Pride of Place - Grow the Best Tomatoes
In sandwiches or salads, roasted or plucked straight from the vine – tomatoes take pride of place in every Kiwi’s garden over the summer months, no matter how you choose to enjoy yours. Plant in your garden beds, pots and containers and you’ll be harvesting a bumper crop of homegrown tomatoes this summer!
- Tui Tomato Mix
- Tui Sheep Pellets
- Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic
- Tui Enrich Vege, Tomato & Herb
Controlled Release Fertiliser
- Tomato plants - choose a variety that suits how you like to enjoy your tomatoes. Click here for some suggestions.
3 Steps to Grow the Best Tomatoes
Once the cold weather has passed, and the soils have warmed up it’s time to plant tomatoes. Labour weekend is known as the traditional tomato planting time but tomato seedlings are usually available in garden centres from August.
Choose varieties based on your cooking and taste preferences. We've put together some suggestions here
Once you have selected your plants, choose a sunny position for planting. It’s best practice not to plant your tomatoes in the same spot as last season as diseases can remain in the soil.
Then it is time to get the soil prepared – the better the soil, the better your tomatoes will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil.
Then you can add a layer of Tui Tomato Mix, specifically formulated with extra potassium to encourage a plentiful harvest of big juicy fruit. If planting in pots and containers fill with Tui Tomato Mix.
If you’re growing from seed rather than seedlings, you’ll need to get started about a month earlier to give your seeds time to grow. The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away.
Directions for planting in garden beds:
- Place stakes in the soil for each tomato plant before planting to provide support and avoid damaging the roots later on.
- Soak plants in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
- Dig a hole, approximately twice the size of the root ball of your plant.
- Gently loosen the root ball of your plant.
- Position the plant in the centre of hole.
- Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
- Tie the tomato plant to the stake.
- Water tomato plants well after planting.
Feed your tomatoes and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients used by your tomatoes ensures they will grow to their full potential. Use Tui Enrich Vege, Tomato & Herb Controlled Release Fertiliser to promote optimum growth through its specialised triple action formula. Apply every six months, for best results apply in early spring and late summer.
Keep your tomatoes well watered. To reduce the chance of blight, avoid watering plant foliage.
Well watered, well nourished tomatoes will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
As your tomatoes grow, remove the laterals to encourage bigger and better fruit. Laterals are the shoots that grow out from the side of the stem.
Birds love juicy tomatoes – put up netting to protect yours.