Tucson Tomato Temperature Timing

grubby_AZJuly 9, 2014

Am I right in figuring that right now, mid July, is a good date for planting tomato starts indoors in the hotter parts of Arizona? As for indoors verses outdoors, I know they'll start in the garden but things will eat them if I do, so this question is about the heat break we should get in eight or nine weeks (yay!). Might I be a little late?

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I usually start my indoor seed sowing of tomatoes, peppers and cabbage around July 4th. I'm late this year, hopefully this weekend I'll get started. So, I think you're right on target. Six weeks to hardening off and planting out.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:05AM
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Art-in-OV

Today I did the equivalent by cutting back my tomato vines from my Spring plants. Vines laying on the ground have established roots, so now I have more "plants" to produce for the Fall harvest. If you cut back too much, you can kill the plant. If done properly, the plants will put on new growth during Monsoon season and bear a lot of fruit again when the weather cools a little. Learned this from George Brookbank's book on Vegetable Gardening in Tucson.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:20AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Thanks for that tip Art. I did kill three nice plants that I had started in early spring by over pruning. I found that Brookbank book at my local library so I'll check out the technique as he describes it and see if I can save the few remaining plants that are trying to hang on through summer.

Happy Gardening! Mary

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:11AM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

If you're in central you can have some of my volunteers that've been popping up!

-Ming

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:31AM
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SirNomad

Howdy folks. I'm in central Tucson and I was wondering what heritage varieties of tomatoes you guys have had success with around here? We (meaning my little boy and I) are doing our gardening in pseudo earthboxes.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:11PM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

I really like black varieties and had good luck with Japanese trifele these past couple years. I've also had decent harvest on black krim but found the trifele to be a smaller but more productive fruit with a brighter flavor. Although not heritage, I always plant sungold cherries and yellow pears. Ii haven't been to the farmer's market in a long time but Arivaipa heirlooms is an excellent local desert adapted heirloom tomato company.

-Ming

Here is a link that might be useful: aravaipa heirlooms

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:03PM
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SirNomad

Howdy Ming,

Can we get viable seeds from fruit we purchase at a farmer's market? Has anyone tried that? Or do the fruits need to be more mature before they're harvested?

Nomad

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:49PM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

You probably could, that's how my mom started a few of hers in Oregon. That particular company sells seedling varieties adapted to the desert but it looks like their page is down... Have you been to Native Seed Search? I just get all of mine from Mesquite Valley Growers. They have some plants grown from seed in their greenhouse and some trucked in from elsewhere. I may have some mystery seedlings to get rid of in a couple weeks, too.

-Ming

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:21PM
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