Which Tomato Should I Grow?

In South Australia all tomatoes should be planted in the morning sun and afternoon shade or in full sun with some form of protection when days reach 40 degrees or greater. The exception to this is in cooler parts of South Australia i.e. Adelaide Hills where full sun is preferable. 

Although tomatoes will still grow and produce flowers in warm temperature, they will not produce fruit if temperature is over 36 degrees so best to plant early at start of season.

All tomatoes are best staked.  We would recommend that all varieties should have 180cm (6ft) stakes unless otherwise specified.  Tall varieties can be prune back to two leaders.  

Regular harvesting encourages new fruit.

Fertilise your plants every month to promote leaf growth for protection of your fruit. Mulch and use tomato dust for grubs and pest - oil for aphids and white fly.

Water newly planted seeds or seedlings to remove any air gaps in the soil. You may have to water daily while the plants are young and depending on the temperature you may have to water twice. As a rule of thumb tomato plants require 1 - 1.5 inches of water a week.

Helpful tips on watering:

  • Water Slowly around the tomato plants allowing sufficient time for the water to enter the soil, run away water is just a waste and it steals nutrients from the soil. Let the water soak in at least 5 - 6 inches of soil.
  • Water tomatoes only when they really need it. Maybe you need to water twice a day, to begin with, just moisten the soil (don't flood the plant). The roots need air too, so don't drown your plants.
  • Water at the stem rather than the leaves. Try not to water directly on the stem of the tomato plant but around it, this encourages roots to spread.
  • Water early in the day if you use a hose, bucket or any other manual form of watering.
  • Do not water in the night as moist conditions and low temperatures increase the likelihood of tomato plant diseases.

Definitions explained:

Open Pollinated Varieties (OP) Low resistance to disease.  You can save your own seed and regrow the following season.

Hybrid Varieties (HYB)High disease resistance. You can save your own seed but due to the selection process of hybrid varieties, the following season’s crop may vary in appearance and performance.

The difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes...

The simplest explanation of the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes is that determinate tomatoes bear their crop all at once, while indeterminate tomatoes bear fruit over the course of a season.

Indeterminate varieties tend to grow longer vines and will require more support in terms of staking or caging over the course of a season; fruit ripens over an extended period.

Determinate varieties also called "bush" tomatoes have been bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet) often (but not always) tend to be more compact and manageable; fruit ripens within a concentrated period.


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