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Tomato time in Canberra?

By bigfeet - 12 October 2013 25

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Tomato time in Canberra?
rosscoact 6:37 am 14 Oct 13

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

Gungahlin Al 9:58 pm 13 Oct 13

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.

EvanJames 9:57 pm 13 Oct 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.

EvanJames 9:52 pm 13 Oct 13

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).

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:42 am 13 Oct 13

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.

fabforty 10:36 am 13 Oct 13

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.

Postalgeek 9:37 am 13 Oct 13

After Melbourne Cup day. It is known.

PorkChops 9:26 am 13 Oct 13

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.

Kim F 8:21 am 13 Oct 13

Labour Day long weekend for the brave!

Madam Cholet 7:52 am 13 Oct 13

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.

Holden Caulfield 10:23 pm 12 Oct 13

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.

watto23 9:41 pm 12 Oct 13

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.

Nightshade 9:22 pm 12 Oct 13

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

tommy 8:22 pm 12 Oct 13

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.

nov865 7:37 pm 12 Oct 13

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!

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