In the garden: Growing tomatoes

Growing tomatoes is easy with the right weather and a little bit of attention. Here are six key things to remember.

  • Tomatoes have a high yield but like any summer vegetable, they need heat and protection from the elements to bear fruit. Planting in December or January is ideal.
  • Pot tomato seeds or seedlings with great care, as tomatoes require well-balanced, cultivated soil and constant watering. They can be quite sensitive to insects and weeds, so uprooting any nearby predator is essential to encourage a good harvest.
  • Tomatoes need at least six hours of sunlight each day, so potting is a good idea to move tomatoes to the sunniest spots.
  • Tomatoes will often grow from your compost in summer. If you find a few plants springing up, transplant them (protecting their roots) to a sheltered area.
  • Tomatoes can often be grown from the seeds of tomatoes you eat. Next time you rinse your salad bowl, collect any leftover seeds and leave them in a sunny spot for a fortnight. Once dried out, use them for planting.
  • Find out early on if the tomato you are planting grows tall as these tomatoes will need a stake for support. Establish your stake when planting or just after, so as not to damage any root growth in the soil.
First published: Jan 2009

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