Figaro's Blog

June 4, 2024

Figaro’s Tips for Growing The Best Tomatoes Ever

Featured image for “Figaro’s Tips for Growing The Best Tomatoes Ever”

It’s tomato planting time, and we’ve rounded up our staff’s expert advice on choosing and growing tomatoes. Tomatoes can be notoriously fickle in our climate, but by mastering a few growing strategies and choosing varieties carefully, you too can have a bumper crop. Read on for our tips on growing the best tomatoes ever. 

Top tips for growing the best tomatoes

Combined, Figaro’s Garden team members have decades of experience growing tomatoes. We’ve distilled our best advice here:

A small coir pot with a Green Grapes tomato and tag

Green Grapes is a heirloom cherry tomato. Cherry tomatoes are typically more productive than large tomatoes in our climate.

Grow cherry varieties

“In our climate, cherry tomatoes do so much better than beefsteak or larger varieties,” says store owner Hartley. “While I always try a different heirloom variety every year, you can’t beat cherry tomatoes for production.”

Give them sun

“Tomatoes really want at least six hours of direct sun daily,” says Andrea, business development manager. “They just don’t produce well in shade.” Lack of warmth and sun can lead to a stressed plant, making it vulnerable to pests and disease.

Close up of a hand about to pinch a side shoot from a tomato plant

Side shoots or suckers emerge between branches and the main stem. Remove them for best results.

Keep them pruned

“Pinch the suckers from indeterminate tomatoes, and remove the lower leaves as well,” says store staff member Sam. Suckers, or side shoots, are those growing out between the main stem and branches. Removing them forces the plant to direct its energy into the main stem and fruit. Sam also recommends removing the lowest leaves (along the bottom 12″ or 30cm of the main stem) to improve airflow and cut down on the chance of disease.

Keep them well fed

“Tomatoes are really heavy feeders,” says Elsa, store staff and landscape team member. “They absolutely need to be fertilized.” Tomatoes benefit from additional calcium, making fish bone meal a good tomato fertilizer choice.

Keep them covered

“Keep them covered,” says Conor, store manager. “Protect them from the rain,” he adds, noting that moisture on leaves can lead to fungal diseases such as late blight. Grow tomatoes in the shelter of a roof overhang, on a protected patio, or under a covered pergola. 

Our favourite tomato varieties

With so many varieties of tomatoes available, how do you choose? Many of us grow Sungold plus one or more other cherry varieties plus a “rotating tap” heirloom such as Black Krim or Brandywine. Here are some of our favourite tomato varieties:

A cluster of orange cherry tomatoes

Sungold produces abundant golden clusters of fruit.


Nearly everyone at Figaro’s grows tomatoes, and there’s one variety we can all agree on: Sungold. This deep-orange, indeterminate cherry variety is super sweet and super productive. In short, it’s a must-grow. 

San Marzano

“I always grow a couple of San Marzanos, a type of plum or Roma tomato,” says Andrea. “While they won’t be true D.O.P., I like being able to make my own pizza and pasta sauces from these; I throw whole tomatoes into the freezer as they ripen, then cook them down in a huge batch at the end of the season.” 

Green Grapes

“One of my favourites is Green Grapes,” says Sam. “It’s a sweet, high-production heirloom cherry variety.”

Tumbler tomato in a coir pot with a tag

Tumbler is a terrific variety for container growing.


“Tumbler is also known as the hanging basket tomato,” says Andrea. “It’s a bush or determinate variety, which means it only gets to a certain size. Planted in a pot it can be allowed to trail down over the side. It’s my top pick for container growing.”

Lemon Boy

“Like everyone else, I love Sungold,” says Elsa. “But I also love Lemon Boy.” This medium-sized slicer produces flavourful fruit with beautiful, lemon-yellow skin.

Stop by Figaro’s Garden for your tomato starts, stakes, and fertilizers. Here’s to growing your best tomatoes ever!


plants make everything better

Whether you're an experienced horticulturist, or looking for your first plant, our team at Figaro's Garden is excited to help you realize your plant and garden dreams. Contact us today or stop by the shop to see what's in-store.

Contact Figaro's Garden