Try a new kind of tomato this year.
As you all know, tomatoes can be planted outside in much of the country at Labour Weekend – although as I say every year, if in doubt, wait! These heat lovers won’t thank you for a cold start in life, and tomatoes planted in early November will soon catch up to, and even overtake, the growth of any started while the nights in your region are still too cold. This month we’ve gone to the NZ Gardener community for a bit of collective wisdom (check out our crowd-sourced 50 tips on growing tomatoes on page 17) so I won’t go on too much about tomatoes here. But I will suggest giving dwarf tomatoes a go, especially if you are short of space. Dwarf tomatoes are not – I repeat, not! – the same as cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes produce smaller fruit, but the plants can easily reach 2m. Dwarf tomatoes have been bred for container growth and only reach about 30cm. Try ‘Tiny Tim’, ‘MiniBelle for Pots’ and ‘Tumbling Tom Red’ or ‘Tumbling Tom Yellow’. My mother has had great results with dwarf toms in hanging baskets, with her plants producing so much fruit you could scarcely see the leaves!