Tomatoes really are the king of the summer vege garden and there is nothing quite like the taste of eating home grown tomatoes. From the large beef steaks to the bite-sized cherries, tomatoes are an essential addition to kiwi summer meals.
There are many tomato varieties available. The following are our recommendations for the best varieties of each tomato type.
Large meaty varieties which produce the largest tomatoes
Regular sized tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes which are the very tasty bite-sized tomatoes
Reduced acid tomatoes which have a lower acid level than most varieties
For exceptional growth grow a Super Tom tomato plant. These are grafted tomato plants and produce more than twice the yield of regular tomato plants. All the regular varieties can also be bought as the grafted Super Tom.
When to plant
In Taranaki tomatoes are best planted in late spring when the weather is warm and frosts have finished. Labour weekend in October is the traditional planting time.
Where to plant
Tomatoes require support. This can be achieved using a trellis fence, netting or staking. This supports the plant and the tomatoes which it will produce.
Tomato plants need pruning to aid air circulation which prevents disease. Remove all lateral growth as the plant grows.
Pick tomatoes just before they are ripe and allow them to fully ripen inside on a windowsill.
Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature.
Mix all this together, then taste and adjust seasoning.