Growing and Cooking - Homegrown Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple in the kitchen and in the gardens and WE LOVE THEM!!! There is nothing more appealing than taking a seed or a seedling and nurturing it through it's growing process, then picking the juicy ones and cooking delicious snacks and meals with them. BUT like all living organisms they need the right love and care.

We thought we'd walk you through growing and cooking with one of the most popular fruits in the world:

How to make Marinated Tomato Bruschetta


For the topping

  • 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 Large, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup Fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt

For the toast

  • Large baguette, sliced 5cm thick on an angle
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing


  1. Make the topping; In a medium frypan over medium ­low heat. Heat the oil. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden [2-4 minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, basil, vinegar and salt. Add the garlic and oil from pan and toss to combine. Sit to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Make the toast; Preheat oven to 200° C (180°C fan­ forced). Brush bread on both sides with oil and place on a large baking sheet or tray.
  4. Toast bread until golden, 10-15 minutes, turning halfway.
  5. Combine; Allow bread to cool for 5 minutes, then rub topside of toast with halved garlic cloves
  6. Spoon the marinated tomato mixture on top of the bread, just before serving.

How to grow homegrown tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes: When to plant tomatoes will depend on your climate zone.

In the tropics and subtropics, in frost-free locations, you can grow tomatoes all year round.

In warm temperate and temperate climates it is best to plant seedlings or sow seeds after the last frost.

Best Location for growing tomatoes: Full sun with good airflow

How to prepare soil for tomato plants: Preparing soil well in advance with Rocky Point ActivGrow Soil Improver and Cow Manure Plus is a must as tomatoes are heavy feeders. Alternatively, if growing in pots, Tomato & Herb Potting Mix is a great organic choice! Staking & Tying: This will only need to be done with indeterminate tomato varieties; ones that are climbing.

How to use Fertiliser in tomato plants: Use a combination of Rocky Point ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets and a small amount of sulphate of potash, plus liquid applications of seaweed throughout their growing and fruiting period.

Watering your tomato plant: Consistent watering is key to good fruit production. Watering in the morning is ideal as it allows the moisture to evaporate during the course of the day. This then avoids damp foliage overnight where fungal diseases can get a foothold. Inconsistent watering will see quite often tomato fruit splitting.

Pruning your tomato plant: To prune or not to prune? New research has shown that tomato plants are no more productive left unpruned than pruned. It's just a matter of keeping them a little unruly. Removal of lower foliage or excessive foliage can help to reduce the incidence and spread of pests and diseases.

How to protect your plants from QLD Fruit fly: To protect your tomatoes from this pest, bagging fruit as soon as it forms is key, and using a combination of traps, q-fly wicks, and lure baits such as Eco-Naturalure will be your best form of attack.



Top picks for are Black Russian, Green Zebra, Tommy Toe, Blueberry, Amish Paste, Yellow Paper, Tropic, Grosse Lisse, Rouge de Marmade, to just name a few.

There are two groups of tomatoes: indeterminate meaning vining/climbing tall and Determinate which are bush or short growing.

Want more plant tips like this? Sign up for our free seasonal Better Earth Secrets Magazine here.



Join the discussion on our social channels