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, 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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<RJ> wrote:

Even in perfect weather, tomatoes are annuals. Depending on the varriety, the actual length of time they're productive may be longer with perfect weather, but other varrieties will have a short fruiting timeframe, and that's it.
If the weather is right, you can stagger the starting time of plants so you can have some fruiting all the time, but they're still going to die. They're annuals, not perenials.
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Not true. Some tomatoes can be grown as tender perennials.

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snipped-for-privacy@spam.net says...

Yes - I have friends in Southern Califonia whose tomato plants survive for more than one year. They tell me that the yield does drop way off after the first year, so they usually start anew each year.
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<RJ> wrote:

I think tomatoes are a tender annual, so it's *possible* to keep them alive from year to year, but it's unlikely -- but you have a better chance than if they were a hardy annual. (Hardy annuals are hardwired to die after one season.) But you'll find that in a subtropical climate, the tomatoes will die from some wilt disease or another.
If it's really frost-free, you might try growing "tree tomatoes" (tamarillos). They are kind are a close cousin of tomatoes; a tropical tree with huge heart-shaped fuzzy leaves and they start bearing fruit the second year.
Plant normal early and mid-season tomato varieties, and you can replant a couple of times a year.
Bob
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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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