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Thread: Can I grow tomatoes without a greenhouse?

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    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Default Can I grow tomatoes without a greenhouse?

    We are starting a backyard garden this year. We are in the Kenai Peninsula. I was curious to see if any of you have been successful growing tomatoes outside. Any tips or advice? Thanks in advance!

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    Yes you can, but not nearly as well as a greenhouse. I have grown all of the Polar series, Stupice, Bloody Butcher, Cherokee Chocolate, Siberian, and a few others. Grow them in containers, on a deck, a south facing structure, sunny places... and with A GOOD SUMMER you will get tomatoes. Rainy summers produce blander tomatoes, and only a few of those.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Last summer would have been a good one for growing them without a greenhouse. That said, tomatoes really need much more heat than you can expect outdoors in Alaska during the summer. We've tried a few times in our garden and had a couple of barely ripe tomatoes by fall.
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Look up aeroponics on youtube.

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    Raised beds and good sol/drainage can make up for some of the deficiencies of not having a greenhouse. The hot house will make production mo' betta' for you, but there are also varieties that do OK in outdoor raised beds.

    I've grown Early Girl, Sweet 100, Oregon Spring, Starfire, 4th of July, Gold Nugget, Golden Pear, and others in both situations. As stated, all do better in a hot house.

    That said, of the cherry tomatoes, the Gold Nugget have done quite well in good soil in raised beds. And my kids dig 'em... A lot..

    *I should add that I live in the sunny, sometimes-extreme Interior. So the question concerning whether or not you can grow tomatoes outside of the greenhouse should also include references to the variable of there being roughly 9 different climates in the State, and not all of them are suitable to growing tomatoes in raised beds.

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    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies. What about cucumbers? Are those mainly grown in greenhouses? Thanks again for all the info.


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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Kenai area. Cool breeze of the water.
    Green house almost a must for good cucs, peppers & tomatoes

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I bought a hanging basket with a cherry tomato in it last year, and the owner of the greenhouse specifically said to keep it outside. I have a greenhouse and he instructed me to keep the cherry tomato basket and the artichokes outside. I think the haul had to be close to two hundred cherry tomatos off that plant, it was from Larsens nursery out kgb (valley). Yes this is an endorsement, no I don't have anything to gain by it, and yes I plan on buying another one this year.
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  9. #9

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    build a hoop house cheap, heck you can do your grow bucks or just buckets or put it up over some good dirt and off you go. 1/2" pvc over rebar pounded into the ground and visqueen. If you wanted to walk in it you'll need 2 10' sticks joined middle at the top. You can get as fancy or simple as you'd like.

    My peppers were going like mad last summer, not only the warm summer but the hoops kept me going a couple weeks longer. I had it on a raised bed. I started late waiting for dirt but did buy plants and didn't start from seed. You can bury glass bottles with water around the outside of your beds to help hold what heat you do get.

    I've started seeds this year, though my tomatoes have had some issues. I only want two and so far I might get them out of 8, grr! poor germ and too wet waiting on the peppers to catch up. I should have pulled them out sooner.

    Another idea if you can only use buckets, put plastic over the buckets. cut a hole in the top for the plant once its ready to poke out, basically a mini green house. You can also help them out earlier on by pounding poles in the ground running some line and making a tent out of visqueen until they outgrow this. The ends on this are harder to close off than on the hoop house. Kind of a greenhouse tent if you will. Its cheaper than running hoops.

    Also keep your water warm if possible!

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    I planted a Topsy Turvey last year in Trapper Creek kept it outside about 90% of the time and probably had 75 tomatoes.
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  11. #11
    Member SwansonSilver's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies. Appreciate it.


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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    My neighbor here in Wasilla had excellent results using black plastic pots hung from his deck overhang. The plants grew out of a hole in the bottom. The black pots absorb heat and keep the soil much warmer than ground soil. He got lots of tomatoes. Might be the best alternative if you don't have a greenhouse. I'm going to give it a try this year.

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