Winter Tomatoes?

comments (5) October 22nd, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Like all winter tomatoes, Stupice is an heiloom tomato plant that will produce until a hard frost. 
 
Photo by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.Click To Enlarge

Like all winter tomatoes, 'Stupice' is an heiloom tomato plant that will produce until a hard frost. 

 

Photo by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.


Yes, you read that right. There are those tomato plants that set extremely well with the cool weather and short days. Of course, the best zones to plant them in are the ones that either get very little in the way of freezes or none at all.Southern California would be perfect to grow these gems. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, our weather is surprisingly different than So Cal, but I've been meaning to give winter tomatoes a go.

I didn't get around to getting any last fall, but I spotted them this year at a local nursery and had to try them. I chose a indeterminate, heirloom tomato called 'Stupice' that needs only a mere 55 - 62 days to bear harvestable fruit.

September is the optimal month around here for cool weather tomatoes, but as usual my timing is off and I decided to ignore the date. This time I was on the late side and planted it in the beginning of October. At least the plant was already about a foot tall.

The other thing to note about growing winter tomatoes is that at this time of year they actually perform better in containers as opposed to the garden bed. I'll bet you can guess why. Exactly. Soil in a container has a much better chance of being warmed by the winter sun in a container as opposed to the garden bed. Although, if it was between a raised garden bed or flat ground, the raised bed would out-perform the ground. Always one to go about things in a less-than-optimal way, the Stupice ended up in my raised bed.

I think I'm going to be sorry that I didn't use my Earthbox for this little experiment.

"Winter" tomato varieties to try are:

  • Paul Robeson
  • Northern Lights
  • San Francisco Fog
  • Jetsetter
  • Mule Team
  • Glacier
  • Stupice
  • Siberia
  • Silver Tree
  • Oregon Spring

 


posted in: tomatoes, winter tomatoes, 'Stupice' heirloom tomato

Comments (5)

Boertjie writes: Hi Tim, I am farming in South Africa with tomatoes in tunnels. Our problem is that the winters are very cold - below freezing.The climate during winter is very dry with no rainfall or mist and the day temperatures vary between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. That means that with the available varieties we must heat the tunnels at very high cost.
Can you recommend a variety for this type of conditions and give an indication of the price of the seed.

Warm South African regards.

Boertjie - ("Boertjie" is the name they call a farmer in SA )
Posted: 5:50 am on May 30th
MLDR writes: I live in the new orleans area and would like to try a few things in winter,what vegetables do you recomend for a beginner?
i would like to try bell peppers & lettuce,my bell peppers have been very good this summer.
Posted: 4:16 pm on August 9th
gardenbuddy writes: I experiment every winter with different tomatoes. I start out my plant in a container that has holes and good drainage in the bottom, and, as the plant gets bigger when I think it might get root bound I fill a larger container with soil and just set it in. Then I put really tall stakes in the large container so they are all around the smaller inset, and I tie gaeden twine around the stakes to make a trellis.
I grow determinates indoors because they are more manageable.
I also grow the mini plants that are specific for container gardening like Big Green Dwarf. Or bush tomatoes.

Posted: 10:09 am on February 4th
shimokajilarry writes: This was a timely articles,the article was very useful to the at risk childrens that I work with. Please keep posting articles like this
Posted: 10:11 am on October 29th
jdbee writes: What r good varieties if I want to try indoors?
I'll use the earth box and grow lp, small greenhouse
janei
Posted: 9:59 pm on October 28th
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