The Tomato Curve

Have you ever wondered why Rockport gets so many tourists in August, but so few good tomatoes?  The reason is:  “night-time soil temperature”.   

Tourists love to dig their toes into the hot sand of a Rockport sunset.  They want to sway in the warm night breeze as they bar-hop down Fulton Beach Road.   

However, tomatoes don’t like sand, especially salty beach sand.  That’s why they are virtually impossible to grow in this town.  And tomatoes simply won’t tolerate hot sand and a warm night breeze.   

Tomatoes are able to set fruit only when the night-time soil temperature is between 55 and 70 degrees.  This window of opportunity is the “tomato curve”.  Below 55 degrees, no flowers will form.  Over 70 degrees, the little yellow flowers turn brown and have no chance to bloom into tomatoes.    

In temperate climates, where a soft spring warms to a gentle summer, there is a long season for tomatoes.  The curve is rather flat.  However, in Rockport, the tomato curve is extremely steep.  The number of days between winter and swelter are few.        

Usually, by late July, there is not a garden tomato within 100 miles of Rockport.  Sometimes, however, we are lucky.  These last few days of rain and cool nights helped coax another batch of beautiful tomatoes from our garden.   

Heirloom Tomatoes, Four String Farm

So, finally, we can have our tourists and our tomatoes too.  But call now to place your order–they will go fast. 

And if you miss this last wave of summer tomatoes, don’t worry.  Our fall tomato plants are already in the ground.  But you will have to wait until September to enjoy them, when the nights cool down enough for the little yellow flowers to bloom.   

We are approaching the dog days of summer and the top of the curve.  Get your tomatoes while you can.  The autumn window for good tomatoes will open in about 50 days, 49, 48, 47… 

To place an order, go to

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Red and Green Christmas Tomatoes « Four String Farm

  2. Pingback: August Tomatoes « Four String Farm

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