View Full Version : Tomatoes for hot, humid areas?

May 23rd, 2005, 12:36 PM
I've always been content to buy hybrid tomato seed in the past, but this coming year I'm thinking I may go OP with those too. My problem is that Florida is hot and very humid for most of our tomato growing season so disease pressure is pretty high.

Anyone care to suggest some open pollinated varieties that will do well in our Deep Southern heat and humidity?


May 28th, 2005, 08:30 AM
Well, Alan, I don't live in FL but I do live in southern MO where we have a lot of heat and humidity in the summer months...days in the 90's with 80% humidity. The OP varieties that work the best for me are: Arkansas Traveler, Mortgage Lifter and Cherokee Purple.

May 29th, 2005, 10:48 AM
Kentucky Beefsteak is an orange tomato that will weigh in at over one pound. It grows well here in southeast Missouri. I rarely have a cracking problem with this plant. Great White is the tomato is most prone to cracking here.
John L.

June 7th, 2005, 02:58 PM
I live in Fairhope, Al, which is on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. I've found that almost every tomato variety I have tried does fine as long as I plant them out super early. For me that is about the beginning of February. I start seeds inside in December under lights in 4" pots. By February, they are in perfect shape to put out in deep, deep craterlike holes that are filled with compst, bonemeal, and chicken manure.
Right now i am picking Cherokee purple, hillbilly and tigerella. These were planted in Feb. Druzba, marvel striped, ananas noir, and isis candy were planted in early march and are coming on.
Cherokee purple is my old stanby, I always plant more of it than any other; it is a truly wonderful tomato. By the end of June/beginning of July everything is starting to decline. I now start seeds for a fall crop. We have to think a little different about tomatoes in the coastal south.

June 7th, 2005, 09:04 PM
I have had good luck with Green Zebra, germination is always good, plants are easy to care for, continues to produce till cold weather. It is hot and humid here in western Ky. Sky

June 23rd, 2005, 04:02 PM
I live in the south and have found that two really good cultivars for the heat are:

heatwave and

creole cultivars.

They do really well in southern Louisiana heat.

July 29th, 2005, 07:00 AM
I live in AL , & my favorite tomato is Quarter Century (from Burpee). It does really well in high heat & the flavor is great! Another one that has done well this year is Homestead 24. I was actually about to ask this same question- so I will be glad to get some ideas also.

September 5th, 2005, 10:49 AM
Anyone care to suggest some open pollinated varieties that will do well in our Deep Southern heat and humidity?


you're at the northern end of zone 8/ southern side zone 7. i'm on the 8/9 border. i've had really good success with the siberian tomato. and almost all of the russian and black varieties. my fav's are siberian, black prince and russian rose. on the east-central side of the state marmande does well enough to be in regular production this time of year for december harvests.

beetles love the black and russian strains more than people do. siberians seem to be low on thier palate, though.

i have to tickle the flower clusters to get them to pollinate.

40lb farmer
September 20th, 2005, 03:39 PM
when average daily temps hit 95 and the nightly temps are still high like the high 80's it's difficult to get fruit to set. if you start your plants from seed try using a row planter or pellet starter and 4" peat pots. start'em indoors in march or april then set'em in the ground when the night temps are close to 60. by the time the heat is up the fruit should be ready to harvest, or nearly so.

December 17th, 2005, 01:02 PM
This suggestion is boring but I've planted Roma's for many years in Central TX, and now in central VA. TX was much more humid, and they seemed to produce throughout the summer.

Typically my crop is 75% Roma with a dozen or so other varieties thrown in. My heirlooms last year were completely duds - but know the new garden soil isn't up to par. I will mention that even the "failed" crop of Roma's still produced several pounds per plant.

Several tons of horse manure, leaf compost, and a good vetch/rye cover crop and we'll see how things turn out this spring. I'm going to try some of the suggestions on this thread.

December 23rd, 2005, 01:08 AM
Here in southern TN, we found the yellow pear and thai pink egg tomatoes seem to be the only ones to keep on producing solid through the brutal July and August months with no rain, high heat, and humidity. The rest drop all their blossoms.

January 15th, 2006, 07:28 AM
Few tomatoes will produce well during the dog days of summer in the deep south. I second the thought of another poster, start your tomatoes early indoors. I have some seedlings in my window now.

January 15th, 2006, 07:37 AM
even watering, regardless of your location, will help eliminate blossom drop.

January 15th, 2006, 08:28 AM
Here's a crazy idea, put up a hoophouse with a small heater, and grow your tomatoes in the winter/early spring. We've got seven different varieties growing inside, all prolific, and we've had several nights of temperatures in the 20's and 30's. We're taking our vacation in the summer to get away from the heat and humity!

January 15th, 2006, 08:41 AM
Last years season I planted several heirlooms and they did well. It was my first garden in many years and I have sandy soil with few ammendments at that time. I am about 1 hr approximately from the Fl line so I know all to well about the heat and humidity you have. Anyway the varieties I had that I will plant again this year for either their great taste and/or productivity are:

*Hawaiian Pineapple
*Black Krim
*Black Cherry
*Earls Faux
*Polish Plum
*Marianne's Peace
*Black from Tula
*Black Prince
*Yellow Brandywine
*Green Zebra
*Bulls Heart
*Cherokee Chocolate-few
*German Johnson
*Yellow Pear
*Red Currant

I am going to try some other ones this season I have acquired that I can't wait to try out. The way I look at it, you don't know if your gonna like it or if it will grow for you til you try it for yourself under your growing conditions. I am always pushing zones in my gardens with things I like and wanta try, some things make it and others don't. Some things do great, and the ones that don't I just don't try and grow again. Example: I have some bulbs and seeds from Alaska I traded for I am hoping will grow, thought they were neat looking. Its probably to humid here, but my thinking is to plant this stuff in the cooler months and hope they come up and do their thing before the heat hits. If they fail, thats ok to. At least I tried! Experiment and have fun. trudyjean

January 17th, 2006, 03:01 PM
Here's something I remembered after I posted on this thread. Porter tomatoes have a drop in production during the brutal days of summer, but rebound after it gets cooler again. Porter tomatoes are small, but for work for throwing a batch of tomatoes in the blender to start a sauce.

January 22nd, 2006, 11:05 AM
I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and my favorites are Mule Team for a red tomato and Cherokee Purple for a purple tomato. If you wanted a hybrid Dona seems the best but don't even bother with any of the Brandywines or the other potatoe leaf varieties. Start your seed inside and them outside as soon after local last frost as possible. For instance I am starting mine this week. Don't worry if they die in the middle of summer, just plant more plants in midsummer for fall harvest.

March 22nd, 2006, 10:09 PM
Hey Jim;the creole is a good choice and so are Rutgers and Siletz.All do well in hot,humid areas.Also 50% shade cloth tented over top to cut down on middle of day heat is also a great Idea.Works in TX.

March 23rd, 2006, 10:01 AM
Being in hot and steamy Tennessee also i've found Box Car Willie and Mule Team to be the most productive for me.

April 12th, 2006, 12:40 PM
I am living in Jacksonville, FL (NE FL very close to the coast), and suspect that I have blossom end rot. Is this when the very end of the blossom turns yellowish and then just falls to the ground? I didn't know if this was a rot or pest problem. Any more tips for prevention? Any help is mucho appreciated!

April 18th, 2006, 08:53 PM
blossom end rot is when the bottom end of the tomato has a dark, sunken- in rotten circle. I have corrected it (for future tomatoes-once a tomato has it there's nothing to do) by spraying with a calcium spray-one cause of it is calcium deficiency. Also adding gypsum in before you plant will help this--at least in my experience. Hope this helps!

April 19th, 2006, 10:24 PM
Oh. That's not my problem. My dad has problems with that. I believe the plant was just dropping blossoms due to uneven watering. I've corrected that and everything is looking good... coolio.

April 19th, 2006, 11:40 PM
hi genx mrtomatoxpres go to tomatogrowers.com there is a bunch of tomatoes that can take the hot some from florida :) solar set,sun master, heatwave,floralina,florida 91

April 20th, 2006, 11:41 AM
The late Chuck Wyatt, who used to run heirloomtomatoes.net, listed these varieties as doing well in hot weather:

Amish Paste, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Creole, German Johnson, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Gregori's Altai, Homestead 24-F, Mule Team, Stupice, Super Sioux, Tropic.

Another website (http://www.kdcomm.net/~tomato/Tomato/heat.html) lists these:
Arkansas Traveler, Costuluto Genovese, Hawaiian, Heatwave, Homestead, Homestead 24, Manalucie, Solar Set, Sunbeam, Sun Leaper

I'm not sure which of the above are OP and which are hybrid, though.

December 19th, 2006, 08:38 PM
This is a great thread!
The 2 that stand out for me in terms of flavor, production, and disease tolerance in my very humid, hot, and disease prone garden are Sungold and Ramapo F4.
I have been disappointed mostly with low or no fruit set on potato leaf varieties such as Marianna's Peace, Yellow Brandywine, Vorlon, Soldacki... with the exception of Japanese Black Triefele, so far the only potato leaf variety to give a decent yield in my garden.

December 23rd, 2009, 08:40 AM
Any more suggestions?

December 23rd, 2009, 09:41 AM
I am growing Floradade tomatoes, which are listed as a determinate. I think that is a mistake. It's now late into December, and there are still a ton of large, green tomatoes on the plant as well as a fairly large number of blossoms. It's been a great producer for us. They're red, medium-sized.

We also had very good luck with Chadwick Cherry.

Inland Central Florida (HOME of heat and humidity) :)

December 26th, 2009, 09:03 AM
Any more suggestions?

I'm trying Homestead 24 this year.

From SESE:
(asc, cf, cr, fw1) 80 days. (Semi-determinate) [Introduced 1966.] 'Homestead 24' was developed for hot humid coastal areas, especially Florida. It is often grown in the Mid Atlantic region as well, where it reliably sets fruit at high temperatures. Fruits ripen to red 8 oz. slightly flattened globes.

December 26th, 2009, 10:34 AM
blossom end rot is when the bottom end of the tomato has a dark, sunken- in rotten circle. I have corrected it (for future tomatoes-once a tomato has it there's nothing to do) by spraying with a calcium spray-one cause of it is calcium deficiency. Also adding gypsum in before you plant will help this--at least in my experience. Hope this helps!

Adding 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom Salts per gallon of water, when watering by hand, helps fight & prevent blossom end rot also.
2 years ago, I had BER B-A-D!
Last year, I tried the Epsom Salt method & had virtually no blossom end rot and it was a wet spring & summer.


December 26th, 2009, 07:36 PM
I am also in Florida, but further south than you are. I start my tomato seeds inside in January. Some of my favorites to grow here are:

Mortgage lifter, German Red Strawberry, Soldaki, Opalka, Tangerine (these have unbelievable keeping power, it's a yellow tomato, nice and sweet - medium sized). I also grow the Super Sweet cherry tomatoes. Riesentraube cherry tomatoes did incredibly well, I had great yield, but I didn't really care for the flavor - since it's a matter of taste, you might try them since they do so well down here.