Growing Tomato Plants,
Timing is everything
in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens
Timing can make or break your tomato harvest in the Northeast Florida area, it can some years turn into a race against time when summers heat will slow tomato production down drastically. Plant long maturing tomato varieties as early as possible in the spring, or purchase transplants to get a headstart as opposed to direct seeding into your garden. The last frost date on average for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine garden is February 20-27th.
If starting a bit late, use transplants from S & J in a 4 inch or 1 gallon pot or use determinate varieties, or tomato varieties with a shorter from seed to harvest date.
Two Tomato Growing Seasons in One Year in Northeast Florida? Really?
In response to the need to keep the tomato plants out of the summer heat, here in Northeast Florida we have two tomato growing seasons! We begin setting plants out in the latter part of February, and through March and April so they can bear plenty of fruit before the heat in June and July slows tomato production down to a screaching halt. It often just gets to hot for the plants to flower and set fruit during the middle of Florida’s hot summer months.
So May comes along and we take a break from tomatoes, maybe plant some Okrah, when everyone else is planting their tomato seedlings out into the garden!
Then August and September comes around and we plant them again! So it may take a bit of getting used to, but where else do you get two tomato growing seasons each year instead of just one! You have got to love that!