And the horses are racing….

indeterminate tomatoes sown early and transplanted - on the way...

By lore or tradition, Melbourne Cup Day in Newstead means planting out tomatoes and other summer veges that are frost sensitive. Sounds good, but given the tendency for frosts again in early autumn, it doesn’t give much time for growing and producing lucious fruit. Short but sweet!

The solution is to sow seed (preferably locally grown and saved) earlier, under protection or in  a snug, sunny spot in the garden. That way you can safely (maybe) plant out over the racing carnivale and be assured of a feast come the new year, or even before. But if you haven’t, then seedlings will be the go.

I tend to think that the indeterminate tomatoes are more suited to central Victoria. These are the tomatoes that will flower as long as conditions (daylength, warmth, moisture, temperature) are favorable. Generally the cherry tomatoes and tommy-toe types. The determinates will set a certain number of flowers and fill them and that’s the end of them, even though you may get more summer thunderstorms or a patch of less extreme weather. These tend to be the beefsteak or marmande types. Check, when you are buying them. 

Some are bush types and will crawl about all over the garden. Some need staking. They all have personalities. All enjoy a feed at some stage. Worm leachate/juice, compost tea or compost, just a sniff of something will keep them going. Tomatoes are hardy.

Good growing!

2 thoughts on “And the horses are racing….

  1. Gen Barlow says:

    Its Nov 11 and bloody hot and we’re heading for a hot northerly this Sat they say. I bought some black krim seedlings the other day. Should I plant them now or wait till Sat’s winds are done.

    • janet barker says:

      I’d bite the bullet and plant them; we’re in a good time for fruiting plants according to the calendar. Do it early morning or in the evening. Water them in really well. Mulch heavily. Rig up a bit of shadecloth or a tipi made out of leaves and branches to protect them from the days’ heat and winds. Keep them well watered for the first few days. With tomatoes I usually cover the first (lower) leaves/branches with soil. These become roots and you’ll end up with a well established plant, usually more able to withstand the rigours of a central Vic summer.

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