the fallacy of fall tomatoes?
OK, I was pretty energized about getting a fall crop from my Sweet 100s that were (as usual) hugely abundant in the spring. You just have to wait until it gets cool enough for the flowers to set, right? Well, the frost last night took them out completely. I managed to get a few tomatoes before that happened, but nowhere near the number I had in the spring (five hundred or so from six plants).
The reason is that I can put my tomatoes in in late February, and harvest through June and even July. Flowers appear in late March. Maybe 4 months. But after that, fruit won't start setting until October, and then you get a hard freeze in December. Maybe 2 months. So the growing and fruit-setting season is very asymmetric spring/fall.
I tried to cover the plants during the freeze but, as I said in a previous post, the had gotten very long, so I had a tarp all the way over the five-foot fence they were growing on. With that tall a tent, the heat of the ground isn't going to protect them much.