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Sorellina November 10, 2017 11:58 AM

Good Candidates for PNW Conditions
Ciao all-

We finally made the move from Toronto, ON to Victoria, BC & I could use some help with deciding on varieties that grow well in our new climate. If you want to weigh in regarding non-tomato suggestions, I'd welcome that also.

I've still got a bunch of Andrey's Russian varieties to grow out, but I really want to concentrate on dwarfs and determinates for containers for 2018. Our new space is not set up for large indeterminates yet and we may not have the time or funds to get raised beds in place by spring. The move was costly and we've got to be frugal short-term.

I'd also be interested in which of the Dwarf Project tomatoes do well here. I've got a few varieties from way WAY back, but they're at F3 or F4 so I may just send those ones back to Craig. Some of the newer ones have made their way into my seed stash by way of big trades, but I haven't been active on the project for years so have lost the thread of it. I'm really hoping to rectify that in the coming year.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide! I really appreciate it!

PNW_D November 10, 2017 09:43 PM

Greetings Julianna

feel free to check out my blog - about 10 years worth of suggestions :shock:

Victoria is further south than Vancouver and a bit milder - but I would think generally very similar growing conditions

if you like Dahlias - check out

KarenO November 10, 2017 11:06 PM

I recommend to start with RL determinates you like and have been successful with in the past if growing in pots. See how that goes and then work from there. If foliage disease will be an issue it is my experience that the rugose foliage of most dwarfs exacerbated the problem. Victoria has the most hours of sunshine of any place in Canada and as long as you have a garden not in shade you should be able to grow what you like once you have proper beds.
Welcome to the island I think it’s paradise

GrowingCoastal November 11, 2017 01:59 PM

I grew three dwarfs this year, a hot, dry year and had no issues with mold on them except for one. Somebody suggested thinning out the inner growth and I also removed the later bottom suckers. That seemed to work for Sweet Sue, Rosella Purple and Yukon Quest.

Going to try more dwarfs next year.

I have grown a PL called Baby Wine this year and the previous one that was much wetter than last season with no disease issues at all. I grew another, Cherry Brandywine PL that lasted healthy until this week!

It may depend on your yard's particular conditions as to whether you will have mold etc or not. I am finding that a bed with an overhanging bank of Fir tree branches seems to be a mold problem area as it repeats there but not elsewhere in the yard.

Many people have trouble with blight on this coast and create roof structures to keep their plants dry, ventilated and blight-free.

LDiane November 11, 2017 11:14 PM

Victoria is fairly dry - less than half the rainfall of Vancouver, Campbell River or Duncan. We might have a bit of rain on a couple of days in the summer, but serious rain starts sometime in September. That's when we have to worry about late blight. There was none this year, but last year was bad.

Wi-sunflower November 12, 2017 05:28 PM

Not a dwarf but a compact early is Cowberian.

It's one of my tomatoes. Originally it was supposed to have been Siberian. But another grower from your area knew it wasn't right for the type. But he loved it because it was 1 of only a few that ripened for him. He named it in honor of my state, Wisconsin.

Red, early small (2-4 oz), compact plant but I'm not sure if it's I or D.


KarenO November 12, 2017 05:39 PM

It is a total myth that it is difficult to grow tomatoes here. The summer weather is warm sunny and beautiful on the south island with a nice long frost free season. Weather will not be an issue as much as your own yard growing conditions and methods (shade, soil, container size, water, fertilizer, variety choice etc ) will be.

GrowingCoastal November 12, 2017 11:03 PM

Karen, we just had an exceptional year for growing anything. Don't count on it being like that next year. 2015 was like this one (with warmer nights) but 2016 was cooler.
We can usually count on a month to 6 weeks in a row of hot dry weather. Some summers it rains or drizzles every two weeks keeping everything humid; that was like last year - coastal.
We have to be ready for any kind of summer. :yes:

This year, 100 year records for heat and dryness were broken. An unusual summer for here.


On the island, the Victoria Harbour area surpassed record temperatures not seen since 1891.

KarenO November 12, 2017 11:14 PM

Any time y’all want to compare growing anything north of Edmonton to growing anything in Ladysmith I say it’s easier to grow everything here. Everything.
So I guess it’s all relative to our own experience.

GrowingCoastal November 12, 2017 11:21 PM

It wouldn't be fair to let you think it was like this all the time. It ain't California, yet!

KarenO November 12, 2017 11:29 PM

I’ll take my chances. :)
The Northern Gardener

GrowingCoastal November 13, 2017 12:23 AM

That's the fun of it all. :lol:

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