Garden Pals

by Ms. Grow-It-All on May 8, 2012


Heat-tolerant tomato varieties

Glenn Mayne (president of the Leon County Master Gardener Associaiton): “I have been using Better Boy for so long now, I really don’t have any direct experience with other cultivars that do well in hot conditions. There are cultivars that specify they are ‘mid-season’ and ‘late season,’ which would have to be heat tolerant.

“Some that I have heard of people having success with in past hot summers are Big Boy Hybrid, Box Car Willie, Solar Fire VFFF Hybrid and Arkansas Traveler #3566. I believe all are VFN rated, which could be a factor in heat resistance.”

Donna Legare (co-owner of Native Nurseries): Here is a rundown on some of our heat tolerant varieties.. this is a two family garden. So when I say we, I mean me, Jody and Ann Morrow. Also perhaps our tomatoes take the heat better because the garden is not in full sun. It is the sunniest place that we have, but not nearly full sun. Also our soil is primo – lots and lots of compost in raised beds and regular watering, mostly by hand and drip irrigation – so foliage is not getting wet except during rain, which has been scarce.

Cherry to large grape size:
Matt’s Wild Cherry – prolific, very small, tasty, still blooming, lots of ripe ones to pick and green ones to ripen, has produced some nearby seedlings as well that are beginning to produce, huge vining plant, should go into autumn
Herman’s ‘Lil Yeller – plants from Turkey Hill Farm – larger than a standard grape, yellow, prolific, still blooming, lots still ripening, tasty

Small Slicers:
Juane flamme – in my opinion, the tastiest of all, perfect apricot color and size, still flowering and ripening
Stupice – small red slicer, this was our earliest to ripen and is still flowering

Medium to Large Fruit
Blue Beech – still flowering, elongated fruit, harvesting ripe ones and green ones still ripening
Nyagous – medium round, dark tomato, good slicer, still flowering
Cherokee Purple – large to huge fruit, purplish-red flesh, don’t see any new flowers, these big tomatoes have a tendency to crack so pick regularly, the splitting doesn’t affect flavor
Celebrity – F1 hybrid that was highly recommended by Art Cheek for our area – a medium orange/red slicer, still flowering and producing

Striped Roman — just like the name describes, a roma with stripes

All the others are heirlooms that were locally grown by O’Toole’s Herb Farm, Turkey Hill Farm or Lilly Anderson-Messec. We grew other varieties, but they are not still producing heavily. We experiment with heirlooms and try to keep good records so we can make recommendations to our growers for next year’s selection.



Lana Arnold peonies

Peonies are difficult to grow here in hot, humid USDA Zone 8b, but some people have better luck, or perhaps more patience, than others. Master Gardener Lana Arnold shared this photo of her peonies in bloom in early April 2011. Anyone know what variety this is?

(Note: I’d love to publish your garden photos, too. Be aware that submitted photos become the property of PostScript Publishing LLC and sender relinquishes all rights. Of course, I’ll credit the photographer by name if you send it with the photo.)


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