How to grow tomatoes?

There’s nothing like the flavour of home-grown tomatoes. Picked fresh from the vine, they’re aromatic, juicy and packed full of flavour.

Best of all, growing tomatoes in your garden is easy and fun. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Buying tomato seedlings
  2. Growing tomatoes in the garden
  3. Growing tomatoes in pots

 

Choosing the right tomatoes to grow

Tomatoes are undoubtedly one of the most satisfying home grown veggies (or fruits) and provide ample reward for effort. In fact, they have the highest yield for the amount of space they occupy, mainly because they grow up!

choosing tomatoes

Growing tomatoes from seedlings or grafted seedlings is the easiest way to get started. Look for:

  • Strong tomtato seedlings with healthy foliage.
  • F1 (first generation hybrids) and grafted tomatoes that have superior disease resistance. This information will be clearly printed on the label.
  • Tomato varieties that suit how you like to eat them - if you like smaller salad tomatoes, try growing cherry or grape tomatoes; if you want to make passata, look for larger growing tomatoes like ‘Beefsteak’.

 

How to grow tomatoes in the garden?

To prepare for planting, find a position for the tomato seedling in full sun and prepare the soil prior to planting. Improve the soil by mixing organic material like compost and sheep pellets into the soil. Water the tomato seedling prior to planting.

Choose a place in the garden with at least six hours of sunlight per day, preferably protected from the wind.

To plant and grow tomatoes in the garden, you will need:

  • A shovel
  • Trowel
  • Tomato hoop or stake
  • Tomato seedlings

tomatoes

 

Step 1

Make a hole in the prepared garden bed large enough for the tomato seedling and its complete root ball.

 


Step 2

Carefully tap the tomato seedling out of the pot, trying to keep as much of the potting mix around the seedling's roots as possible. Carefully place the plant in the hole, making sure it is at the same depth as it was in the pot.


 

Step 3

 

Backfill around the tomato seedling, pressing the soil down firmly to hold it in place

 


Step 4

 

Insert a stake or tomato hoop, ready for tomato training.


 

Step 5

 

Apply snail and slug pellets to protect the young tender tomato seedlings.

NOTE: Tomatoes should be spaced at 50-60cm intervals, to give them room to grow. Do not overcrowd.

Here’s a few extra tips for tasty home-grown tomatoes:

  • Water plants regularly. Consider installing an automatic irrigation system. If this is not an option, water in the morning and try to avoid wetting the foliage.
  • Apply a liquid fertiliser to seedlings to improve their frost tolerance while young.

 

How to grow tomatoes in pots?

Tomatoes are one of the best crops for pots, growing just as well in pots as they do in garden beds. Find a suitable pot, large enough for the full sized plant, and water your tomato seedling prior to potting up.

To plant and grow tomatoes in pots, you will need:

  • A 40cm pot for each tomato
  • A trowel
  • Premium potting mix for vegetables and herbs
  • Tomato hoop or stake
  • A tomato seedling

tomatoes in pots

 

Step 1

 

Clean your pot and water the tomato seedling prior to repotting.


 

Step 2

 

Fill the pot with a natural potting mix such as Scotts Performance Naturals Premium Potting Mix.
Make a hole in the centre of the mix large enough for the tomato seedling plus its root ball.

 


Step 3

 

Carefully place the tomato seedling in the hole. Make sure it is at the same depth as it was in the pot. Backfill around the plant, pressing the potting mix down firmly.


 

Step 4

 

Insert a stake or tomato hoop, ready for tomato training.

More tips for growing tomatoes in pots:

  • Place in an area with at least six hours of full sun and protect from cold winds.
  • Water daily or more often in hot dry weather.
  • Apply a water soluble fertiliser for tomatoes (with added calcium to prevent blossom end rot) fortnightly throughout the growing season to keep plants healthy.

 

 

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