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tomatoes for the Florida panhandle

I am moving to the panhandle of Florida. What tomatoes grow best in that area? Thanks.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: ID/WA! border

quanah, my growing environment probably couldn't be much more different from Florida but here are a couple of ideas.

First off, my family has kept Porter tomatoes since the 1930's. They were developed by a seed company in Texas and do fine here just as they did for my grandmother in New Mexico and my uncle in Arizona.

You are moving to the state wherein is located a fine source for many tomato varieties: Tomato Growers Supply in Fort Myers. Not exactly the Panhandle but on the same coast and a very nice place as I remember ;). Spending some time with their catalog should be time well spent.

And, that is about all I've got :) ... I know HG has Florida, Alabama and Louisiana gardeners. Perhaps they will weigh in on some of their favorites.


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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

The thing about Florida is that is is similar to Hawaii expecially around Miami, but all over the state we would have similar issues with heat and disease resistance. I use the University of Florida's publications a lot because of that. Below are the Florida planting calenders and it is divided into zone North, Central, and Southern Florida. The other publication is on Florida vegetable gardening and includes best planting dates and suggestions for cultivars. In the Southern part of the US. you need to consider more heat tolerant plants like Creole tomatoes, okra, collards, tight husk corn, heat resistant lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, short day onions and garlic. With a longer growing season, there are more bugs and disease to contend with so insect netting, and shade cloth are useful as well as a preventive fungicide program in humid conditions. You may be able to use row covers but even the light row covers heated up too much for me, but you are cooler so it may work for you.

https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/law ... dar/#north

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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

digitS' wrote: ... I know HG has Florida, Alabama and Louisiana gardeners. Perhaps they will weigh in on some of their favorites.
And Mississippi gardeners! Don't forget about that land mass between Mobile and New Orleans! :)

You didn't say from where you are moving. If this is your first venture down South, know that not only are you going to deal with heat, but also humidity. Some varieties that are touted as 'heat tolerant' may also have a measure of humidity tolerance as well since humidity brings fungal problems that plain ol' heat won't.

These are on my list of "have" or "want to try:"
Better Boy, Heat Wave II, Amelia, Solar Fire, Solar Set, Manalucie, Bradley, Super Sioux, Homestead 24, Porter, Heatmaster, Mountain Supreme, Sunmaster, Sweet Million, Arkansas Traveler, Brandywine, Dad’s Mug, San Marzano.

My Better Boys did pretty well this year. I was disappointed in my Heat Wave variety, but that was my fault. I'll try them again next year. My San Marzano plants did surprisingly well.

Pretty much anywhere in the panhandle will be the same planting zone as I am -- 8b -- so depending on where you're coming from, you might have to rethink "normal' planting times. Think about starting seeds in January or early February for planting out in March, and then starting seeds again in July/early August for planting out in September for a fall crop.

And Welcome to the forum! :)

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