Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest
For a healthy harvest of tomatoes in summer, Seattle gardeners have to help their plants along. But if you pick the right variety, have protection against the cold, and feed and water appropriately, you can have tomato success!
Late Winter - Early Spring
Start seeds indoors.
You'll need to decide which tomatoes you want to grow. There are two types of tomato plants: determinate (good for containers and smaller garden) and and indeterminate (growth continues until frost - these need to be staked or caged to hold them up.
Then there are cherry tomatoes slicing, and sauce tomatoes. Pick a variety that grows well in our shorter growing season. See our lists below.
March - April
Plant outside but Protect!
While the weather is still cool in the spring, use protection (such as Walls-of-Water, pictured behind these words), or cloches) and your tomato plants will yield much better than your neighbors who didn't use any!
Tomatoes should not be planted outside until the weather stays above 50º at night.
May - September
Feed and Water Consistently
Water deeply and regularly. Feed your tomatoes with a good tomato fertilizer. Reapply an organic feed mid-season, especially if you want the plant to continue production into the early fall.
Keep your eyes on your tomatoes plants to check for blight or bottom rot. Apply calcium spray (Rot Stop) if needed.
Also check for pests. Stink Bugs, White Fly, occasionally tomato horned worm, and rodents (especially common in some of Seattle's P Patch gardens.) Captain Jack's Spray is usually effective for the insect pests.