You can have success growing tomatoes in cold wet weather.
Even if you’re growing tomatoes in cold wet weather, it is possible harvest great fruit. But, it may require some extra careful gardening practices. And, you may need to choose tomatoes cultivated for shorter climates like Seattle tomato growers have learned to love.
First, choose the right tomatoes for your cold, wet climate.
Picking up any old tomato plant for short season, cold, wet weather gardening just isn’t going to work out. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best tomatoes we’ve found for cold, wet weather.
Once you’ve chosen the right plants, it’s time to plan your growing season.
For your best luck with tomatoes, you may need to start them from seed. That’s because it isn’t always easy to find starts of the best tomatoes for cool season climates. And, that’s going to mean starting early. So, you’ll likely also be potting up your plants several times. And, you may have to do multiple succession seedings.
If this sounds detailed and complicated, we can help you through every step of growing your best vegetable garden! Sign up to find out more for free now!
How to keep your tomato plants healthy, dry & warm.
Keeping your tomatoes protected from rain is very important. And, this is especially true when you’re growing in cooler climates. That’s because blight loves to attack tomatoes that are wet and cold. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to do this.
- First, if you have a greenhouse. Use it for growing tomatoes in cold wet weather!
- But, if you don’t have a greenhouse, consider trying other season extending tools like DIY hoop houses.
- By putting these tools to work, you’ll be able to build heat.
- And, you’ll be able to keep the rain off the tomato top growth.
- However, you’ll also need to keep air flow passing through your plants.
- And, you’ll need to be sure you don’t overheat them on sunny days.
- Moreover, you’ll need to be sure to water the plant roots.
- But, try not to splash water on the top growth when you water.
- That’s because splashing muddy water can lead to disease issues.
Try our timeline for growing tomatoes in cold wet weather!
It’s important to remember that every growing season is going to be different. And, that means what works one year for growing tomatoes may not work the next year. But, if you follow our rough timeline, like us, you may have great success growing tomatoes in cold wet weather garden zones.
- Beginning in February or March: Sow your tomatoes seeds to begin growing indoors.
- Later in April & May: Transplant seedlings into larger containers and begin hardening them off to live outside in a greenhouse or cold frame until temperatures rise.
- And by June: Transplant tomatoes into a full sun location where you haven’t grown tomatoes in the past several years. And, protect the plants from rainfall with hoop houses or other heat building systems. But, be sure to leave a few inches at bottom or ends of the tunnels to allow for airflow.
- And, once July arrives: Diligently open the tunnels on hot days. And, close the tunnels on cold wet days. That’s because you don’t want to over heat the plants. And, you need pollinators to visit your flowering tomato plants. But, if it rains, you want to keep the plants dry. And, sometimes when you’re growing tomatoes in cold wet weather locations, this weather pattern can even show up in summer. However, you’re probably also starting to snack on some tomatoes by now too.
- Then in August: Continue your July chores. And, by now, you may be pruning your tomatoes as well. That’s because a lot of thick green growth may lead to more disease issues. And, it may mean less fruits to harvest too. And, by August, you’re probably gathering tomatoes to eat from your plants.
- When it’s September & October: Continue your July and August care practices. But, you may also want to tip out the plants. And cut out late suckers. Plus, it’s time to remove any new flowers. That’s because late flowers have very little chance of forming viable fruit this year. As well, by late September, remove any tiny fruits. That’s because they won’t have time to grow big before the season ends. Moreover, it’s important to have your plants protected from rain and cold. So close up your plastic hoops and keep those plants dry before the damp season returns. Otherwise, you may be in for a batch of late blight before your last tomatoes ripen. And, of course, harvest your crop!
- Finally in October & November: Be sure to remove and dispose of your plants. That’s because allowing them to overwinter will increase the likelihood you’re growing tomato diseases in your garden.