The Year of Tomatoes

We have never grown tomatoes in our current area.  We have a ten week growing season, and our average summer temp is somewhere in the high 80s, so it doesn’t get very hot.  So we haven’t even tried, because from what we heard you could only do it in a greenhouse – which we hope to someday build for that exact purpose.  But the last few years I have heard a few success stories of people growing them here without a greenhouse.

So I decided that this year I would get three different determinant short-season tomato varieties and try them in three different ways.

  1. In the garden in the sunniest spot.
  2. In the garden near the dark-colored wall that gives off a lot of heat from the sun.
  3. In pots along the garage, where again the wall reflects back a lot of heat.
  4. In pots inside our livingroom with the south-facing windows.

After ordering my seeds and drawing out my garden plans and such I got a call from a friend whose daughter decided to sell tomato seedlings as a little summer business.  I am a sucker for young entrepreneurs, so I of course agreed to buy some.  She had two varieties, and I decided to put both varieties in each location I listed above, in keeping with my tomato experiment.  So I erased and moved things around in my garden plan and was ready to do 5 different varieties.

Then, this week, I got a call from a friend of a friend who had several extra tomato seedlings and wanted to give them to me.  All of hers were indeterminate varieties, so they all needed to go into the garden.  Move over green beans, tomatoes are taking your spot (since green beans are the only thing we haven’t put in the ground yet, so it’s the only blank spot!).  We will still get to plant green beans, just not as many as previously planned.  So that friend of a friend gave me 5 different varieties (2 of each, except for only one of one of the varieties).

So now we are trying 10 different tomato varieties, after never even doing tomatoes here before.  We are very hopeful one (or more!) will succeed in one of the many locations so we can start doing tomatoes regularly.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


6 thoughts on “The Year of Tomatoes

  1. Oh, gracious, I had no idea you all were dealing with only a ten-week growing season. That’s super-tough! I suppose if you start with seedlings that are mature enough at the beginning of those ten weeks, and grow very early varieties, you might get some tomatoes. I will be looking to see how it goes–I guess I won’t have too long to wait!


    • Yes, when I say short season I mean SHORT season. 🙂
      It has presented many challenges, but we find ways around many of them.
      I think some of the seedlings got an early enough start and others I am not sure. Time will tell.


  2. When it rains it pours! So many tomato plants. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Here in Michigan the growing season is a bit longer. Tomatoes have been about the only thing in the past that I have been successful at growing. This year, however, mine are all going in pots. I started with six pots, three varieties, and now have ten pots and four varieties. Maybe by the time I’m done, I’ll have 10 varieties too!


    • Maybe they are magnetically drawn to each other! The more varieties you get the more show up in addition. 🙂
      It was a really nice blessing to get these unexpected last 5 varieties, even if we are scrambling for space.


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