I would like to have a go at growing tomatoes that don’t need staking, similar to those grown around the Mediterranean. Will I be able to achieve that here in Dunedin, if so what type do you recommend?
Traditionally, the two dwarf tomatoes grown both commercially and in the home garden have been Scorbies Dwarf and Russian Red, however the latest newcomers include Small Fry, Tiny Tim and Tumbling Tom Red. (Keep an eye out as there are usually new varieties every year.)
Remember when cultivating low growing tomatoes, it is essential to mulch underneath the plants with pea straw or crushed bark mulch so the developing tomatoes are kept above soil level. This helps avoid problems where contact occurs between tomatoes and wet soils, such as fruit rot. A sunny, well drained position is preferable and the soil should include generous quantities of new compost before planting.
While you may be tempted to plant new tomatoes in mid-late September, in Dunedin it would be better to wait a further 3-4 weeks before planting your main crop.
Feed your plants every 3-4 weeks throughout the growing period with Daltons Tomato Fert and water it in well.