HORTIPHILE

notes, musings and rants from plant lovers

Last Chance for Romance

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: June 4, 2010

June4

You’ve still got a couple of weeks left to plant a tomato.  Ignore that fogbelt overhead and try a cherry tomato.

This baby's in and full of promise.

Yes, we can grow tomatoes in San Francisco and we’ve got only a couple more weeks to get them in.  After mid-June you’re tempting the fates who control the daylight. There won’t be enough of it come the fall for your late-setting tomatoes to ripen.  You’ll be left with hard, green ping pong balls in October.

Try Sun Golds or Sweet 100s or any of the cherry varieties available as young plants or “starts”–it’s way too late for seeds.  We San Franciscans are more likely to produce a delicious cherry than any other kind of tomato.  So go with the odds and go with the little guys.   Be sure to get the largest plant you can find at the nursery since we’re planting this late.

Our friends at UC Davis have a great PDF available that tells you everything and much more than you’ll ever need to know.  Be sure to check out the semi-horizontal planting technique they suggest.  Cut off the lower couple of sets of leaves and bury the plant deep.  Tomatoes are very happy rooters or “adventitious” rooters.    They’ll sprout roots all along the stem making for a sturdier plant.

The Master Gardeners San Mateo and San Francisco Counties have a nifty handout on growing tomatoes in containers–roof and fire escape gardeners take note!  Don’t fear the fog.  Plant a cherry tomato now.

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