Garden Planning: Early & Late Tomato Garden

I think this is our last garden plan for the year. (The wheelchair height garden will have Prairie Star Annual flowers in it this year, so we don’t have a specific plan for that garden.)

This is our second tomato garden, and we’re going about it a little differently.

We’re going to plant half of the garden to early spring vegetables in March. The other half will be planted to early season/cold tolerant or determinate tomatoes in late April/early May. Those tomatoes will grow through early August, when most of them will be done producing.

In mid-June, we will harvest anything remaining from the early spring vegetables and then plant 6 tomato varieties that are marketed to have good heat tolerance. By planting them 4-6 weeks later than the other tomatoes, they should be blooming vigorously just about the time we normally get the worst of our heat. This will give us a clear picture of which varieties will do the best in that heat. If we’re lucky, we should have a consistent supply of tomatoes all year. (If we’re really unlucky, we’ll have an abnormally cool summer so it won’t matter!)

After the early tomatoes are done, we’ll be replacing them with cauliflower and other fall vegetables. Hopefully the other tomatoes will produce at least through September.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on February 25, 2011, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Expect a cool summer: after seeing how other people’s eggplants did last year in the 107-degree weather, I’m planting both regular and Asian ones this year.

    Mmm, eggplant. Eggplant parmesan. Baba ghannouj. Eggplant caponata. Baingan bharta. Melanzane a scapici.

    • I’m confused…the post was about tomatoes. Why are you taunting me with nasty, nasty eggplants!

      • Because tomatoes and eggplants go together so very, very well. Eggplant parmesan needs a lovely paste tomato to make the sauce. Baba ghannouj needs garnished with a nice coarsely-chopped slicer. And so on. They’re cousins and best friends, how can you like one and not the other?

  2. Ooh, I’ll be really interested to see how cauliflower does in Wichita (and broccoli too?). So much that I’ve read basically lead me to believe cauliflower is too finicky to grow in anything outside practically-perfect cool (but not too cool!) conditions. I tried broccoli in the spring a couple years ago, but barely got anything before it bolted. Good luck!

    • We tried a spring cauliflower a couple years ago and it was only okay. I’ve seen a number of our farmers market growers have beautiful broccoli and cauliflower in the fall, because we usually do have a long, cool fall. (I think both are actually more sensitive to getting too hot or too cold at…5 weeks?…before they start heading. I’m kinda fuzzy on that memory.)

      I think the key for spring broccoli and cauliflower is choosing a variety that is short days-to-maturity and also that is listed for spring/summer production. They should be more tolerant to heat.

  1. Pingback: Tomato Planting & Spring Harvests « The Demo Garden Blog

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