how-to-grow-tomatoes-1

Once you grow and taste your own tomatoes (or any vegie for that matter), you don’t go back. Tomatoes are one of the most popular backyard vegies and for good reason, too. They’re easy to grow and if looked after well, yield lots of delicious fruit for months! You don’t need a big backyard either – there are varieties to suit any space.

How to grow tomatoes in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot in the garden with well drained soil and enrich with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Add Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite to help sweeten the soil and help prevent blossom end rot.
  2. Sow seeds, lightly cover with Yates Seed Raising Mix and water well. If growing from seedlings, they can be planted a little deeper, so that the bottom few centimetres of the tomato stems are covered with soil. Water in well. 
  3. Tall growing tomatoes will require stakes for support, so it’s best to put these in now to avoid damaging plant roots later.
  4. As seedlings emerge and grow, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the main stem.
  5. As larger staked tomatoes grow, gently tie the main stems to the stakes with a plant tie or old piece of hosiery.
  6. Harvest tomatoes when the fruit is plump and red (or yellow, depending on the variety).
how-to-grow-tomatoes_1551160534340
how-to-grow-tomatoes_1551160517557


How to grow tomatoes in a pot

If you don’t have room in your garden to grow tomatoes, grow them in pots! Choose smaller varieties, such as Yates Tiny Tim, which is compact enough to grow in a pot.

  1. Choose a pot at least 400mm wide and deep and position in full sun. Fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  2. Sow seeds, lightly cover with Yates Seed Raising Mix and water well. If growing from seedlings, they can be planted a little deeper, so that the bottom few centimetres of the tomato stems are covered with soil. Water in well.
  3. Tall growing tomatoes will require stakes for support, so it’s best to put these in now to avoid damaging plant roots later.
  4. Potted plants dry out quicker than in-ground plants, so it’s important to water potted plants regularly.
  5. As seedlings grow, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food to encourage growth.
  6. As larger staked tomatoes grow, gently tie the main stems to the stakes with a plant tie or old piece of hosiery.
  7. Harvest tomatoes when the fruit is plump and red (or yellow, depending on the variety).
how-to-grow-tomatoes_1551160547175

Yates varieties


Tomato Heirloom

A lucky dip selection of heritage tomatoes in a variety of colours and flavours.

Tomato Tiny Tim

Cherry tomato Tiny Tim produces heavy crops of sweet, cherry-sized fruit on dwarf bushes. Ideal to grow in rockeries, pots, troughs and window boxes.

Tomato Tommy Toe

Excellent tasting apricot sized bright red fruit. Great salad variety.

Tomato Summerstar

This hardy variety produces generous quantities of smooth-skinned, deep-red tomatoes with good flavour.

Tomato Sweet Bite

This prolific cherry tomato can produce 100 or more fruit on each plant.

Tomato Mortgage Lifter

This heirloom type tomato produces very large, pinkish fruit which can weigh up to 1.5 kg.

Tomato Improved Apollo

An improved strain of this popular hybrid provides prolific yields of tasty red fruit over several months.

Tomato Patio

Excellent variety for containers and small gardens. Produces 85g-115g round fruit on compact plants that don't require staking


Growing tips

  • In cool climates, you can get a start on your tomatoes early by raising seeds in trays of Yates Seed Raising Mix. They can be transplanted to the garden or pot when the weather is warmer.
  • A layer of mulch will help retain moisture in the soil.
  • In fruit fly-affected areas, begin applications of Yates Nature’s Way Fruit Fly Control while fruit are still small and before they have changed colour.
  • To help prevent blossom end rot (when the bottom of the fruit looks sunken and rotten), apply fast acting Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite at planting time, which will help ensure a sufficient supply of calcium. The tomato is still perfectly fine to eat, simply remove and discard the affected parts.
  • If you didn’t apply lime at planting time, it’s not too late to do it during the growing season.
  • Certain tomato diseases are carried in the soil, so choose a different spot each year (avoid planting in the same part of the garden for at least four years).
  • When buying tomato plants or seeds, look for varieties that mention disease resistance.

Project guides & articles

Garden Pruning Tips

To prune or not to prune; that is the question. The answer is almost always YES... but read these tips before starting.

Autumn Fungal Diseases

With this seasonal abundance of atmospheric moisture it’s easy to see why this is the time of year for fungal diseases.

Autumn Gardening - Seasonal jobs

Autumn’s a pleasant season in the garden. There’s still growth and activity in the plant world, but the worst of the heat is over for the year.

Autumn Invaders

Gardeners are usually concerned about the pests that attack their plants, but autumn’s the season when other pests can also become troublesome in our homes and gardens.


Recommended products

Yates Seed Raising Mix

An ideal mix for germination of vegetable, herb and flower seeds and for cutting propagation.

Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food

Yates Thrive Tomato Concentrate provides tomatoes with the balanced nutrition they need to produce large crops of delicious fruit and strong, healthy growth.