Black Krim tomatoes, an heirloom variety, are extremely cold tolerant. Our February days are in the 60 s and our nights in the 40-50 range, and the plants inMessage 1 of 4 , Feb 16, 2012View SourceBlack Krim tomatoes, an heirloom variety, are extremely cold tolerant. Our February days are in the 60's and our nights in the 40-50 range, and the plants in 4" pots are outdoors and growing steadily, to be transplanted into the garden the middle of March. We had a 28 degree freeze for 2 nights last week, and I left the tomatoes out on the covered porch (they did not get sleet on them, but they did freeze), and when I watered them with warm, weak fertilizer solution, they sprang back to life, though they do look a bit raggedy.
The plants under grow lights are much healthier, but are going outside today, only brought indoors if it really gets cold again. Peppers, basil, and other tender plants will stay under the grow lights for another month, but the Black Krim tomatoes love the cooler weather. They will be finished before the heat of June, I will save seeds and plant another crop indoors in the air conditioning, to set out in September for autumn fruits.
Here in Central Texas, we have a "second spring" in autumn, when it's much easier to grow brocolli, lettuce, and other cool season crops. It's the summers that are the dead season, hot and dry and brown. Winter usually has butterflies every day!
~Marcia Cash, Traveler in Thyme
Blanco County, TX zone 8-9
I bought the original seeds from Nichols Garden Nursery in Oregon, who have many different heirloom veggies and flowers for sale, as well as a very informativeMessage 1 of 4 , Feb 18, 2012View SourceI bought the original seeds from Nichols Garden Nursery in Oregon, who have many different heirloom veggies and flowers for sale, as well as a very informative online catalog. Their local climate is Northwest Coast, cool and humid, while mine in Texas is mild, wet winter and hot,dry summer, so not everything they offer will survive in my garden. It's much greener here in January than in August, then we have a "second spring" in September, so usually grow two short-season crops and let everything turn brown in summer. Cilantro and lettuce are winter weeds in our yard, but they are always gone before the tomatoes ripen, unlike typical Mediterranean fare. But I put away dozens of quarts of tomato sauce in season, to make quick meals with fresh herbs in winter. Beans 'n' Greens, our staple food.
Two other tomato varieties that never fail me are Legend and Abe Lincoln. They are both good sliced or sauced. Personally, I'm not fond of raw tomatoes, but will put my salsas and marinaras up against any chef in the world ... it's those fresh marjoram and basil blossom tips that make the prize winning difference!