Re: [gardeners] Fall in Southern California

Ron Hay (
Tue, 07 Sep 1999 11:02:09 -0700

Good morning, Margaret,

Thanks for your note. I was merely repeating the considered wisdom of local
nursery people when I mentioned about the paucity of the larger tomatoes. I
rather suspect night time fog does not help fruit set all that much.

As for Romas. I had been purchasing seedlings already started, from
Burpee, but Burpee can no longer ship either peppers or tomato plants to
California. That was a ripple in our plans, as we had planned to use up a
credit from last year concerning some damaged goods. So, we went to our local
nursery, since it was already mid-April, and purchased some young tomatoes
grown from Burpee seeds. Roma was one of the varieties available, and, of a
certain truth, the three plants which we planted (we planted three each of 6
varieties, since our urban garden is not large), and canned almost 100 lbs of
fruit from those three Romas, plus a some from Big Girl and Big Boy.

This is only our second garden, and our second attempt at growing tomatoes.
Last year, when it was over 70 almost every night, we had many, many more
beefsteak types. The cool weather at night has not only inhibited fruit set in
my garden, but in those of most others I know in the L.A. area. Such weather
is extremely abnormal for us.

Next year, we may get brave enought to try growing some frome seed, and we
will try some heirloom varieties. But the varieties that we have chosen have
worked well for us, especially the Romas, having canned about 12 quarts of

I realize that more experienced gardeners....and those with a lot more time
than my wife and I (being a realtor, I work weekends and evenings) enjoy
raising many things from seed; but for the nonce, already-started plants was
an expedient, with a more than satisfactory outcome.

Thanks again for your note.


margaret lauterbach wrote:

> At 07:23 AM 9/7/99 -0700, you wrote:
> >Good morning, one and all. What strange weather we are having here in
> >the San Fernando Valley! This time of year should see temperatures at or
> >over 100 degrees; but all last week, we crept up into the low 80s, with
> >night time temps of high 50s. Not good weather to set more beefsteak
> >tomatoes.
> <snip>
> >Several 1.5 lb beefsteaks are still ripening, but the vast plentitude of
> >cherries, Romas, and Early Girls are past...even though we do have about
> >20 Early Girls ripening on the vine.
> >
> >Well, dear friends, having had fun in our garden all weekend, the work
> >week beckons.
> >
> >Ron,
> >Van Nuys, CA
> >
> Au contraire, Ron. Nights of high 50s, daytime temps below 95 is perfect
> weather for tomato fruit set. As for Romas, you get what you planted
> (showing my prejudice here). So many people grow that tomato, it's amazing
> that other tomatoes even exist. You can buy that stuff in the grocery
> store, year-round. Why devote some of your precious soil to growing those?
> There is at least 1,000 better varieties of tomato to grow. Margaret L