need some help with growing tomatoes in Florida
I have grown tomatoes many times in London England where I am from. The growing season is short and by the time you have a first good crop late summer the last of the tomatoes tend not to turn red so I gathered the green ones and made chutney. The plants are then over.
Here in South Fl I bought my plants in Sept of 09, fed and watered them directly in my yard in semi shade. They were growing nicely and flowering then we got that 2-3 month cold snap starting at Xmas and the flowers fell off and nothing was produced. Come March they started flowering again and I had about 10-12 maybe 15lbs of fruit from 5 plants.
Now they have mostly died back but I am seeing new shoots and flowers forming so am hoping for a new crop, but could do with some help. Should I prune away the dying stalks to the ground? Anything else I should be pruning? Is this normal for a second crop and will it eventually be heavy. Sorry to sound so daft but not sure how long they will re-fruit for in this climate.
You might as well try to keep the plants growing, prune off the dead and dying parts of the plant. But tomatoes are at the end of their season here in Florida, they don't set fruit when the temps are above 85 degrees or so. And as the summer rains set in they bring the opportunity for disease and rampant insects so you need to be watchful. Consider it an experiment; if this is your first season in Florida you'll find that most of what you know will be turned upside down! One of my favorite Florida books is Month-by-Month Gardening in Florida, by Tom MacCubbin. He's a great resource for FL gardening info.