Tomatoes in Tucson: varieties?

memcintoDecember 13, 2009

Well it's time to start thinking about starting seeds for later. I know that tomatoes won't set fruit when the temps are too high, so we have a spring harvest season and a fall harvest season. I've also heard that cherry or grape tomatoes do better in our desert heat than the big kind.

So! What varieties of tomato have you successfully grown in Tucson, Phoenix, etc??? THANKS!

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Last year I had success with Large Pink Bulgarian and Kelloggs Breakfast. This year I started Zapotec, Oaxacan Pink, and Solar Set as all are known to do well in hotter climates. For cherries, I like Black Cherry and Yellow Pear.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:58PM
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Wow, thanks! I appreciate the info!!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 7:40PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I can echo good results with Large Pink Bulgarian and Kellogg's Breakfast ( I think her starts from me ;~))) Also had excellent results with Atkinson. Black Cherry is a great cherry tom! Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 6:47AM
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Matt's Wild Cherry went beserk!
Also had good luck with ordinary Romas from Home Depot.

Disappointing: Cream Sausage, White Currant, ans some "jellybean" cherry type.

NOTE: I should have cut back the Romas heavily when they stopped setting fruit, and let them resprout. I'm having to dig through dead and sterile branchlets to get to the new stuff.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 1:58PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

I have Early Girls (transplanted in November), with flowers and green tomatoes on them now. I covered them for a couple of weeks in December when it got below 35, but other than that, no special treatment or care.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 8:17PM
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Yep, got those LPB and KB starts from you Mary. Got any more for this year?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 11:16AM
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OMG, Kellogg's Breakfast really? I didn't think those would do well here, but now I'm excited to try them because they're my top numero uno favorite. I grew them once up north and in the taste department they just blew me away. Then again, I was never able to grow very good tasting tomatoes here in the valley. I don't know what it is, but they don't taste anything like what I've had before, even the same varieties I've grown before score very low here.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 1:09AM
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Yep, and for me the key to growing the larger varieties here is planting them in the fall. That along with the willingness to fail during our coldest winters. You will remember last winter was rather mild which helped me bring them successfully through the winter. This allows them to put on their growth, flower and set on prior to our heatwave. Work on your soil greendesert, it is the key to good tasting tomatoes. And, get your pH down to 7 if it is high. May this be your best tomato year ever.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 12:35PM
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I didn't cover my tomatoes (too much on my plate) and lost some. Some may make it, I think. I will wait another 1-2 weeks, cut back and apply steer manure.

My new seedlings are growing well, but I told myself to plant them Dec 15th and didn't start them until Jan 1st. Last year I put a yellow pear in a nice pot Feb 15th and it did amazing. Pound after pound for months. But I like the BIG tomatoes for BLTs.

What worked for me last year with large heirlooms was finding spots that got full sun until 2pm, then shade and consistent water. I had some cracking and some end rot, but overall it was problem free.

GET THEM IN THE GROUND EARLY! After March 15th, I wouldn't waste time on anything but a fast setting cherry.

I have heard fruit won't set above 90 degrees, but my experience has been that it can't be above 100 for over a 3-4 days.

love talking tomatoes! (even if I get slightly off topic, sorry!)


    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 6:33AM
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Hi...First attempt at tomatoes in AZ. Built two raised beds,4'x8'x22". Filled with "garden soil" from Lowe's and Home Depot. Started seeds 1/18,transplanted 2/26, (delayed because of a series of storms). Planted 4 early girls, 2 big boys, 3 sweet 100s and one roma. Had first fruit from cherries 5/12, early girl 5/14, big boy 5/25, romas eaten by quail :) May 19 I put up shade cloth, hoping to survive until fall. Had a fair amount of fruit, cherrys are still producing (7/12). But all fruit is less than half the size of what I grew in MN and IA, and the skins are thick and tough. But the flavor is great! Looking forward to a fall crop.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 3:42PM
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