Gardening Australia



Pip and Hugo have a polytunnel, but they did find growing tomatoes outdoors in Tasmania’s cool climate a challenge at the start – not that it stopped them! “Rouge de Marmande has always given us good crops, as well as Periforme Abruzzese and Costoluto Genovese,” says Pip. “Every year, I layer compost, organic pellets and pea straw.”

“I think growing tomatoes is a bit of a ‘thing’ in Tasmania,” laughs Hugo. “Because if you plant them too early, the frost will get them, and if you plant them too late, they won’t get enough warm weather to ripen the fruit. People get very obsessed about their tomatoes!”

Pip agrees: “It’s very localised when you put them in. If you’re in Hobart, it’s one day; and if you’re in the Huon Valley, it’s another. In Cygnet, it’s ‘after the Huon Show’, around mid-November – that’s the rule! But we’re still liable to get frosts, so having the polytunnel means we could plant some in September. Now that we’re moving on, I couldn’t bear to leave the people moving in without some.”

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