Tomato question

bananajoe(z8b)November 16, 2005

Yesterday I had a friend ask me about growing tomatoes in a tropical climate. Perhaps you good folks in the Hawaii can help. answer this. Here on the west coast of Canada Tomato plants are annuals and have to replaced each year. In a tropical climate such as your's, do tomatoes grow year round and keep producing fruit? If so how long do they normally last before they start to decline? Cheers, Joe , Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada

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honu(z11 HI)

I only have experience growing organically in Hawaii, so my tomatoes might last about as long as mainland ones do, or shorter, usually brought down by disease after a reasonable harvest period, since I don't use any chemicals. The frequent night rains and humidity encourage fungal disease, and the abundant year-round pests help to spread disease or cause entry wounds. However, I can just keep replanting, and grow tomatoes all year round.
There is a variety, Peron Sprayless, that I have yet to try... this is supposed to be extremely disease tolerant, so I am curious how long this one can keep going.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 3:55AM
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Thanks for the reply. I will forward this to him. I wish I was in Hawaii right now, it's my favourite place in the world! I love Foster's garden and Lyon Arboretum. Cheers, Joe

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 6:27PM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

Aloha Joe,

It depends if the tomato is an "indeterminate" or "determinate" type. The "indeterminate" types just keep vining along for several years and root along the stem as they get all tangled up together. An "indeterminate" tomato patch is sort of a permant planted area. They keep making tomatoes all along, although they don't all ripen at the same time. That is good if you are using them for salads, not so good if you want tomato sauce. The "determinate" type of tomatoes grow for one season, have all their fruit at the same time and die off.

The biggest tomato factor around here is the fruit fly. If we try to grow the big tomatoes, the fruit get stung by the fruit flies and the it withers and falls off the vine before it is ripe. The smaller fruited varieties and heavier skinned varieties of tomatos do real well. Roma, cherry and pear tomatoes all do fine.

A hui hou,

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:40PM
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I am on Oahu's Windward side fronting a small lake/pond, so the weather is moderate compared to other parts of Hawaii. I've tried growing tomatoes before in another part of our town that was much hotter. The birds usually got to the tomatoes before we could, along with caterpillars, slugs, etc. We just moved to this area and in the spring I planted a small 4" potted roma tomato I got from a local nursery. I put it into a very large pot where I had a huge healthy basil plant, as the tomato grew the basil curled up and died. Later I found out that the tomato sucked the nutrients out of the soil. My roma has been growing and producing all summer long! My question is: When will it stop? It is in front of a fenced lanai so after it out grew the tomato cage, I began tying it up to the fence, it is over 12 feet wide! Yikes, when will it stop? I am thinking of pulling it up soon - at least by October, is that a good thing?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 11:26PM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

Why pull it up? It's making tomatoes isn't it? It could last for several years and tomatoes are tasty! If it is taking up too much space, just send the vines back the other way.

The only reason to pull up a tomato plant is if it isn't making tomatoes anymore or if it has died.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 3:58AM
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Novice at growing tomatoes. Why are there few to no flowers on my plants? Square foot gardening type soil, organic compost, drip irrigation. Is it too hot for flowering in July/August? SanMarzano and Burpee Big Boy plants from seedlings purchased at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 5:29AM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

The plant may not be old enough to make flowers yet? Otherwise, it may lack some nutrients, but if you have compost, then there should be all the nutrients available. How long have you been waiting for the flowers?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:55PM
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