate and Indeterminate.
Determinate or "bush" Tomato plants, are varieties that grow to a compact height. Determinate varieties stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud. All the fruit ripens at approximately the same time (usually over a period of 2 weeks), after that the plant will stop producing fruit. These tomatoes may require some staking for support as their fruit load can become quite heavy.
Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the entire growing season, until they are killed by frost. These plants are vine like in nature and can reach heights of 6 to 12 feet. They require substantial staking for support.
How do I troubleshoot my growing problems?
It is important to follow a few simple steps when growing tomatoes in order to give your plants the best possible start.
- Mulch the soil around your plants to prevent the splash back of wet soil onto the leaves, this helps prevent soil borne diseases from colonizing on the leaf surface. Mulching also helps to retain moisture in the soil.
-If using stakes to support your plants, be sure to place them in the ground at the time of planting so not to damage the roots later on.
-Tomatoes are extremely prone to disease. Cut off any leaves that are touching the ground to further prevent soil borne diseases.
-Have good airflow between plants and ensure that all of the leaves have access to sunlight. Trim off any overlapping leaves as they may trap moisture, which leads to disease.