Posted: 21 February 2022 by Ian Collins

The Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Annual Tomato Festival was held virtually this year due to CoVid. It was hosted by ABC Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and Phil Pettit, Head of Community Greening at the Botanic Gardens.

As Phil and Costa pointed out it has been an extremely tough season for growing tomatoes, due to the affects of La Nina. We have experienced much greater than avergae rainfall in Sydney over summer coupled with high humidity. Not a great combination for growing tomatoes.

The festival mainly featured heirloom tomatoes grown from seeds supplied by The Diggers Club.

This year the Botanic Gardens decided to use WaterUps® wicking planters in addition to their traditional standard pot method. This decision was driven by the high water demand that tomatoes have particularly when fruiting and the consequential demand for almost daily surface watering. The WaterUps® performed well despite the wet conditions and we can only imagine how much better the system will perform next summer as we revert to El Nino climatic conditions.