San Francisco Fog

  • Sun: Full sun
  • Harvest Size: 2 to 3 inches
  • Days to Harvest: 70
  • Plant Size: 6 to 8 feet
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate

San Francisco Fog tomato ably fills a niche that many cannot. It produces clusters of red, golf-ball sized fruit in damp, cool weather. If you have ever experienced the chill of a summer fog in San Francisco, then you understand why this heirloom is a jewel.

Plant in spring when the nighttime temperatures are in the reliably in the 50's in the cool coastal areas. You can plant again in mid summer for a later crop. Tomatoes grow best in warm weather, so in frosty parts of the country, gardeners start planting about 2 weeks after the last frost.

Plant spacing: 36 inches apart in conventional rows, 24 to 30 inches in intensive gardens. Plants per person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Plant deeply so that two-thirds of the plant is buried, stem and all. It will sprout roots. Support with a stake, trellis, or wire cage. Fertilize throughout the growing season with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, which plants love and is good for your soil.

Water regularly. Tomatoes need steady watering to develop to full size and to prevent cracking and blossom end rot. To keep the soil moist, mix compost into planting holes, and mulch around the plants after the soil warms. Watering with a soaker hose is best to keep the foliage dry. Wet leaves encourage disease.

Support vigorous vines with 8-foot stakes, tall trellis, or sturdy wire cage. Keeping vines off of the ground makes it easier to harvest, keeps fruit clean, and helps prevent disease.

Harvest and Use »

Pick these small tomatoes from the cluster one at a time as they turn red. Slice or quarter on a plate, chop in a salad, or slice for a sandwich. Should the weather turn too cool and they are slow to ripen, use green ones as fried green tomatoes or in tart sauces.

Try These Garden Companions »

  • Parsley, rosemary, chives, and oregano for Continental cuisine.
  • Bush Early Girl (determinate) or Early Girl (indeterminate) for the first tomatoes of the season that also bear well in cool weather.
  • Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, which are recommended by the University of California for cool climates.
  • Better Bush and Patio for containers, also recommended by UC.
  • Roma for cooking and thick sauces.

From Our Library