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Inspiration & Advice

How to Master Growing Tasty Tomatoes from Seed to Seedling
(Part 1)

Thinking of growing tomatoes in your backyard or on your balcony? These delicious little fruits are one of the most popular foods to grow, but they do require a bit of know-how and care to ensure you produce a colourful, plentiful crop.
In this article we'll help get from seed to seedling.

Ready to get started?

We love homegrown tomatoes. Not only are they full of vitamin and mineral goodness, but when grown at home, they’re also sweeter and more flavourful. Plus, you can avoid all the nasty chemicals ensuring they’re 100% organic for you and your family.

Ideally, tomatoes should be planted in spring, but this varies depending on where you live in Australia or NZ. In some parts, you may need to plant them earlier. The best daytime temperature is 21-29°C (daytime temp). The good news is they grow quickly!

Tomatoes are so versatile and come in a massive range of shapes, sizes and varieties – from snack-sized Red Cherry (great for pots and patios) to Grosse Lisse, Siberian heirlooms, truss and Green Zebras (perfect for garden beds). Just take your pick!

Tools & materials

So, what do you need to be a tomato growing guru? Soil, tomato seeds, sunlight and some rain, are a good start, but here’s what we recommend to grow some good-uns!

18254 Grip & Grow Freestanding Kit Large
Grip & Grow® Freestanding Kits View Product
18302 Tomato Cage
Tomato Cages View Product
18755 Olive wire tomato cage 1.2m
Wire Tomato Cages View Product
18704 Enviro Tie 40m
Enviro Tie View Product
Ultrapost Black Bituminous 45cm
Ultrapost Black Bituminous Dipped View Product
Ultrapost hot dip galv
Ultrapost Hot Dip Galvanised View Product
20958 Trellis Mesh 120x100x100x1.2 5m
Trellis Mesh View Product
15528 Trellis Mesh 900mm
Trellis Mesh – HD Plastic View Product
18719 Grip & Grow Plant Tie
Grip & Grow® Hook and Loop Tie View Product

Additional materials needed for this project:

  • Gloves/shovel/trowel
  • Garden bed or pots
  • Seedling trays if growing from seed
  • Your choice of tomato variety
  • Compost and/or blood bone
  • Sulphate of Potash

Your step by step guide

  1. Growing Tomatoes from Seed

    Seeds are a great way to save vs buying seedlings and if you plant early you can get a great crop early in the season.

    Tomato planting season varies from region to region however the general rule of thumb is to plant immediately after the frost period. That’s anytime between August and September for most parts of Australia.

    All you’ll need is some seed raising mix and tray to grow them in. Optional extras are vermiculite and plant tags if you’re planting different varieties

    Fill your tray with seed raising mix – keep it loose and don’t compress the soil!

    Flat trays work well, cell trays make it easier to divide and re-pot the seedlings once they've grown, and a mini greenhouse in colder weather is a big help to getting those seeds germinating

    Lightly water, then pop a seed into the mix at least 2cm apart, and cover them with more see raising mix or vermiculite.

    Water again and place them in a warm sunny spot protected from the cold (or a mini greenhouse)

    Plant your seeds at 2-4 week intervals to give you tomatoes all season long

    Your seedlings sprouting!


  2. Planting Tomato Seedlings

    Keep your seedlings in a warm sunny spot rotating them occasionally so they grow straight.

    Use a fertiliser recommended by your local plant shop.

    While the seedlings are growing, it’s time to prepare your garden bed or pots with good quality vegetable mix, well-composted manures or home grown compost. Mix it in about two weeks prior planting for best results.

    It’s good practice not to plant your tomatoes in the same spot every year, change the location to avoid nematodes (‘eel worm’) that may harm the growth of your plants
    Check that he fertiliser is suitable for seedlings, andapply at the recommended intervals – don’t over-fertilise!

    Now it’s time to support those plants so they dedicate their energy into growing beautiful tomatoes.


    The right plant support will help the plants grow strong stems, and avoid breakages, as well as keep the fruit off the ground

    Add mulch, watering before and after mulching to keep the soil moist and well-protected until your seedlings get to size.

  3. Now you're ready to plant those seedlings

See our Tomato Mastery videos for more details

Part 1 – Growing from Seeds

Part 2 – Soil prep