seedlings are up and being potted on already. Hard to imagine putting tomatoes in after the hail we had today but the hot weather will come soon enough.
Tomatoes require a full sun position ( meaning 6 - 8 hours a day) in well drained slightly acidic soil (pH of around 6.5 is great). Whatever your soil is like it is really sensible to add plenty of compost and well-rotted animal manure (horse, sheep, or cow manures are best). This helps to condition the soil, helping it to retain moisture so that the garden beds don’t dry out.
Tomatoes like a little fertiliser, but fertiliser that is high in nitrogen produces plenty of lush green leaves and little fruit so go for fertiliser high in potassium, such as sulphate of potash, at planting time and again at flowering. And if you notice during growing that the leaves start to turn yellow this could be a magnesium or iron deficiency easily fixed with a dose of chelated iron or Epsom salts (easily sourced at any garden centre), just read the packet for instructions about how much to use.
When you pick up your precious tomato plants it is best to get them in the ground straight away, though if you cant just remember to water them daily until you do. Transplanting them is simple. Dig a hole deep enough to sink 2/3 of the stem of the tomato plant into (this is one time when it is OK to bury the plant deeper than it was in the pot as tomatoes grow more roots from the stem if it is underground) Put the stem of the plant between your first and second finger, with your hand over the top of the pot. Tip the pot over so that the plant and soil drop out into your hand and put into the hole. Back fill the hole gently and water in well. Once you have done that it is time to source some good strong stakes to stick into the ground to tie the growing tomatoes to and cut up old stockings or other soft fabric to have ready to gently tie new growth up the support. And…. don’t forget to water regularly so that the plants don’t dry out.
Of course if you don’t have a garden bed suitable for tomatoes you can still grow them in pots. Pick the biggest pot you can find and fill with premium potting mix (there are mixes specially formulated for vegetables) Make sure again that the pot will get at least 6 hours sun and is close to a water source, hose or tap so you are not having to lug heavy water containers around. Plant the tomatoes after the risk of frost is deemed over (Melbourne cup day in Canberra and surrounds) and mulch well with sugar cane mulch. You probably will not have to add fertiliser if you use top quality potting mix as that is all included in the soil.
You can put your tomato order in now via email to firstname.lastname@example.org after perusing the list on the website and of course we will be happy to answer any further questions you have about growing your tomatoes.