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You can grow your own fresh tomatoes with our experts' tips.

Time to grow tomatoes

These tips from our horticultural experts will help you have a bumper tomato harvest. 

Planning on growing tomatoes this season? These tips from our experts will help you on your way towards a bumper crop:

Space seedlings: One of the most common mistakes novice tomato growers make is to grow plants too close together, increasing the incidence of pests and diseases. Tomatoes also fruit more if their roots are not touching each other. Space tomatoes from 80cm to 1.2m apart for best results. Karen Sutherland

Planting tomato seedlings_istock


Rotate beds: Tomatoes can be afflicted by many pests and diseases, and the best way to reduce recurrence is to practise crop rotation. Avoid growing tomatoes in the same ground for three years. This can be difficult in small gardens with limited beds. Try a spot where you normally grow ornamentals and prepare the soil well with compost and organic fertilisers. Karen Sutherland 

Train your tomatoes: Support vigorous vines by training them on a trellis or tall stakes. Phil Dudman

OG 144 train your tomatoes_Phil Dudman


Furrow irrigate tomatoes: Drip irrigation is efficient but the application rate may be too slow to replenish evapotranspiration in hot weather. Hand-watering is often ineffective, too, as only the top surface is wetted.  A 10cm deep furrow under the mulch along your row of tomatoes allows you to apply water quickly and deeply. Tie a sponge to the hose end to break the pressure so you can lay it in the furrow without blasting away soil. Helen McKerral

OG 144 irrigate tomatoes_Helen McKerral

Pick the best time for growing: Tomatoes like daytime temperatures between 15-29°C. In most areas, grow in spring-summer. In the tropic and subtropics, plant in autumn. You can also grow a spring crop in the subtropics. Phil Dudman

Bury stem: Bury some of the stem when planting out your tomatoes. This will encourage adventitious roots to form along the stem, giving the plant better stability and greater access to moisture and nutrients. Leonie Shanahan

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