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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

When can we buy tomatoes at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm?

We only sell tomatoes that we grow at Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm. So that means we usually have them ready to sell early July through early September... here's why (and see our growing plants and tomatoes at bottom)

Tomatoes Are Tender, Warm Weather Plants

"Tender" and "Hardy" are words used to describe how well plants handle the cold.

  • Tomatoes are tender. They need a warm soil and no frost; even just cool weather starts to kill your plant.

  • Radishes are a hardy vegetable. They can keep living after a frost or freeze.

  • Beets are semi-hardy. They can stay alive after a light frost, but not a heavy frost or hard freeze. We have found the beet root is still tasty when dug up after a long, cold winter, but the plant itself is no longer alive.

Tomatoes Are Full Sun Plants

If you grow plants, you are used to thinking about how much sunlight they need. Can they handle some shade or full shade? Tomatoes need full sun. That means they need at least 6 hours of sun per day. We live someplace where you barely get 6 hours of sun per day (even if you are not in the shade).

We Only Sell Tomatoes We Grow on the Farm

At Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm, we only sell tomatoes that we grow on the farm. In Middletown, MD, the season for growing tender plants that need at least 6 hours of sun per day is only a few months each year. As a farm specializing in tomatoes naturally grown, we can start growing the tomatoes a little bit earlier by doing two things (but a late frost may still kill all our efforts to get an early start):

  • Planting seed trays in the basement during the winter (even though we have a high tunnel (on top left) that is warmer than outside in in winter, it is not heated and so not warm enough for the tomatoes.

  • Transplanting seedlings into a high tunnel where we have warmed the soil with black fabric (top middle May 7, 2023 of tomato babies in tunnel) and tomato teens (top right on June 20, 2023).

  • A peek at some of our ripening tomatoes (bottom row)

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