Dave The Garden Guy's top picks for types of tomatoes to plant in Arizona

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With temperatures getting around 50 degrees, now is the perfect time to start planting tomatoes in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) With temperatures getting around 50 degrees, now is the perfect time to start planting tomatoes in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
In Arizona, you need to buy short-season varieties of tomatoes. These will get you tomatoes in less than 60 to 70 days. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) In Arizona, you need to buy short-season varieties of tomatoes. These will get you tomatoes in less than 60 to 70 days. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
I suggest buying Early Girl, Heat Wave, Sweet 100's, Better Boy, or my favorite, Celebrity. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) I suggest buying Early Girl, Heat Wave, Sweet 100's, Better Boy, or my favorite, Celebrity. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

With temperatures getting around 50 degrees, now is the perfect time to start planting tomatoes in Arizona.

Tomatoes need three things: Afternoon shade, a lot of compost mixed with soft phosphate and fertilizer.

In Arizona, you need to buy short-season varieties of tomatoes. These will get you tomatoes in less than 60 to 70 days.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Good Morning Arizona]

I suggest buying Early Girl, Heat Wave, Sweet 100's, Better Boy, or my favorite, Celebrity. It's my favorite because it's extremely disease-resistant. 

Plant them on their sides to take advantage of warm soil temperatures. Make sure to remove any leaves below the soil line.

Consistent watering is crucial to growing tomatoes in the Valley.

You may want to bury a small coffee can right beside the tomato plant with holes in the sides and the top exposed. Fill the can up to water the tomato plant.

This helps with deep watering. Or you can mulch with 4 to 6 inches of compost.

With temperatures as cool as they are right now, use a tomato cage and surround the tomato plant with clear plastic, creating a small greenhouse to protect it from cold winds.

Make sure the plastic doesn't come into contact with the plant itself. Fertilize every two weeks with fish emulsion, liquid seaweed or Extreme Juice, which will help the plant resist frost damage.

You can also fertilize with cottonseed meal or compost tea. 

Tomatoes grow well beside companion plants. Choose onions, cosmos, asparagus, petunias, carrots, marigolds, parsley, alyssum and basil.

Let your tomatoes grow into a thick bush, this will protect the plants from intense sunlight and increase humidity around the tomato plants.

As it gets hotter, remove the plastic and cover your tomatoes with cheesecloth. Wait until the last minute to harvest the tomatoes and let them stay on the vine as long as possible after they turn red, then you can pick them just before using.

If you're picking green tomatoes and you need them to ripen, combine with bananas or apples and the gases the fruit gives off will ripen the tomatoes.

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