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Tomato time in Canberra?

By 12 October 2013 24

Down at Magnet Mart today there were dozens of people loading up trolleys with tomato seedlings and bushes. They were also the hottest item going from the plant guy at the markets.  Honestly, I must have seen at least 100 plants being carried out of those locations.

To my way of thinking it’s still a bit early to be putting tommies in the ground or even pots.

What do Riotgardeners think?  When is the best time to start planting.  I’m planning a couple in the ground and some cherries and patio masters in pots.

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24 Responses to
Tomato time in Canberra?
nov865 7:37 pm
12 Oct 13
#1

Rough rule of thumb in Canberra has been don’t plant until after Melbourne Cup, but it’s been unseasonably warm this spring so I’ve planted tomatoes already. Holding my breath for not too much frost in the next week!

tommy 8:22 pm
12 Oct 13
#2

Normally (historically) it would be too early according to the don’t plant before the Melbourne cup suburban advice. Given how warm it is this year should be fine.

Nightshade 9:22 pm
12 Oct 13
#3

Today I found the first tomato seedlings growing out of the compost, so they think it’s warm enough to get started.

watto23 9:41 pm
12 Oct 13
#4

I’ve heard half a dozen rules regarding tomatoes and when to plant. basically the risk is frost and its probably not very likely now, but obviously the later in the year it is, the less likely any frost will occur.

Holden Caulfield 10:23 pm
12 Oct 13
#5

Rules for living in Canberra:

Don’t plant tomatoes until Melbourne Cup day.

Don’t turn your heater on until Anzac Day.

Don’t park badly.

Madam Cholet 7:52 am
13 Oct 13
#6

I planted mine this week, roughly the same as last year. I reaped over 1000 toms from 4 plants last year and they bore fruit right through until April. I am going to be mindful of some of the overnight temps for a few weeks and cover them up if necessary.

Kim F 8:21 am
13 Oct 13
#7

Labour Day long weekend for the brave!

PorkChops 9:26 am
13 Oct 13
#8

Mine went in this weekend. Normally I’d wait until after Melbourne Cup day but the soil is warm enough to do it now. Just watch out for the frosts that WILL come. I have my soft drink bottles (bottom cut off) ready to protect them.

Postalgeek 9:37 am
13 Oct 13
#9

After Melbourne Cup day. It is known.

fabforty 10:36 am
13 Oct 13
#10

I’ve had seeds in for about a week. There is a chance of frost over the next two nights though, so will be moving them under cover.

I would like to hear from fellow gardeners, though, on what types you find most successful. For the last few years I have been a bit disappointed.

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:42 am
13 Oct 13
#11

Madam Cholet said :

I planted mine this week, roughly the same as last year. I reaped over 1000 toms from 4 plants last year and they bore fruit right through until April. I am going to be mindful of some of the overnight temps for a few weeks and cover them up if necessary.

I always thought it was the October long weekend. Put some in about this time last year but went away for two weeks in early January and they wilted, despite the neighbour’s best efforts.

EvanJames 9:52 pm
13 Oct 13
#12

Too early. I’ve sprouted my seeds and potted the seedlings on into tree tubes, but they’re not going out just yet. There’s self-sown tomatoes up in the garden, but that just shows that self sown ones are worth keeping and letting them fruit, and then save the seeds. self sowns are more adapted to your conditions.

Tomatoes will stop growing and sulk if they get chilled. Cold soil they really hate. So you can put cloches over them, and certainly the old fashioned “frames” work extremely well, because they convert the garden into a greenhouse, but milk containers etc are of limited use.

If you’re really into growing tomatoes, google Peter Cundall and his garden column in the Weekly Times. He’s done a number of articles on tomatoes, and there’s some very cunning tricks (he’s in Tasmania).

EvanJames 9:57 pm
13 Oct 13
#13

fabforty said :

I’ve had seeds in for about a week. There is a chance of frost over the next two nights though, so will be moving them under cover.

I would like to hear from fellow gardeners, though, on what types you find most successful. For the last few years I have been a bit disappointed.

Frosts tonight/tomorrow (snow in some areas!). Best tomatoes I’ve grown lately are, oddly, from the seeds sold under the DT Brown brand, yes the Cheap Shop seeds! Their Rouge de Marmandes are some old variety, potato leafs (never seen that kind of tomatoes before), but very vigorous, early fruiting, and big tasty beefsteak style tomatoes.

Masters sell the DT Brown brand, although at double the price the Cheap Shops used to sell them at.

Gungahlin Al 9:58 pm
13 Oct 13
#14

I planted mine several weeks ago.

Got my first tomato on one already.

A thing in my phone tells me if there’s going to be a frost and I put an old sheet over them. It’s worked fine for a couple of years now.

rosscoact 6:37 am
14 Oct 13
#15

Balcony tomatoes never have a problem with frost, just water. I’ve got a drip line installed this year and looking forward to a bumper harvest

NoAddedMSG 6:59 am
14 Oct 13
#16

I have had a couple in the ground for 3 weeks now, in an area which only gets frosted when it is a serious, heavy frost, seeking to benefit like many others from the effects of a warm winter. I deep stem planted them, meaning I took off the lower third of leaves and planted them deep, covering a lot of the stem. They are rocketing along, doing well.

Someone asked above about varieties – it’s worth learning about determinate and indeterminate varieties of tomatoes, so as to get the kind of cropping patterns you want. I don’t do preserving, so mostly plant indeterminate tomatoes.

Kim F 7:53 am
14 Oct 13
#17

fabforty said :

I’ve had seeds in for about a week. There is a chance of frost over the next two nights though, so will be moving them under cover.

I would like to hear from fellow gardeners, though, on what types you find most successful. For the last few years I have been a bit disappointed.

Gross Lisse are the tastiest. All types of cherry tomatoes seem to do well

Postalgeek 11:33 pm
16 Oct 13
#18

Frost predicted for Friday, with strong winds Thursday, sent to blow off all your covers in advance.

chewy14 11:19 am
17 Oct 13
#19

Postalgeek said :

Frost predicted for Friday, with strong winds Thursday, sent to blow off all your covers in advance.

Haha, yep I already found my covers strewn across the backyard after the wind yesterday afternoon.

Watson 1:47 pm
17 Oct 13
#20

Bought mine a few weeks ago because I happened to find some Diggers seedlings at the nursery. Didn’t intend on planting them till the end of October, but Watson Jr had other ideas, so they’ve been in the ground for at least 3 weeks now. And survived the few mild frosts so far. And have flowers, but that’s not really a good indicator of anything. I might have slowed down their growth and fruiting abilities by abusing them with cold weather conditions…

I have had Diggers varieties for the past few years. Tommy Toe always did very well and self seeded prolifically in early spring in the flower beds in my old house. Even came up through the thick layer of mulch. But unfortunately I had to move out in summer, so never found out if any of them amounted to anything. Most of the Diggers tomatoes were good, except perhaps for the orange cherry ones and the Russian Blacks, but that may have been the soil or position because they were planted together.

dodgycamel 2:13 pm
17 Oct 13
#21

Holden Caulfield said :

Rules for living in Canberra:

Don’t plant tomatoes until Melbourne Cup day.

Don’t turn your heater on until Anzac Day.

Don’t park badly.

Don’t keep left?

davo101 2:54 pm
17 Oct 13
#22

dodgycamel said :

Don’t keep left?

Never indicate.

Basilbrush 3:16 pm
17 Oct 13
#23

Holden Caulfield said :

Rules for living in Canberra:

Don’t plant tomatoes until Melbourne Cup day.

Don’t turn your heater on until Anzac Day.

Don’t park badly.

+1

Basilbrush 3:17 pm
17 Oct 13
#24

davo101 said :

dodgycamel said :

Don’t keep left?

Never indicate.

And merge smoothly without stopping!!!!!

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