What type of tomatoes to plant in Miami???

catlover_gardenerJune 6, 2008

I poanted three Patio tomatoes, but they all failed. It has been 85+degrees up to 90ish here lately. What type of tomatoes can I plant here that will fruit early before I have to scramble to bring in my plants due to the usual hurricane scares? People tell me it is too hot to plant tomatoes.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Likely, from what others have posted here in the past, it is too hot down there now. Most any variety will work for you if planted at the right time - early spring and fall for you. Check out the thread here called "heat tolerant tomatoes" for some variety suggestions.

You are actually quite lucky as you get 2 growing seasons for tomatoes while most of us only get one. Unfortunately, right now isn't one of them.

Be sure to also check out the Florida Gardening forum here for good advice from your neighbors on planting times and varieties they have had success with.


Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Gardening

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Sunmaster, solar fire, florilina, homestead, are a few that will grow here in summer. Most cherries will also.
These are mostly determinates, so you will not get the large fruits of the other 2 growing seasons with indeterminates. But it can keep you in tomatoes for when you start seed in august for next growing season.
You also should try to keep them away from the afternoon west scorching sun if you can.

You might want to try some peppers, as they grow year round in this zone. st. pete, fl.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 7:40AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I have a friend in S FL who ships me fruits from time to time in the early winter and he grows ANY variety he wants to. But, he gets them in early.

Linda Sapp at TGS in Fort Myers has said that one should grow long season and midseason varieties for the Spring crop and short and midseason varieties for the Fall crop.

And many Floridians do. So I don't see why you can't grow almost any variety as long as your timing is right.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Eaglejohn has some good advise regarding heat-tolerant varieties, cherries, and the use of determinants.

Experiment in the summer if you like but do grow in the fall when you are not battling extreme heat, summer rains (if they ever start that is) , and increased bug pressures. You will be so much happier with the results. I pretty much give it a rest in the summer as fall, winter, and spring are our best seasons (despite the occasionally scare of too cold weather).

I plant the bulk of my tomatoes in Oct. and a few in Sept (and hope we don't get hurricanes). You can keep planting for months--as long as you can get everything harvested by the time summer kicks in.

I believe the Homestead commercial growers plant heat tolerant determinate varieties sometime in August/Sept?. But taste-wise these leave alot to be desired.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Carolyn, I just read your post re Linda's advice but S. Florida is different than Tampa area. Go with Mid and late season varieties in the fall--I then start ripping them out around Mar. / April depending on disease. They grow continuously for 7 or so months.

Where she is it gets much colder in the winter so that is a consideration-- to get them harvested before winter cold temps but it is different in MIami.

Way down here if you plant in the spring go with varieties that you can harvest before summer kicks in.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:21AM
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Catlover, I don't know why I assumed you were in Miami. Where are you located in Fl.?

Check out this link:

Look on the last pages for when to plant both warm season and cool season plants. TABLE 4. South Florda is the 3rd column. For TOMATOES tt says AUG through MAR for S. Fl but remember Aug is still very hot and rainy as is Sept. and it is still hurricane season. And in Mar I would go with a determinate or early variety to get it harvested before summer. But in all the other months plant whatever you like.

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

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 10:09AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

This really isn't the time to grow tomatoes down there; you'll most likely find it rather frustrating. The advice above about fall, winter and spring should steer you in the right direction. Having said that, the only things you could grow there right now for sure are the baby everglades maters, and Matt's and we have a saying about Matt's - friends don't let friends grow Matt's! The volunteers will take over and you'll have a hard time keeping them out of everything...wait til fall.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Sorry I didn't respond earlier; just caught up.

I am in South Miami. The heat here is horrible; and the white flies and mites, too. Meanwhile I went out and got Heatwave and Homestead toms. They shot up, flowered, and then proceeded to look forlorn and the bottom leaves yellowed, then turned brown. Some of the leaves curled downwards and some upwards.

I failed them. They are in 10 gall and 18 gall containers. I spray with milk, soap and water, insecticidal soap and blast with water. The bugs laugh. I am thinking I will wait until fall like you suggest.

I have one lonely fruit on the Patio tom plant.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Just saw the article about Growing in FLorida and warm growing veggies. Thanks. I am going to rip up ugly tomato plant and wait until fall to try again. Meanwhile will keep the eggplant (I have eggplants and collards)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:05AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I spray with milk, soap and water, insecticidal soap and blast with water.

When you do plant this fall please keep in mind that sprays can often do more damage to the plant than the pests. ;) Anything that coats the leaves interferes with photosynthization and transpiration which are vital to the plant's survival.

Thus the recommendation that you only spray lightly, never drench the plant, just the bugs, and never apply sprays in the direct sun or the high heat of the day.

Good luck this fall. ;)


    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:09PM
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michi81(zone 7)

I live in Miami as well. I had planted 25 tomato plants a while back but ended up with 2 finally after a neighbor dumped a cats litter box over the fence on 20 of them. I never have spoken to that person or anything. Anyway, the other ones got ate up by white flies and mealy bugs. I ended up with Two in containers! They split and were smaller but were really good to the taste. So I am having the tomato fight as well. I live in West Miami/Sweetwater/Fontainebleau area. I do have some tomato seeds to trade if you want to try more. I just bought some cherry tomato and beefsteak tomato seeds. I water every evening.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 1:01AM
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On a 3rd-floor East-facing balcony in Hollywood, FL, I tried topsy turvy tomatoes for the first time (2 hangers). I have full sun until 2:30pm. I transplanted store-bought small-container Early Girl and Better Boy and hung them May 20 (very late-season). Soil is standard MiracleGrow potting mix. I prune volunteers and remote branches about once a week and water thoroughly every 2-3 days (depending on rain).

First fruit buds (not flowers) were June 15. Through the end of July I've had 7 total medium-size tomatoes (Early Girl=2, Better Boy=5; all tasted great) with 4 still growing (2 of each). Beginning in late July, major yellowing and curling of leaves exists. Regardless of remaining fruit, I'll plant for the fall season in September.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 2:11PM
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