Tomatoes in the Desert
The past two years I've experimented with trying to grow tomatoes in a raised bed.
Last year, I had a wierd freeze in late April that took out my first plants. Then the replacements were a total bust because of tomato hornworm. They ate my three big plants away when I was on vacation in July. I think I got 12 edible tomatoes (8 of those grape tomatoes) for the whole season.
I bought three 4-inch pot tomato plants from Lowes this year (shaking my head now-I should know better).
Better Boy (indeterminant)
Health Kick (determinant paste tomato)
Pineapple heirloom (indeterminant)
The indeterminants are making lots of tomatoes, but EVERY SINGLE ONE cracks before there is the slightest amount of pink on them. I pick and bring them in once there is some pink. They taste fine when you cut the cracks off (just a few have had mold--they go right into the compost).
I'm starting the plans for next year. Can anyone recommend heirloom salad and paste tomatoes that
1) can take heat
2) can take DRY-DRY-DRY (humidity is NOT a problem)
3) basically, won't crack in the Mojave Desert
I realize tomato husbandry can fill an entire website, so if you could just talk varieties, I'd appreciate it. Bonus points if you can recommend a vendor who ships them as live plants (I usually have a black thumb starting seeds indoors, but I'll try again.)