PERENNIAL TOMATOES ?

As a northern veggie gardener, it was always dissapointing when an early frost would kill off the tomato plants..... ( full of tomatoes, of course )
I had dreamed that in places like Calif, with no killer frost, tomatoes would be perennials.
We've recently moved to Southern Arizona. In theory, this is tomato weather. Sunny days, cool nights.
We have a cherry-tomato plant in back, it's making tomatoes..... but slowly, and the leaves are turning yellow....... The plant is looking sickly....
I'm going to need some help here;
1. When planting tomatoes here, will I need to make any special preparations ?
2. Can I reasonably expect to see tomatoes 8 or 9 months a year ?
3. Any special variety to better deal with the Arizona climate ?
<rj>
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I am in Texas, and even with very late freezes and beautiful weather, I've been unable in "invent" a perrenial tomato.
Your best bet is cyclical planting to extend your growing season. Start new ones every couple of months.
I may be wrong, just my 2 cents. ;-)
K.
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wrote:

I understand that tomatoes are perennials. On the other hand, modern varieties have been bred for optimal production in a temperate climate. I would not be surprised if some or all cultivated varieties have lost their ability to be a perennial. Perhaps you can find a heritage variety from a tropical area.
Most of the tomatoes around here have bit the dust. I have had some plastic over ours for a while, though. Most of them are full of healthy green tomatoes and a few ripe ones. Maybe we'll get a decent amount this year. I really need to build a greenhouse, though.
Ray
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I pulled all my dead and dying plants, but found a lovely little "sweet 100's" at the nursery in Austin. :-) Seems that greenhousing then might be the key?
I just planted it in the large raised bed along with winter greens, kale, red mustard, swiss chard, lettuce and brocolli. I'm planning on purchasing a cold frame to cover them with for the winter.
I still have 2 more of these greenhouses to erect. Easier and FAR cheaper than building one from scratch, and they go up in about 30 minutes. They are far sturdier than they look. The two I put up this spring have weathered some nasty, windy thunderstorms just fine.
Check here:
http://www.propools.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/products/patio/greenhouses/d reamhouse.htm?E+scstore
The cold frame I'm going to order is:
http://www.propools.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/products/patio/greenhouses/s tarterhouse.htm?L+scstore+bhlc2228+1096876733
Quit putting off your greenhouse and just pick up one of these. ;-) You won't regret it! I have not.
I bought some heavy plastic snap together shelves from Lowe's with strong meshed shelving sections as my pot benches. Total investment with the benches was only about $400.00 per greenhouse for 8' x 8'. I don't know if you have tried pricing greenhouse kits, but that is really, really reasonable.
K.
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"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell‹you
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I live in Los Angeles and I have had Lemon Boy tomatoes overwinter a couple of times.
--
I wonder who is sillier, my cat who takes laundry basket rides
around the house or me who trained him to take laundry basket
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Both are equally silly... ;-)
Ain't it grand???
K. (a fellow cat lover.....)
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Katra wrote:

For fellow cat lovers... check out my site http://www.picturetrail.com/stevecalvin and look in the folder named "Toni"
There's a woman (in Wisconson I think) who makes custom statues of cats and dogs. In that folder you'll see pics of the cat and the statue that she made. It's not real big, I think maybe 1 1/2" long and 1/2" high maybe but it looks pretty close. I got it for my "better half", got some good "brownie points" outta that one! <vbg>
I have no affiliation with her at all, just a satisfied customer. Feel free to email me at snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net if you'd like her email. I won't post anyone's email publicly so please don't ask me to post it here.
--
Steve

Why don't they make mouse flavored cat food?
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Thanks for the pointers... but I just can't get any more "dust collectors" at the moment. <lol> I have some carved gemstone cat statues, and used to have a lovely cat gargoyle that got ruined when my house got flooded. <sigh>
K.
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wrote:

Here on the Southern Texas gulf coast I let my tomatoes grow year around most years until the plants start looking really bad. I use indeterminates.
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