Re: [tomato] tomato varieties for pacific northwest

Thomas Giannou (
Wed, 7 Jul 1999 22:15:15 -0700

Dear Pam,

It really depends a lot upon where in the Pacific Northwest you are talking
about residing.  In the State of Washington, for example, there are several
different kinds of environments from high dry mountains to rain forests to
hot sandy deserts to .... well, I think you get the picture.  I live in
Spokane and don't consider myself a Tomato expert, but one way of telling
what works best in a given area (northwest is way to vague to define) is to
get hold of the president of any local garden club in that specific area.
I've talked to a number of them here in the Spokane area and have found them
to be very knowledgeable about what works at a specific locaton.

For several years, I've been raising beef steak tomatoes.  They have been a
pain (in the wrong place) because until I started using mycorrhiza on them,
they rarely ripened before the frost hit.  They sell that species in the
stores here every year and until I talked to a local garden club expert
witness who had been growing tomatoes right here in this town, I wasn't
aware that "those in the know" generally don't bother with beefsteak here
because of the longer growing season required to get them to ripen.  They
also know other kinds of tomatoes that grow well here and turn out quite
nice etc.

Another possible source would be a local master gardener at the county
extension office.  They often will have lists of various kinds of garden
plants that do very well in that specific locality.

It doesn't take very many miles here in the Northwest to make a significant
difference in what can be grown.  I live in Spokane and what grows well in
Moses Lake, 115 miles west of here out in the desert / sage brush region ...
is going to be totally different than the list that does well here in
Spokane.  The summer temps get a lot higher out in that desert area for much
longer periods of time.  The same would be true of the area 150 miles south
of Spokane down in the tri-cities area... it's a lot hotter down there and a
totally different growing season.   Believe it or not, it is a lot warmer
100 miles northwest of Spokane up near the Canadian boarder on the Columbia
river than what it is here.   There are places 150 miles north of here where
you would be lucky to get an early girl tomato to ripen because the season
is so short and it stays quite cold on either side of the short growing

In short, those growing zone maps are not all that good in this state
because they simply don't reveal all these different localized pockets which
are not far from one another but make a significant difference in what will
or will not grow.   As you can imagine, you can't generalize much for this
part of the country because there are significant differences in only 100

Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 8:39 PM
Subject: [tomato] tomato varieties for pacific northwest

> can any one of the experienced tomato growers in the pacific northwest
> me what varieties of tomatoes do well there? this will help me in planning
> for next year..thanks..pam