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

Planting

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.

Staking

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.

Feeding

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

Watering

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 Mama’s Delight 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.

Also look for compact varieties such as Totem Red, Totem Yellow, Red Robin & Sweet n Neat.” Reword the last sentence to “For best results always use a quality container mix.

How to grow tomatoes

Types of tomatoes

Illustration and information intended as a guide only. Performance may vary according to local conditions. 

Gourmet Gardener

Gourmet Gardener tomatoes include varieties from the finest hybrids to the better performing heirlooms. Our master growers use the best quality seed to bring you the strongest and healthiest tomatoes. Advanced seedlings varieties available in 100mm pots.


Available Varieties: Gourmet Gardener
VARIETY FRUIT TYPE FEATURE PLANT HEIGHT
Apollo Superb flavoured round fruit Early to fruit Tall
Beef Steak Large fruit, solid flesh Great in salads Tall
Black Russian Rich, meaty variety Old fashioned flavour Tall
Father Tom Great salad tomato Fast growing, superior disease resistance Tall
Grosse Lisse Medium-large,globe shaped Medium-late season fruiting Tall
Health Kick Roma type Bonus health benefits Tall
Mama's Delight Good flavored salad type Great for novice gardeners Tall
Reggae Roma Sweet roma High yielding variety Tall
San Marzano Thick skinned roma Great in pots Small bush
Sweet Bite Sweet cherry Vigorous, high yielding Tall
Sweet Grape Small and sweet High yielding Tall
Tommy Toe Large, sweet cherry Strong garden variety Tall
Yellow Mellow salad variety Lower in acids Tall

Patio Harvest

Patio Harvest tomatoes have been chosen for their suitability for pot culture. Compact and high-yielding they are also suitable for planting in garden beds. Advanced seedlings varieties available in 100mm pots.

Available Varieties: Patio Harvest
VARIETY FRUIT TYPE FEATURE PLANT HEIGHT
Patio Roma Flavoursome,plum-shaped Great for containers Small bush
Pot Tomato Medium sized,great flavour Strong and vigorous Medium
Tumbler Red/Yellow Small, sweet cherry Great in hanging basket Small bush
Fresh Start™


Fresh Start™ tomatoes

Fresh Start™ tomatoes are superior varieties that deliver superior results. Finest quality plants are grown to an advanced size for a stronger start in life and faster garden results. Advanced seedlings varieties available in 125mm pots.

Availabe Varieties: Fresh Start™
VARIETY FRUIT TYPE FEATURE PLANT HEIGHT
Tomatoberry™ Small, berry shaped Sweet, distinctive taste Tall
Mini Roma Small roma Big Italian flavour Tall
Pink Pearl™ Sweet cherry Distinctive fruit colour Tall
Truss Sweet Small, plum shaped Attractive fruit trusses Tall
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