Thinking of growing tomatoes in your backyard or on your balcony? These delicious little fruits are one of the most popular foods to grow, but they do require a bit of know-how and care to ensure you produce a colourful, plentiful crop.
In this article we'll help you grow and harvest those little beauties.
Ready to get started?
We love homegrown tomatoes. Not only are they full of vitamin and mineral goodness, but when grown at home, they’re also sweeter and more flavourful. Plus, you can avoid all the nasty chemicals ensuring they’re 100% organic for you and your family.
Ideally, tomatoes should be planted in Spring, but this varies depending on where you live in Australia or NZ. In some parts, you may need to plant them earlier. The best daytime temperature is 21-29°C (daytime temp). The good news is they grow quickly!
Tomatoes are so versatile and come in a massive range of shapes, sizes and varieties – from snack-sized Red Cherry (great for pots and patios) to Grosse Lisse, Siberian heirlooms, truss and Green Zebras (perfect for garden beds). Just take your pick!
Tools & materials
So, what do you need to be a tomato growing guru? Soil, tomato seeds, sunlight and some rain, are a good start, but here’s what we recommend to grow some good-uns!
Additional materials needed for this project:
- Garden bed or pots
- Seedling trays if growing from seed
- Your choice of tomato variety
- Compost and/or blood bone
- Sulphate of Potash
Your step by step guide
Planting and Supporting Tomatoes
Lush, full and beautiful seedlings, ready for planting.
But first, water the soil well and get your choice of Jack support up.
Dig a hole and plant the seedling. Press the soil gently, don’t compact it and cover it with mulch.
Fertilise and keep them well-watered.
Which tomato support works best and where?
There are no hard and fast rules, but here’s some handy tips on choosing the right tomato support.
The Jumbo Tomato Cage is great for large pots and equally at home in a garden bed. The Standard Tomato Cage and wire tomato cage are perfect for smaller tomato varieties.
Grip & Grow frames are ideal for all varieties and the design helps save valuable space. Trellis Mesh with Ultrapost steel posts is a garden favourite for its flexibility in how big you can make and the many large hole space.
Growing and Harvesting Tomatoes
As your plants grow, the support frames start to do their job!
Weave branches through the framework, or attach to the frame with your choice of plant tie.
Keep up the watering. Prune to keep the bush under control and give you access to the fruit. Lower leaves may start to brown so cut them away.
And now you can enjoy your first crop of tomatoes.
See our Tomato Mastery videos for more details
Part 3 – Planting Staking and Supporting
Part 4 – Growing and Harvesting