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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Response to a Question from Florida: I finally have space, is July to late for tomatoes?

I finally have a space to grow things! But I'm in Florida and was searching around to find out if July was too late to plant tomato seeds. What do you think? Would it be a good idea to stick to cold-tolerant varieties or will Florida heat help instead of burn? Thanks for posting your experiences. Hope your garden is doing well!

I actually think you are blessed with a forever season for tomatoes. They are tropical. Some varieties have trouble setting fruit when temperatures stay in the high 90's. I have not experienced that issue before. Not only can you start tomatoes from seed but you can keep them growing year round. You probably have to plant rotations of tomatoes because disease and time will beat them up.

I would recommend you see if there are transplants ready at your local nurseries and garden centers. It will save you some time. But if you start seeds now and keep them watered... they will sprout quickly and grow fantastically. You don't want cold tolerant varieties in your area. You want the HEAT loving varieties. If you have time google search tomato seed catalogs. Most catalogs are free. Get them coming to you and soon you will have more varieties of seeds then land to grow them.

Check your average temperatures by month. I think you are good with standard tomatoes July through October. Cold tolerant are more for the 50's - 60's daily temps.

Let me know how they grow.

Good Luck!

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