Seed Starting Dates.

garf_gwJanuary 12, 2011

I am in Miami, almost as far south as you can get. I need to know the best seed starting dates for a summer tomato crop here. I have some heat tolerant varieties, so I'm hoping for the best.

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Hey Garf,

With 1 season of tomato growth behind me, and with the help of the local extension service(A&M)Texas; I would suggest catching a good reliable temperature forecast of the next 10 days. Then, study what temperature is the warmest on average of 72 hours. Take that day, and look at the next 3 day- precipitation forecast. If you have a 30% chance or lower,with no heavy downpours forecast for your general area(laughing...I'm a hour from the gulf),I say plant. The date depends on your local school of thought. I'll throw a guess out there however.

Maybe March on the 1st. That puts your harvest sometime in the middle of June. And this is entirely based on the possibility of the Gulf spinning something up out there.

I like the idea that my soil is warm enough for my plants to go into the ground and think 'Here We Go'

As far as the seed, as soon as possible. To catch the 1st of March, you have less than 6 weeks.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 9:38PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

You should grow them in the spring and/or fall, NOT summer. I would have started them already!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I agree with taz. Get those seeds going!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 12:45PM
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I'm not sure. Miami might be a good place to grow the tomato year round minus 85 days or so. Worth a shot anyway, save the hurricane.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 1:14AM
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I'm in zone 10b, and you're going to have a tough time growing any tomatoes in our summers. There is a variety called the Everglades tomato that bears fairly well, and cherry tomatoes can sometimes handle it (provided they get proper shade), but for the most part, I'd wait until next September to start a new crop of indoor seeds. Even the heat tolerant varieties. There is still probably time, though, to squeeze in one more winter harvest, so maybe buy some transplants and get them going.

If you decide to go ahead with the summer tomatoes, I'd recommend spraying from planting time onward.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Tomatoes in South Florida

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 3:45PM
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I do already have a few Everglades started. I guess it's time to start the rest.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Where'd you get the Everglades seeds, btw? I found them once, but haven't seen them around since. If there's more, maybe I'll do a summer planting myself.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:35PM
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See if this link works. I know here are cheaper sources out there.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:13PM
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    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:17PM
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Thanks! And good luck with the warm-weather grow. I'm loving these last few days, weather-wise.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 6:46PM
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At least not the full size fruit. You will get blossom drop. And probably a fungal infection, too. It is not worth the effort.

I have never tried with the cherries or grape tomatoes to know.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 9:08PM
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i'm in phoenix where we're way hotter then fla and we grow all summer i started seeds jan 2 and will probably be transplanting around valentines day i've tried some of those "heat tolerant" varieties and they don't do well here you might wanna try juliet, cherry, yellow pear, jelly bean and other smaller varieties if you absulutly have to have a bigger tomato try early girl not the best tasting but far better then anything you get at the store.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:25PM
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In hot climates you have to reverse your thinking about when gardening season is. For most people winter is the off-season. For us, the off-season is summer.

Here in south-central Texas, I start my tomatoes in Dec or Jan, plant out in late Feb or early March, and they're done for by July or August.

In Miami... does it even freeze at all? If it doesn't (or only occasionally), you can grow tomatoes at any time of year BUT summer.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Phoenix may be hotter than Florida, but it is not as humid. The humidity here in Florida is too high to grow tomatoes in the summer, at least the full size variety. You will get flowers, but they will not set fruit due to the humity and the heat.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:28PM
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In Miami, we do get an occasional frost, but we only get a hard freeze once in 5 years or so.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:36PM
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redlinenikolas(Sunset 11)

I started my seeds yesterday! :-) They should be ready to transplant into medium containers in 4-5 weeks, then into the ground around April 1st-10th.. depending on weather forecasts for frost.

Rutgers Select
Large Cherry

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 2:00AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Garf, I started the UF summer plants March 1st and set mid-April one year. They did bear well in June but really had NO taste. We really are not successful with fruit set when the night temps are above 75F with anything other than the currants.

If anybody wants Everglades seeds drop me a line but bear in mind there's an old saying, "Friends don't let friends grow Everglades", once you put one in you'll have them for life...volunteers will pop up all over your yard once the birds get to them.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 5:45PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

And, to answer your question, you need to set plants (8-10") at the beginning of February (NOW!) for Zone 10 Florida, minimum of 60 days to maturity leaves you with April and May for production. After that you won't overcome disease and pestilence in our humid environment and fruit set will be over....So, your seed starting date was 6-8 weeks ago :-(


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 5:59PM
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