Greenhouse tomatoes for short seasons grow sky high

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Rafter tomatoes in short seasons

Six to ten foot tall tomatoes grown up twine to the rafters

I live in a locale that has short seasons and lots of hail. The solution? Grow tomatoes in a greenhouse. To be successful you must grow indeterminate varieties that grow in a more vine-like manner rather than in a bush. That way I can take advantage of my airspace for higher yields.

Because tomatoes don’t have tendrils to climb a trellis, I train them to grow up some ViningTomatoes in short seasonstwine suspended from my rafters. I simply twist the tomato vines up the twine as they grow. This year I am growing mostly tomatoes that I have grafted for greater vigor and am having great success.

Each morning, I venture into the greenhouse to gently shake each plant which helps to promote pollination. We use our ripe tomatoes in making caprese salad and we also dehydrate a lot of tomatoes for winter pizza’s and other Italian dishes. I find that dried tomatoes (when you use homegrown ripe tomatoes) are a whole different and tasty animal and are preferred over winter grocery tomatoes.

Pineapple Guava Rocks in the Greenhouse!

Pineapple Guava flowers with edible flower petals and great tasting fruit.

Excerpt from the book Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion. . . . The feijoa, also known as pineapple guava, is a small tree or shrub that produces beautiful red and white flowers and a tasty round fruit. Even though it is called a guava it is not a true guava but who really cares? Especially since it is easier to grow than a guava. The plant grows to 15 feet (4.6 m) or more and has thick grayish leaves, which it keeps year-round. It is a perfect plant for most any greenhouse because it tolerates both cool winters and hot summers. Some varieties are not self-fruitful, meaning you need to grow more than one variety. You should avoid these varieties. Fortunately, there are varieties that readily set fruit solo, saving you precious space. Some self-fruitful varieties of feijoa include apollo, collidge and nazemetz. Continue reading

Early Goliath and Sun Gold are favorites in the greenhouse!

TWO of my favorite tomatoes for the greenhouse:
Tomatoes growing in the greenhouse

EARLY GOLIATH (from Totally Tomatoes): Most impressive of the season. Big early fruit. Good disease resistance. Good flavor. Best of all it had the vigor to continue on throughout the season!

SUN GOLD (from Johnny’s Selected Seeds): Always a great flavored cherry tomato. High-yielding, heat tolerant but some cracking.

Tomatoes thrive in a short growing season using a greenhouse

tomatoes grown in greenhouseLook at what I grew from March to early October in my unheated backyard Wyoming greenhouse!

Like many greenhouse growers I live in a short season area where growing tomatoes outside results in poor yields. The  best option is to grow indeterminate tomatoes up strings vertically in the greenhouse. I get bushels of fruit every year. One tip I have found is to use fish based fertilizer early in the season. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction in diseases. Later in the season I switch to more balance fertilizers.