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May 03, 2009


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We live in West Seattle and have had great luck with our tomatoes. We put them in the ground last weekend. Our seedlings are about 8 inches high. We've found that they like pellet fish fertilizer stirred into the hole when planted. The only other thing is LOTS of water. My in laws live in Kensington MD and I think things grow differently there because of the humidity. My tomatoes have always needed watering every day once it gets warm and sometimes twice a day during the hottest stretches. Also, the variety may be to blame. Some of the heirloom varieties can be trickier to grow. We always put in a few but have had the best luck with Roma, Early Girl and Sweet 100's. I think some of the heirloom varieties require more sunny days than Seattle can deliver.


We plant our tomatoes anytime from mid-April on. I know lots of people say that is to early, but I've had great success. I've grown them in raised beds and amended beds in the ground. Always with lots of compost and fish fertilizer. The trick is most definitely full sun (8+ hours). Protect from winds. We have multiple raised beds that we rotate them through and if they are facing south or west they do best. We grow "Early Girl" "Sweet 100" "Stupice" and a yellow pear shaped little guy that is the sweetest thing you'll every eat. They have 'em at McLendons, I can't remember the name of it right now.


Thank you so much, Hillary and Cristine! Forgive me for the delayed note of thanks...crazy week. Interestingly, I spoke with a woman at our garage sale who said heirlooms are the only way to go - and to water them every day. She did clarify, and said it's best to get varieties that are known to do well here. Sounds like McLendon's has some good ones.


I learned A LOT from Willi Galloway re: growing tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest.

My notes are posted here:


Hope they're helpful!

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