How to Easily Grow Everglades Tomatoes from Seeds for Delicious Bite-Sized Flavor!

It's no secret that growing vegetables in southwest Florida can be quite the challenge! Not many varieties can withstand, let alone thrive, in the brutal heat and humidity. 

It can be quite discouraging to see all of your gardening efforts wilt in the sun or be eaten by a myriad of pests. 

Make way for Everglades tomatoes!!!

 As their name implies, they are made just for this crazy climate!

They are prolific growers, and the taste of their dime-sized fruit is unmatched.

Seriously. I've never cared for tomatoes. Just not my thing.

But Everglades tomatoes are sooo good! 

They are quite sweet, almost like a grape, and full of flavor. I was quite surprised!

So even if you are not a tomato-lover, you will love these little cuties. 

And if you've been ready to give up on gardening, this post is for you!

We'll walk you through how to successfully grow Everglades tomatoes at home, step-by-step!

how to grow everglades tomatoes from seed

1. Choose the Right Location 

When planting Everglades tomatoesit is important to choose the right locationThese tomatoes thrive in full sunso it is best to choose a spot that gets at least six to eight hours of direct sunlightday.

2) Prepare the Soil 

Once you have chosen the right location for your Everglades tomatoes, it is time to prepare the soil. These tomatoes prefer soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 and with a high nutrient content. To ensure that your soil is up to par, mix in organic matter such as compost or manure and work it into the top 12 inches of soil.

You also want to make sure that the soil is well-draining and free of weeds and other debris.

 

3) Plant the Seeds 

Start your Everglades seeds in pots covered with plastic wrap or another cover that acts like a greenhouse to keep the moisture in.

I tried planting seeds with saran wrap and some without, and the ones with saran wrap were much more likely to sprout and thrive.

everglades tomato seeds

Soon you will have a seedling that is ready to be repotted into a larger pot, or put directly into the ground. 

everglades tomato seedling

 

4. Plant the Seedlings or Plants

I like to plant my Everglades tomatoes in raised beds. That way I can give them better soil and keep them away from rabbits and squirrels. 

I usually end up putting a fence around them as well, since rabbits and squirrels apparently can climb! 😄
When planting your Everglades tomatoesit is important to plant them deep. I usually remove the lower few rows of leaves so that I can bury the stem as deep as possible. 

This will give the tomato plant more stability and encourage more roots to form for a healthier, more fruitful plant.

I also like to crush up several eggshells to bury in the hole as well. That provides your tomatoes with nitrogen and calcium, which helps prevent blossom end rot. 

And believe me, you don't want blossom end rot. 😄

concrete block bed for everglades tomatoes

5) Caring for your Tomatoes

Once your Everglades tomatoes are planted, you will need to provide them with the right care in order to ensure a successful harvest.

Be sure to water your tomatoes thoroughly and regularly, as they prefer moist (but not soggy) soil.

You should also mulch around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay.  I like to use the pine needles from around our yard, as we have them in abundance. 

Some gardening sources recommend fertilizing every few weeks to ensure that they get the nutrients they need, but I have never done that.  Some homemade compost and crushed eggshells in the hole or sprinkled on the top around the base of the plants have been good enough for me. 

growing everglades tomatoes

6) Harvesting and Storing your Tomatoes

When your Everglades tomatoes are ripe and ready to be harvested, you will know by their beautiful deep red color.  Once the tomatoes are harvested, you can store them in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks.

how to grow Everglades tomatoes

7) Enjoying your Tomatoes

Now is the pay-off!
 
You can use Everglades tomatoes however you use regular tomatoes...on salads, in chili and soup, in chicken or beef dishes, in spaghetti sauce, in salsa, on sandwiches, or just pop them in your mouth like grapes for a sweet snack!

Everglades tomatoes harvest

Everglades tomatoes are the best tomato to grow in south Florida, as it is stubborn and hardy, and is about the only tomato brave enough to withstand the heat and humidity down here. 

Not only that, but it TASTES GREAT!

ENJOY,  and have fun growing! 😊

Everglades tomatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long do Everglades tomatoes take to grow?

Everglades tomatoes typically take about 60 to 80 days to fully mature, depending on conditions.

Do Everglades tomatoes need a trellis?

No, you do not need a trellis for Everglades tomatoes.  You can, but they thrive best by just letting them sprawl on the ground.

I have grown them both ways, and either is fine, but I prefer sprawling.

Are Everglades tomatoes perennial?

No, Everglades tomatoes are an annual plant, meaning they must be planted each year.  Under the right conditions, they may reseed themselves.

I usually have to germinate more seeds when I want more plants.

Are Everglades tomatoes determinate or indeterminate?

Everglades tomatoes are typically classified as an indeterminate variety. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season until they are killed by frost or other environmental factors. 

Mine usually die out after a while, then I have to start some new seedlings.

What do Everglades tomatoes taste like?

Everglades tomatoes are sweet and tangy and full of flavor.

It is the tomato for those who don't like tomatoes!

Can you grow Everglades tomatoes in pots?

Yes, you absolutely can grow Everglades tomatoes in pots. Just choose a big one!  We have one growing in a large pot on our sunny lanai.

What do you do with Everglades tomatoes?

You can use Everglades tomatoes however you use regular tomatoes...on salads, in chili and soup, in chicken or beef dishes, in spaghetti sauce, in salsa, on sandwiches, or just pop them in your mouth like grapes for a sweet snack!

If you liked this post on how to grow Everglades Tomatoes from Seed, you may like How to Grow Mangroves at Home. It is another fun and unusual plant to grow in SW Florida or as a houseplant up north!

mangroves pots lanai

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