Summer gardening for many Australians means tending to tomato plants. With some sun, water and a bit of care, it's not too difficult to ensure a bumper crop of tasty fruit.
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 one 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 do 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.
Please post your tomato growing tips and your tomato questions by replying below.
That's great @kel. Well done! At our place we're still waiting for the fruit to ripen.
HI, my tomatoes have gone mad. Some are growing through the top of the netting, so that's up to or over six feet tall. Compare the growth with the previous photo.
There are a lot of fruit forming and growing fast, so soon there should be a good crop of fruit.
I have only had fruit off the little Sweetbite that was over wintered.
Due to my early setback with the tomato seedlings I think they have done extremely well, so the lateness of the fruiting will still give an abundance of ripe fruit soon.
The weather has still to even out, so the temperatures are still all over the place.
Jason you seem to be the same, just waiting on the weather to ripen your fruit up.
It's going to get into the mid to high thirties again in the middle of next week ,so I hope we get some fruit for our toil.
Your plants look fantastic @bergs. Mine aren't as big but we've picked fruit now and I'm expecting a lot more in the coming week or two.
Crazy weather. Just cleaned up all the leaves from my Lilypillies and coposted and will dig the remaining into the beds to improve the soil.
My tomatoes are growin larger but none look like ripening yet and now we've dropped back to the mid teens and hopefully the wind doesn't destroy everything above ground level
We've had a few and have got a bunch ripening on the window sill in the kitchen @bergs.
Hope your garden survives the wind.
Hi There, I am new to growing tomatoes, and tried to plant some seedlings around August, some have succeeded and some haven't. The one's that did grew very slowly, very few roots and stayed stagnant in growth, with a lot of yellowing leaves. ( these were sown in mid August ) so very little growth. I started the seedlings indoors then moved into hot house, then out into sun, the last few weeks.
What I noticed when i went to Bunnings is how strong, healthy and vibrant the larger seedling plants looked in the pots. They had thick stems, green foliage and approx 500mm tall, in maybe 150mm pots. I was wondering what their gardeners do to achieve such healthy plants, is there a special soil mix or fertiliser they use? Thanks
I've found that adding Blood And Bone fertilizers have cleaned up my yellow leaves this season, because I didn't have enough nitrogen in the soil in the pots.
The Tomatoes growing in the garden are growing gangbusters, with no yellow leaves
This has been a good experiment for me, as last year I grew all of my tomatoes directly in the garden.
Thanks for responding to my post Walter, and congratulations on the great crop of Tomatoes you have there, they look Fantastic! I have some planted in the garden too, but these were planted as large established seedlings from the Nursery, and have settled into the garden now. I put some Chook poo and Black Grit in the soil, along with some composted garden waste, so they should hopefully grow ok. I didn't put any Blood and Bone, but might add in some to the soil ow, based on your results. I just don't know how to get the success from seed to seedling to seedlings being large enough and robust enough to plant out into the garden. I even bough some Heirloom seeds to try out and most sprouted ok in the small black seedling trays, I used basic potting mix, and added some Coir Peat and Perlite, but some just stagnated, didn't grow and then leaves went yellow. Could have been damp roots that rotted, or maybe even a virus in the soil, attacking the roots?
I see you have continued the tomato growing discussion and created a seperate thread here - How do Bunnings get such great tomato plants?
Just thought I'd link to it here so others can more easily follow along.
Feel free to post whenever you need a hand with anything around the home and garden.