How to grow tomatoes

Are you yearning to grow your own tasty juicy tomatoes? It is easy to grow with some guidelines, and amazing to harvest and eat. Luckily you can grow your own tomato plants anywhere. With sufficient sunlight, water and patience tomato plants go a long way and you'll get your expectations. That is all you have to do to get your tomato plant growing.

Step 1. Planting and harvesting season

Northern North Island
Plant from early September. 
Harvest until end of March.

Southern North Island
Plant from late September. 
Harvest until end of March.

Northern South Island
Plant from mid-October.
Harvest until end of November.

Southern South Island
Plant from late October.
Harvest until the end of March.

Note: Planting should be delayed if the spring season is unusually cold or wet

Step 2. Successful growing tips


The ideal position for tomato plants is in full sun, protected from strong winds. Prepare the soil before planting by digging in some organic matter then water in thoroughly using a liquid fertiliser. Ease the seedlings out of the container and plant them at the same soil level as they were in the punnet. Water in the seedlings immediately after planting. Plants requiring staking should be planted at least 1 metre apart. Bush type tomatoes should be planted 50cm apart.


Most tomato plants benefit from staking to encourage fruiting. It is best to stake early while the plant is young and to ensure a nice straight stem. The best plant ties are made from a soft material as they won’t cut into the stems as the plants grow. Any type of support structure may be used.


Tomatoes require regular feeding. Apply granule fertiliser, supplemented with a soluable or liquid fertiliser regulary at recommended rates.


Regular watering is more effective than frequent light sprinkles. To prevent disease occurring avoid watering the foliage. Early morning around the base of the plant is the most beneficial method.

Growing in pots

Nearly all tomatoes may be grown successfully in pots although the larger varieties need large deep tubs (50-60cm) with good staking or support. Compact varieties such as San Marzano and Tasty Slice are ideal for smaller pots and great for small areas. Don’t forget to water and fertilise your potted tomatoes as pots dry out more quickly, as per above.

Types of tomatoes

Information intended as a guide only. Performance may vary according to local conditions.


Simple Foods

Simple Foods tomatoes are specially selected varieties chosen for their superior Garden performance. Our master growers use the best quality seed to bring you the strongest and healthiest tomatoes. 

Available Varieties: Simple Foods
Big Beef Superb flavoured, large round fruit Large fruit Tall
Cocktail Produces masses of small, sweet tomatoes Great in salads Tall
Money Maker Medium sized fruit High yielding Tall
Tasty Slice Medium sized, tasty tomatoes Great taste Dwarf
Combo Low acid, large and cherry tomatoes Great mix Tall



Maxitom tomatoes are specially selected varieties chosen for their superior Garden performance. These tomatoes are grafted to maximise vigour, disease resistance and yield so the home gardener gets the best possible growing experience, whilst producing the tastiest tomatoes possible.

Available Varieties: Maxitom
Beefsteak Superb flavoured, large round fruit Large fruit Tall
Sweet 100 Produces masses of small, sweet tomatoes Great in salads Tall
Money Maker Medium sized fruit High yielding Tall
Dr Walter Large, low acid fruit Low acid Tall
Early Girl Medium sized, tasty fruit Early fruiting Tall
Grosse Lisse Large, flavoursome fruit Great flavour Tall 
Hamlet Medium sized fruit Prolific yields Tall
Potentate Medium sized fruit Early fruiting Tall
Roma Acid Free Pear shaped fruit Acid free  Tall 
Russian Red  Medium sized fruit  Cool tolerant  Tall 

Patio Garden

Varieties ideally chosen for their performance in containers, tubs and troughs. More suited for smaller garden plots.

Available Varieties:Patio Garden
Sweet & Neat Cherry type fruit Incredibly prolific,ultra compact Small
Totem Red Regular size, 5-6cm diameter, red fruit Long lasting, compact Bush Habit
Totem Yellow Regular size, 5-6cm diameter, yellow fruit Long lasting, compact Bush Habit
Tumbling Tom Red Small-medium fruit, red High yielding, sweet delicious flavour Cascading

Supa Vege

Top hybrid performing varieties with great disease resistance.

Available Varieties: Supa Vege

Container Choice 150-200g, red fruit Ideal container and space saver gardens Bush Habit
Grape Cherry Grape shape, red fruit High sugar content, prolific Tall
Pick-A-Truss 110g fruit, red fruit Can be truss picked,cluster harvested Tall
Red Gauntlet 110g fruit, red fruit Can be truss picked,whole truss ripens at once Tall
Red Robin Bright red, small fruit Good branching habit Small
Tasty Crimson 110-130g round, beautiful red fruit  Heavy cropping, disease resistant Tall

Heirloom Tomatoes

A selection of Heirloom and Old-Fashioned Varieties. Many different colours, shapes and sizes but ultimately chosen for their taste. Productivity may vary depending on weather conditions.

Available Varieties: Heirloom

Albenga Oxheart 230g, red, pear shaped fruit Meaty flesh, superb flavour, late maturing Tall
Aunt Rubies German Green Beefsteak type, lime green fruit Tender texture, delicious flavour Tall
Baxters Early Bush Red cherry, sweet and firm fruit Productive, hardy to adverse temperatures Bush Habit
Best Boy Bush 200g, deep globe, red fruit Early producing, heavy cropping, delicious flavour Bush Habit
Better Boy Large, reddish-pink fruit up to 500g Long season cropping, solid flesh Tall
Big Beef 250-300g ribbed type red fruit Tasty, multi-disease resistant, high yielding Tall
Big Boy Huge 450g red fruit A real man's tomato Tall
Big Rainbow 450-900g yellow with red blush,beefsteak shaped fruit Very productive and prolific grower Tall
Black Cherry  Purple-black cherry size fruit  Irresistibly sweet, yet rich.Produces in abundance Tall
Black Krim 8cm diameter blackish-reddish fruit Produces heavily and continuously Tall
Bloody Butcher 100g dark red fruit Full,rich, mouth-watering flavour Tall
Boy'o'Boy Large 500g red fruit Long season cropping, beefsteak style tomato Tall
Brandywine Pink 350-700g pinkish fruit Most famous heirloom for sheer flavour, fruit slices solid and meaty Tall
Delicious Huge red fruit, 450g + Smooth skinned, solid flesh, excellent for slicing Tall
Early Girl 110-130g round, beautiful fruit  Heavy cropping, disease resistant Tall
Enterprise Dwarf 270g red globe shaped fruit Disease resistant, excellent flavour Bushy Habit
Mortgage Lifter Extremely large up to 1kg, red, irregular shaped fruit Productive, disease resistant Tall
Orange Roma Elongated, 50g fruit, orange Great all round tomato (salads,sauces, sandwiches), low acidity Tall
Oxheart Large pear shape, 230g red fruit Flesh is meaty, superb flavour, disease resistant Tall
Patio Prize  Round red fruit, 100g  Ideal for small gardens or container growing Bushy Habit
Red Robin Bright red, small fruit  Good branching habit  Compact, suitable for pots 
Russian Red  Scarlet red fruit, medium size  Tolerates low night temperatures, productive Semi-Dwarf
San Marzano 7cm long fruit, bright red Great for canning, puree, pastes, fresh eating Tall
Saxon Truss 110g fruit, red fruit Can be truss picked, cluster harvested Tall
Sun Cherry Cherry 3cm, deep red fruit High sugar content, 10% sweeter than other cherry varieties, prolific Tall
Sun Gold Apricot in colour, cherry sized fruit, red Trusses of 10+ tomatoes, heavy cropping, suitable indoors and outdoors Tall
Supersteak 250-300g large, red fruit Disease resistant, very productive, very tasty fruit Tall
Sweet 100 Cherry sized fruit, red Abundant producer, vigorous plant habit Tall
Sweet Cherry Small cherry size fruit, red Prolific producer, vigorous plant habit,  Tall
Tasty Crimson 110-130g round, beautiful, red fruit Heavy cropping, disease resistant Tall
Tigerella 5cm round, reddish to orange fruit Rich, tangy flavour, yellow/orange stripes on fruit Tall
Yellow Pear Waxy yellow, pear shaped fruit Mild, sweet flavour, firm texture Tall

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