AZ Gardener
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:49 pm
Location: Sun City West AZ

Tomatoes not turning red yet.

I live in Arizona, and have my two tomato plants (one Early Girl and one Pasta Roma) in self watering containers that can be moved around to get the best sun exposure and shelter from the frost or the very hot sun in the summer. The plants produced well sized red tomatoes all during the spring season and into the summer. I had cut the plants back in the later part of the summer and they came back nicely. I have had tomatos for about two months, but they are still green. Our temps have ranged from 70 dgrees during the daytime to around 35 degres at night. I use clear plastic and lights to control the night time low temps. I believe I'm doing everything correctly, but the tomatoes are not red yet. I would like the tomatoes to turn red on the plant themselves, but I'm not sure they will. Any comments or suggestions, is there anything I need to do differently?

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Keep doing what you are doing. It is Jan in case you missed that fact. :P With the lack of full sunlight and the colder temps it is going to take a while longer than during full on summer conditions.


Be patient they will come. With temps that low at night they are going to slow way down. Usually around 50 is when the brakes get hit. So if it is around 30 they are putting both feet on the brakes and pushing them hard. Be happy you still have tomatoes growing and sit back and relax.

dustyrivergardens
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Location: Holbrook Az. zone 5b

I agree I grow them in doors in Northern Arizona and they take for ever to ripen and there skin gets real thick but as it warms up so does the production and quality of the tomato.

AZ Gardener
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:49 pm
Location: Sun City West AZ

Thank you for the information. I have never tried to keep the plants going through the winter months and have not done a lot of reserch on this. Both my neighbor and I have tomato plants and are trying this for the first time. Can either of you recomend any good books?

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gixxerific
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For books I can't reccomend any off the top of my head. But I just go to the library and read all of them. That way all the bases are covered. :P

dustyrivergardens
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Location: Holbrook Az. zone 5b

For your area you should be starting your tomato seeds right now and planting them outside in 6 to 8 weeks from about now. You are in the Phoenix area right. or are you trying to grow them indoors. as far as books go I read them all but for one around the house I kind of like The vegetable gardeners bible by Edward C. Smith he covers a lot of basics and I agree with him I guess more than the others lol... same line of thought I guess.

cynthia_h
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AZ Gardener wrote:Thank you for the information. I have never tried to keep the plants going through the winter months and have not done a lot of reserch on this. Both my neighbor and I have tomato plants and are trying this for the first time. Can either of you recomend any good books?
A good general book for gardening in the western states and provinces is Sunset's Western Garden Book. Sunset's climate-zone system tailors growing seasons to the actual climatic conditions you experience where you live: wind, summer and winter temps, rain, snow, hours of sunlight (latitude), etc. The USDA Hardiness Zone system *only* considers whether plants will survive the winter. Period. Sunset lets you know which plants will thrive for you, and when to grow them during the year.

Learn all you can about your Sunset climate zone and work with it to reduce frustration in the garden. Many hot-climate gardeners learn that, for them, the summer isn't the best time to grow tomatoes; other months of the year are. You may be in that situation, but you may not. Your Sunset climate zone will tell the tale.

There's a 75-page or so section in the back of the Western Garden Book entitled "A Practical Guide to Gardening" written for new gardeners. With many photographs and illustrations, basic (and some more advanced!) techniques are shown and explained so that someone who has never even seen a given procedure carried out has a very good shot at doing it not only successfully, but doing it well. :)

The Western Garden Book is widely available at gardening centers, nurseries, hardware stores with gardening supplies, bookstores, and even public libraries. The on-line maps are *not* as accurate as the ones in the book, so definitely find your climate zone in the book if at all possible.

Happy gardening!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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