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SailorBold

Got Tomatoes??

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SailorBold

A tedious affair for me.  There is something alluring about growing your own home grown tomatoes and vegetables. The idea of fresh ripe off the vine tomatoes for sauces,  Salsas, sandwiches, and salads is very enticing for one to grow their own,  with the added convenience of being in a home garden. Ive been trying with some success for several years now and it seems I learn a little bit more every year from all the partial failures. I find it difficult to master...and I never get them perfect. I still try like mad!  My plants this year are doing ok but still on that quest for a bushel of perfect tomatoes....  Im using grow boxes and have for several years now.. its sort of a hydroponic set up.. but not true hydroponic as the grow boxes are more of a self watering planter.  Just recently as of a couple weeks ago I started to dapple into using hydroponic fertilizers... with sights on more 'experiments' to continue in the endeavor next season.  Im getting some tomatoes off the plants.. and they are good... but nowhere near what I'm hoping to use for canning etc.  This year I planted 6 plants in my growboxes.. and here they are thus far..  i know they are a tropical plant so I figured I would post in this forum.. as PalmTalk is my go to. 

Anyone have any advice? Is anyone growing them this year??

20200731_080951.jpg

20200731_080931.jpg

20200731_080915.jpg

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Manalto

I'm curious about your choice to grow hydroponically and why you chose to forgo planting them directly in the ground.

My own experience was a total failure this year. Tomatoes would form while still in the green stage, begin to rot. I suspect it's a calcium deficiency in the soil because the symptom is similar to blossom end rot, which I've experienced in New England when the soil hasn't warmed up enough to make calcium available. I was a little too busy this year to take care of it but I will apply lime and try again next year.

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dalmatiansoap

Just love them :)

IMG_20200711_183340.jpg

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, SailorBold said:

A tedious affair for me.  There is something alluring about growing your own home grown tomatoes and vegetables. The idea of fresh ripe off the vine tomatoes for sauces,  Salsas, sandwiches, and salads is very enticing for one to grow their own,  with the added convenience of being in a home garden. Ive been trying with some success for several years now and it seems I learn a little bit more every year from all the partial failures. I find it difficult to master...and I never get them perfect. I still try like mad!  My plants this year are doing ok but still on that quest for a bushel of perfect tomatoes....  Im using grow boxes and have for several years now.. its sort of a hydroponic set up.. but not true hydroponic as the grow boxes are more of a self watering planter.  Just recently as of a couple weeks ago I started to dapple into using hydroponic fertilizers... with sights on more 'experiments' to continue in the endeavor next season.  Im getting some tomatoes off the plants.. and they are good... but nowhere near what I'm hoping to use for canning etc.  This year I planted 6 plants in my growboxes.. and here they are thus far..  i know they are a tropical plant so I figured I would post in this forum.. as PalmTalk is my go to. 

Anyone have any advice? Is anyone growing them this year??

20200731_080951.jpg

20200731_080931.jpg

20200731_080915.jpg

You're thinking your 'mater growin' skills aren't perfect, lol..  I'm over here wishing i could grow them thru the summer, at all.  Chiltepin Peppers are about the only thing that can survive our heat right now..:indifferent::lol:  Would be happy w/ plants that look as good as those.. Nice and full, ..full of healthy looking fruit.. 

If anything, i might throw more K ( Potassium ) at them to increase the %'age of your fruit set/ yield.. This link might be helpful.
https://www.yara.us/crop-nutrition/tomato/role-of-potassium/

To my eyes, everything else you're doing looks good. :greenthumb:  The extra heat, drier than normal Monsoon Season rains so far this year might explain the less than desired yields you are seeing atm as well..

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RyManUtah

I am pretty novice, but I grow a good crop every year for salsa. They need ample water and afternoon shade this time of year. I don’t get much to harvest during the heat waves, they tend to just “stay alive”. The green ones are very slow to ripen when it’s hot. 

0FBA7819-96BD-4308-B273-EE7BA7E6B715.thumb.jpeg.ac7c6eb9d7a73996892bcdf9db470297.jpeg

9D500FA1-4C09-4B4D-BE95-8E04AE3569CF.thumb.jpeg.8c31eb58cab21b1809378b9969915f85.jpeg

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greysrigging
On 8/1/2020 at 12:35 AM, Manalto said:

I'm curious about your choice to grow hydroponically and why you chose to forgo planting them directly in the ground.

My own experience was a total failure this year. Tomatoes would form while still in the green stage, begin to rot. I suspect it's a calcium deficiency in the soil because the symptom is similar to blossom end rot, which I've experienced in New England when the soil hasn't warmed up enough to make calcium available. I was a little too busy this year to take care of it but I will apply lime and try again next year.

Bronzy wilt or just 'Wilt', very difficult to grow in the ground in Darwin due to this debilitating soil born disease ( the Ganoderma of the tomato world ).  Hydroponics is good ( most up our way in the deep north grow the hydroponic tomatoes the same way as they do 'wacky baccy'. ). Some species of tomato are wilt resistant ie the cherry and egg shaped ones. 
I don't grow in the ground any more, just in large tubs with new soil every dry season.
My family grew tomatoes commercially back in the '70's and '80's.... we had 150 acres and mechanically harvested for the local cannery. ( in northern Victoria along the Murray Valley )
Blossem end rot ..... calcium deficiency exacerbated by irregular watering and sometimes by overhead watering as opposed to flood irrigation.
I grew these beauties in Darwin 38 years ago....lol !
10704404_979502205399882_9154846751818369861_o.thumb.jpg.5d4d68784027bfa50d4e4ad9f4d2b246.jpg
Mechanical harvester 1979
22519795_1886018568081570_6668394805010865706_o.thumb.jpg.28a3abd4e476cd2cb7b4d57e043e9fef.jpg22519700_1886018564748237_814552149704111507_o.thumb.jpg.a1523fbe30b0cc84dc6cb8f132b11709.jpg22496140_1886018561414904_5286756218283468358_o.thumb.jpg.785feb3299e4dd717ee2c438de55a2a1.jpg10733782_1078157645534337_4344049039963873942_o.thumb.jpg.15c397e2c44a65d239e08d1111240bdb.jpg

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Manalto

Look at you! (Or should I say look at those tomatoes?) Gave me a little dose of nostalgia.

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SailorBold
On 7/31/2020 at 8:05 AM, Manalto said:

I'm curious about your choice to grow hydroponically and why you chose to forgo planting them directly in the ground.

My own experience was a total failure this year. Tomatoes would form while still in the green stage, begin to rot. I suspect it's a calcium deficiency in the soil because the symptom is similar to blossom end rot, which I've experienced in New England when the soil hasn't warmed up enough to make calcium available. I was a little too busy this year to take care of it but I will apply lime and try again next year.

I have had numerous failures...  really a pita..   Anytime I serve a tomato..  I state..  this is a 20 dollar tomato.  lol.  The choice to start growing in the grow boxes was to eliminate a failure or problem I experienced the year before.  The soil is crappy..Ive never had it tested but I suspect its very alkaline.. not sure if there would be available calcium in it.. but I went to the grow boxes.  I change the soil out every year too.  The blossom end rot I know of as well.. so after that year.. after trying to fix to no avail.. i now add the calcium separately.  Ive mostly had pH issues with my alkaline water..and even store bought soils... so this year I piped in my rain barrels to minifloats in the growboxes.  We dont get alot of rain.. but there is improvement... so i will keep the set up.  In times of no rain I fill up with the tap water.. which effects the plants visually.. so Now I have a gauge of how the plants look themselves from the 2 water sources. This year will be my most successful year yet as far as yield Im pretty sure.  I will try the hydroponic fertilizers all next season and start pHing the water as well..    It has really taken years to even remotely get it halfway right..    I know there are experts here that got it down Im sure.. but man has it been a trip..

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SailorBold
On 7/31/2020 at 8:12 AM, dalmatiansoap said:

Just love them :)

IMG_20200711_183340.jpg

That looks like a tasty heirloom tomato that would prolly sell for 7 bucks here in the supermarket..  i was thinking about trying to grow heirloom next year.  Looks amazing!

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SailorBold
On 8/2/2020 at 4:00 PM, RyManUtah said:

I am pretty novice, but I grow a good crop every year for salsa. They need ample water and afternoon shade this time of year. I don’t get much to harvest during the heat waves, they tend to just “stay alive”. The green ones are very slow to ripen when it’s hot. 

0FBA7819-96BD-4308-B273-EE7BA7E6B715.thumb.jpeg.ac7c6eb9d7a73996892bcdf9db470297.jpeg

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Yeah Im thinking about doing afternoon shade next year..  the afternoon sun is really strong and I can see the leaves start to curl when we get the hottest temps.  Where does St. George get its water?  Im curious.. is it river water? I only ask because I wonder what your waters pH would be..   Not bad though Ive had a few tomatoes thus far too..one 10oz. and a few smaller ones.   Time to make a BLT!

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SailorBold
20 hours ago, greysrigging said:

Bronzy wilt or just 'Wilt', very difficult to grow in the ground in Darwin due to this debilitating soil born disease ( the Ganoderma of the tomato world ).  Hydroponics is good ( most up our way in the deep north grow the hydroponic tomatoes the same way as they do 'wacky baccy'. ). Some species of tomato are wilt resistant ie the cherry and egg shaped ones. 
I don't grow in the ground any more, just in large tubs with new soil every dry season.
My family grew tomatoes commercially back in the '70's and '80's.... we had 150 acres and mechanically harvested for the local cannery. ( in northern Victoria along the Murray Valley )
Blossem end rot ..... calcium deficiency exacerbated by irregular watering and sometimes by overhead watering as opposed to flood irrigation.
I grew these beauties in Darwin 38 years ago....lol !
10704404_979502205399882_9154846751818369861_o.thumb.jpg.5d4d68784027bfa50d4e4ad9f4d2b246.jpg
Mechanical harvester 1979
22519795_1886018568081570_6668394805010865706_o.thumb.jpg.28a3abd4e476cd2cb7b4d57e043e9fef.jpg22519700_1886018564748237_814552149704111507_o.thumb.jpg.a1523fbe30b0cc84dc6cb8f132b11709.jpg22496140_1886018561414904_5286756218283468358_o.thumb.jpg.785feb3299e4dd717ee2c438de55a2a1.jpg10733782_1078157645534337_4344049039963873942_o.thumb.jpg.15c397e2c44a65d239e08d1111240bdb.jpg

Wowzer...  so..  yeah. You know what a pain it is Id say...  thats awesome.  I can barely grow them now after years of trying llol

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SailorBold
On 7/31/2020 at 8:56 AM, Silas_Sancona said:

You're thinking your 'mater growin' skills aren't perfect, lol..  I'm over here wishing i could grow them thru the summer, at all.  Chiltepin Peppers are about the only thing that can survive our heat right now..:indifferent::lol:  Would be happy w/ plants that look as good as those.. Nice and full, ..full of healthy looking fruit.. 

If anything, i might throw more K ( Potassium ) at them to increase the %'age of your fruit set/ yield.. This link might be helpful.
https://www.yara.us/crop-nutrition/tomato/role-of-potassium/

To my eyes, everything else you're doing looks good. :greenthumb:  The extra heat, drier than normal Monsoon Season rains so far this year might explain the less than desired yields you are seeing atm as well..

Thanks for the compliment...it seems like the green tomatoes have been just sitting there.. even as Ryan started.. so thats when I started reading the hydroponic stuff..  I did add a K potassium.. but only recently because its in the fruiting stage as the bottle states....Ive been reading that site from the link you shared..  That is very helpful.. lots of info there.  Thank you for sharing.  Everything seems to be geared towards growing weed..  I can barely find the info for getting the dosage for a tomato plant !!!

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RyManUtah
20 minutes ago, SailorBold said:

Yeah Im thinking about doing afternoon shade next year..  the afternoon sun is really strong and I can see the leaves start to curl when we get the hottest temps. 

That’s exactly what I did. I will need to raise the fence on one side to give some shade to taller things like corn, that have succumbed. 
 

21 minutes ago, SailorBold said:

Where does St. George get its water?  Im curious.. is it river water? I only ask because I wonder what your waters pH would be.. 

It is river or runoff water, stored in reservoirs.  Virgin river (and eventually Colorado) drainage. 
I’m curious now as well; I have no idea what the pH Level is 

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Silas_Sancona
4 minutes ago, SailorBold said:

Thanks for the compliment...it seems like the green tomatoes have been just sitting there.. even as Ryan started.. so thats when I started reading the hydroponic stuff..  I did add a K potassium.. but only recently because its in the fruiting stage as the bottle states....Ive been reading that site from the link you shared..  That is very helpful.. lots of info there.  Thank you for sharing.  Everything seems to be geared towards growing weed..  I can barely find the info for getting the dosage for a tomato plant !!!

Have learned a lot about organics ( ferts, soil mix additives, etc ) from all the weed growin' threads i have glanced over when looking for info on other things over the years.. In my case, i just replace the applied ideas regarding growing that crop with something else, lol.

 

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Gonzer

The best spot in my yard has been reserved for tomatoes for the past 17 years. Hodgepodge of soils from old pots and fertilizer high in PK give us about 35 jars of marinara and plenty of fresh. They have to grow amidst a ton of tillandsias but don't seem to mind. One of today's picks; Grandaddy Bush - 13.2 oz. Reimer seeds has super quality.

0806201616 - Edited.jpg

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UK_Palms

I'm doing about 25 different varieties this year. I was pretty late to get my seeds germinated this year though due to the pandemic and national lockdown here in the UK. As all the stores were closed, I had to order my seeds online and they took 6 weeks to arrive due to the sheer volume of seed orders being placed (everyone was ordering online). Consequently, I wasn't able to germinate my seeds until the first week of May, as opposed to the second week of April, as I have done in recent years.

Despite the late start and the first half of summer also being cooler than average, I have had a few corkers and now have tomatoes coming out of my ears...

My favourite and best tasting has to be the Sungold, which is also the earliest to crop here for me...

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Black Russian, harvested yesterday (second favourite)...

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Pink Brandywine, probably about 2-3 days away from harvest...

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Ananas, also a couple of days away from harvest...

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Really impressed with the Crimson Blush as well this year. A good producing beefsteak and blight resistant, however I am yet to see any blight in general this year. Harvested 6 Crimson Blush's already from two separate plants...

1658102529_thumbnail_image0-2(1).thumb.jpg.564ab371d164ea34b9388a7a3afbe4e7.jpg

The Gourmandia have impressed me as well... (excuse the state of my lawn)... :rolleyes:

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Here's the 'cream de la creme'... Cherokee Purple. Still green and someway off being ripe though. Probably needs another fortnight at least. 

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I could post a bunch more of the tomato types that I have harvested already, but I don't want to clog this thread up. I will however give a shout out to Black Opal which has proven very tasty this year. A cherry type, it has a kind of sweet, smoky like taste. Very good. 

As others have mentioned, I have also had issues with the green tomatoes just sitting there and not ripening, or taking ages to. I think it's a combination of the cooler first half of summer here and me using too much nitrogen in the soil and plant feed, as opposed to using high potassium feeds.

Also the tomatoes in the greenhouse have been crap this year compared to the ones outside. I don't know why that is. Lots of the flowers have dropped on the greenhouse tomatoes (maybe due to excessive heat) and yields are lower, as is quality, so I'm probably going to do all my tomatoes outside next year, and start them off earlier obviously.

One thing I haven't done this year is use wire metal mesh like @SailorBold has done to support and hold his plants up. I've just gone with some flimsy bamboo sticks lol. Not ideal. I'll be taking a leaf out of his book for next season. 

No diseases or anything yet this year (touch wood).

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SailorBold

Wow Gonzer.. that looks great.. flawless. I had a 10oz a couple weeks ago with similar quality and all the subsequent have been smaller with minor blemishes like splitting mostly.. not sure how the rest of the season will fair. I like the larger tomatoes so I only have to put 1 slice on a sandwich... but if they are sweet enough Ill make some sauce.  I have 6 bushes.. Big Boy, Better Boy, Roma, Husky Red Cherry, and 2 San Marzano.  Im having the most problems with the San Marzanos.   Im going to need to branch out and try some other varieties next year.  Awesome.

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SailorBold
On 8/6/2020 at 4:45 PM, UK_Palms said:

I'm doing about 25 different varieties this year. I was pretty late to get my seeds germinated this year though due to the pandemic and national lockdown here in the UK. As all the stores were closed, I had to order my seeds online and they took 6 weeks to arrive due to the sheer volume of seed orders being placed (everyone was ordering online). Consequently, I wasn't able to germinate my seeds until the first week of May, as opposed to the second week of April, as I have done in recent years.

Despite the late start and the first half of summer also being cooler than average, I have had a few corkers and now have tomatoes coming out of my ears...

My favourite and best tasting has to be the Sungold, which is also the earliest to crop here for me...

thumbnail_image1-1.thumb.jpg.92eaca450b1ba55a1b8fe56133296552.jpg

thumbnail_image2.thumb.jpg.09a9c6f490bb01e48751a90ffd1450e5.jpg

Black Russian, harvested yesterday (second favourite)...

thumbnail_image0-4.thumb.jpg.dbde051d848da44cb5670820d530138d.jpg

thumbnail_image0-5.thumb.jpg.d691365f219859d11f87767a0219dfbd.jpg

Pink Brandywine, probably about 2-3 days away from harvest...

thumbnail_image0-3.thumb.jpg.d816b66354ffea11c42cc451287412dd.jpg

Ananas, also a couple of days away from harvest...

thumbnail_image1.thumb.jpg.665c69537fcb2b3da440af9e36cd051d.jpg

Really impressed with the Crimson Blush as well this year. A good producing beefsteak and blight resistant, however I am yet to see any blight in general this year. Harvested 6 Crimson Blush's already from two separate plants...

1658102529_thumbnail_image0-2(1).thumb.jpg.564ab371d164ea34b9388a7a3afbe4e7.jpg

The Gourmandia have impressed me as well... (excuse the state of my lawn)... :rolleyes:

thumbnail_image2-1.thumb.jpg.07c7226a5757b8f61a9d3e35672cc0cd.jpg

Here's the 'cream de la creme'... Cherokee Purple. Still green and someway off being ripe though. Probably needs another fortnight at least. 

thumbnail_image1-2.thumb.jpg.e559569fca9416d1ac7fd18c9512da7d.jpg

I could post a bunch more of the tomato types that I have harvested already, but I don't want to clog this thread up. I will however give a shout out to Black Opal which has proven very tasty this year. A cherry type, it has a kind of sweet, smoky like taste. Very good. 

As others have mentioned, I have also had issues with the green tomatoes just sitting there and not ripening, or taking ages to. I think it's a combination of the cooler first half of summer here and me using too much nitrogen in the soil and plant feed, as opposed to using high potassium feeds.

Also the tomatoes in the greenhouse have been crap this year compared to the ones outside. I don't know why that is. Lots of the flowers have dropped on the greenhouse tomatoes (maybe due to excessive heat) and yields are lower, as is quality, so I'm probably going to do all my tomatoes outside next year, and start them off earlier obviously.

One thing I haven't done this year is use wire metal mesh like @SailorBold has done to support and hold his plants up. I've just gone with some flimsy bamboo sticks lol. Not ideal. I'll be taking a leaf out of his book for next season. 

No diseases or anything yet this year (touch wood).

Feel free to clog away..  I find it interesting enough.  25 varieties thats crazy impressive... I have a hard enough time keeping track of my 6.  They look great too.  just great..  What do you do with all of them?? if you dont mind me asking? 

I bought my plants from the store this year.. You and Gonzer got me thinking I should go the seed route. 

The 'chicken wire' works well.. it was a little investment but its permanent. Bamboo is stronger than wooden dowels at least. Before i went to the wire.. I built an elaborate structure out of dowels and they were all tied together to make a large structure. It was magnificent.. This worked until some of the dowels broke and part of it collapsed under weight (of crappy end rotted tomatoes mind you) lol...  I like the fact that the seedlings can still blow in wind when they are small and not be damaged or broken.. so it supports them completely during all the stages of their growth.  

Thank you for sharing.. Id like to see more. I may need to try and grow more plants next year.

 

 

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UK_Palms
21 hours ago, SailorBold said:

Feel free to clog away..  I find it interesting enough.  25 varieties thats crazy impressive... I have a hard enough time keeping track of my 6.  They look great too.  just great..  What do you do with all of them?? if you dont mind me asking? 

I usually eat the cherry types fresh off the plant, or use them in salads. The medium sized ones and beefsteaks go into sandwiches or burgers. Some will get made into pasta sauces and the plum type ones are used for canning. So I have quite a few uses for them. I also tend to give quite a few away to family, friends, neighbours etc. Most of them will get used up I find. 

Here's the Shirley F1's which are always reliable in my climate and fairly good tasting. They're a bit average, like in general, but they do yield well and are reliable. I grow one every year.

thumbnail_image0-12.thumb.jpg.89f3deebc93d827e2c4f01e16dffa0a3.jpg

I haven't been hugely impressed with these Beefmaster F1's this year, which are on the small side for a 'beefsteak' and look a bit 'meh'. However they have cropped early and have yielded well too. The taste isn't great either though. It leaves a lot to be desired from a beefsteak type. I probably won't grow it again. 

thumbnail_image2-4.thumb.jpg.885035c538b83885d67ceaeee2bc8722.jpg

Here's the tasty Black Opal I mentioned before, suspended in a hanging basket. I was of the impression that this was a small bush, cherry type, hence why it is in a basket, but clearly it's not a small bush type and has shot up for the skies and trailed vines down below... :floor:

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Another basket with a Tumbling Tom cherry tomato...

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No idea what type this is as it sprouted in my garden in mid-May, so I dug it up and transferred it to a pot. Likely a hybrid of two different types from last year. If I had to guess, I would say that it is a Shirley x Black Russian cross. I'm not sure though. Either way, the tomatoes off it taste amazing. Big yields. No splitting. Seems a bit drought resistant in a season that has seen 2 inches of rain since 1st March. I'm going to save seed from this type. It might actually be my stand out tomato so far this season. Love it. 

549148888_image0-1(1).thumb.jpg.6cd7ff55a62563eebcdffaf3edd84d72.jpg

Here's my Roma VF tomatoes, which are taking forever to ripen. Although the colour is finally turning now with a succession of 100F days and 65F nights. I think they would do better in the ground and with more direct sunlight than the 4 hours they are currently getting in their position. 

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Got some Gigantamo's which are big and coming along nicely as well. These have also stayed green for a very long time and are only just turning colour now in the extreme heat. A few have cracked, possibly due to the heat. I'm not sure.

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Mountain Magic seems to do very well here as well...

thumbnail_image0-19.thumb.jpg.1876b2aa79cc14d85810fe397a8275e5.jpg

I didn't really need a polytunnel this year as it has certainly been hot enough, but the stuff inside there has grown out of control lol...

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I've harvested the Pink Brandywine, Ananas Orange and another one of the Crimson Blush's. It seems the 3 days of 100F have really sped up ripening times here. The next 3 days are also forecasted to be around 95-100F by the looks of things, which should help the rest ripen up. It's just all the watering which is annoying in this heat.

Pink Brandywine...

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Ananas Orange...

thumbnail_image0-21.thumb.jpg.af4b27c78523bd4d0195a49235129ffb.jpg

Another Crimson Blush...

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Left to right: Pink Brandywine - Ananas Orange - Crimson Blush

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Some Mountain Magic I harvested today...

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I went out after dark and harvested these...

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I have a bunch of other types, including Green Giant and Green Zebra, but I think that will do for now :floor2:

21 hours ago, SailorBold said:

I bought my plants from the store this year.. You and Gonzer got me thinking I should go the seed route.

I'm only going via the seed route next season. I'm just going to make sure I get stocked up on the right seeds nice and early during winter, in preparation, just in case of another lockdown during next spring. I want to sow at least some of the seeds in late March/early April next year for earlier harvests. Then I'll probably sow the rest of the seeds in mid April. I can't be sowing the seeds in May like I did this year. My harvests are a good 2-3 weeks later than last year due to the late start. It's the same with the peppers. Especially here at 51N, I need to start as early as I can to compensate for a shorter growing season than the people growing at say 30 - 40N latitude. 

22 hours ago, SailorBold said:

The 'chicken wire' works well.. it was a little investment but its permanent. Bamboo is stronger than wooden dowels at least. Before i went to the wire.. I built an elaborate structure out of dowels and they were all tied together to make a large structure. It was magnificent.. This worked until some of the dowels broke and part of it collapsed under weight (of crappy end rotted tomatoes mind you) lol...  I like the fact that the seedlings can still blow in wind when they are small and not be damaged or broken.. so it supports them completely during all the stages of their growth.

I'm definitely going to build a wooden/wire structure ahead of next season, which I can trail the tomatoes up. I'm undecided on whether to use wire mesh as you have done, or to just use a wooden frame of some kind, but I certainly have to do something different next season, which is better than my current setup. The bamboo sticks do not work well at all. In fact they are a nightmare and I do not recommend them, especially for the bigger, more vigorous, indeterminate tomato plants. You might get away with bamboo sticks for determinate plants though. 

I also need to scrap all the pot growing as well. I have too many tomatoes in pots this year, compared to ones in the ground. Watering all the potted ones every day during 100F heat is just too tedious and causes you extra work. I would have put more plants in the ground this year but was worried about blight, yet typically there has been no blight at all this year. Last year was the worst year I have ever seen for blight though, hence why I put so many in pots this year, just to be safe. I wish I put twice as many in the ground now though. :rolleyes:

21 hours ago, SailorBold said:

Thank you for sharing.. Id like to see more. I may need to try and grow more plants next year.

Obviously the more plants you do, the bigger your tomato haul. But you've also got to consider that some varieties just yield far more than others. Picking a number of low yielders could be the difference between harvesting 10 tomatoes from 5-6 plants, or 200 tomatoes. So you'll want to pick a couple of good yielders, such as Sungold and Shirley F1, both of which I thoroughly recommend for good yields.

One of the worst yielders has to be Brandywine, so bare that in mind. Brandywine is super tasty and they look great, but I'm only averaging 1 tomato from each plant this year! I mean that is crap. Unless the Pink brandywine that I harvested today tastes amazing, I doubt I'll bother growing it next season. I'll let you know once I've taste-tested it. But in regards to yields, Brandywine scores 1/10. Compared to say Sungold which gets a 10/10 from me.

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SailorBold

Man... what is that Crimson Blush?  How would you rate that one?  From the picture it looks like a 4 pound tomato.. !! Looks amazing.. id be just eating tomato salads all day.. tomato sandwiches.... tomato bbq...ha ha. They look delicious.  Thank you for referencing and sharing.  I would be interested in hearing more about your favorites taste-wise etc..  I harvested a plain big boy and thought it was amazing.. very sweet I will add. It also had a ton of meat and small seeds.. If I had more of them like that I would be making pasta sauce with those instead of my San Marzanos.

 

Ultimately I may add 4 more plants next year but depending if I try to grow the San Marzanos again I may stay at 6. The San Marzanos so far fail every year for me.. Im still trying to figure them out. And they are the main reason I tried to start growing tomatoes to begin with. Always a degree of end rot.. and the plants dont look good by the end of the year as well. They can be in the same pot as a different variety and they get the end rot while the other does not..  I dunno..Perhaps I should try growing them in pumice... The Better Boy is doing the best for me thus far...although the Big Boy has produced my largest tomato which was tasty and is doing good but not producing as much yet.. They are both going through another growth bump currently so i am hoping they will produce tons of fruit as we go into fall.  As for fruit quality.. They are ok.. but I hope the vine yields more so i can juxtapose between them.

I harvested these today.. I havent tasted any yet but I think I am going to make some pasta sauce.. Not a bad yield I suppose.. as I know it can be worse. !!  I have enough for even different uses... like hamburgers and sandwiches.. and the best part is I didnt have to buy them from the store!!

Wanted to ask..  why the gloves?  Is it for the blight etc..

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Edited by SailorBold
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Gonzer
On 8/11/2020 at 11:31 PM, SailorBold said:

 

Ultimately I may add 4 more plants next year but depending if I try to grow the San Marzanos again I may stay at 6. The San Marzanos so far fail every year for me.. Im still trying to figure them out. And they are the main reason I tried to start growing tomatoes to begin with.

 

 

Coupla years ago I did a mass planting of Marzanos and was rewarded with tons of fruit. We jar/can our stuff also for marinara sauce but the Marzanos proved to be a a giant pain in the ass due to their skins sticking even after blanching and an ice bath. Good producer though as they set 10-15 fruit on the stems. The combined weight was a little sketchy causing some to break. As for gloves, if I've had a cigarette within a few hours I always disinfect my hands and wear nitrile gloves to offset any chance of getting any nicotine residue on the plants.

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UK_Palms

Hey guys, given that spring is pretty much here now in North America and Europe, I thought I better revive this thread again.

Have you got your tomato seeds ready yet for the weeks ahead? Has anyone actually germinated any tomato seeds yet? I'm still holding off germination for another couple of weeks, since I can't really plant them outside until May 1st at the earliest. I'll probably start germinating in early-mid March, so plants are pretty advanced at the point of plant out. 

I already have all my seeds (50 different varieties) but will hold off for the time being as I focus on getting the peppers sprouted first. The peppers are currently germinating right now. I am already getting super excited for the season ahead though and look forward to seeing what other folk on here are growing this year...? 

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I'm sorry for the late reply to you @SailorBold as I sort of forgot about this thread after I had some stuff come up in late summer. I haven't been around much lately, but I hope you had a positive end to your growing season and I do wish that I had replied sooner. Better late than never though, I suppose...

 

On 8/12/2020 at 7:31 AM, SailorBold said:

Man... what is that Crimson Blush?  How would you rate that one?  From the picture it looks like a 4 pound tomato.. !! Looks amazing.. id be just eating tomato salads all day.. tomato sandwiches.... tomato bbq...ha ha. They look delicious.  Thank you for referencing and sharing.  I would be interested in hearing more about your favorites taste-wise etc..  I harvested a plain big boy and thought it was amazing.. very sweet I will add. It also had a ton of meat and small seeds.. If I had more of them like that I would be making pasta sauce with those instead of my San Marzanos.

I think my largest Crimson Blush weighed in at 3.1 pounds. Not quite 4 pounds, but still pretty hefty. Most of them weighed in at around 2 pounds. Out of all the beefsteaks that I grew last year, the Crimson Blush provided the most consistently large tomatoes, as well as the single biggest one of the season. Combined with the early and late blight resistance, it makes Crimson Blush a very good choice for northern, or wet-summer climates, however it isn't going to win any taste competitions. I would only give it a 6/10 for taste. It's no Brandywine tomato, that's for sure. I will be growing Crimson Blush again this season though still. The odd few did crack, but generally speaking it is consistent and did very well last year.  

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On 8/12/2020 at 7:31 AM, SailorBold said:

Ultimately I may add 4 more plants next year but depending if I try to grow the San Marzanos again I may stay at 6. The San Marzanos so far fail every year for me.. Im still trying to figure them out. And they are the main reason I tried to start growing tomatoes to begin with. Always a degree of end rot.. and the plants dont look good by the end of the year as well. They can be in the same pot as a different variety and they get the end rot while the other does not..  I dunno..Perhaps I should try growing them in pumice... The Better Boy is doing the best for me thus far...although the Big Boy has produced my largest tomato which was tasty and is doing good but not producing as much yet.. They are both going through another growth bump currently so i am hoping they will produce tons of fruit as we go into fall.  As for fruit quality.. They are ok.. but I hope the vine yields more so i can juxtapose between them.

You're not alone in struggling with San Marzano's and plum types in general. I too have had poor success with them, whether that is due to blight, slow maturation, lack of fruit set etc. My Roma's were okay last year, but still not overly productive and they took forever to ripen. This year I am trying the new Crimson Plum, so it will be interesting to see if that performs better than the other plum types. I will also be trying Big Mama, which is a massive plum tomato. They surely can't do much worse than the Roma and San Marzano's. 

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Off the back of my results from last year, I would say that you absolutely have to add Pink Brandwine and Ananas Orange to this year's list. Both tomatoes are showcased in my previous post(s) and those two turned out to be my best ever tasting tomatoes. The Pink Brandywine being number one and the Ananas Orange a close second. The taste of both was insane and I am 100% growing them both again this season, despite the not so great yield/production. Others that I highly recommend is Black Cherry, Black Krim, Black Russian, Green Zebra and Sungold. If you can, add all of those to the list. For sure. I can also highly recommend Gourmandia and Mountain Magic, which are disease resistant. I had great results with all of these ones last season and some are pictured below. 

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I was really, really disappointed with the Cherokee Purple last year, which didn't taste very good, took ages to ripen, routinely split quite badly and suffered from blossom end rot a lot. Nonetheless, I am giving them another go this year, along with Cherokee Chocolate and Cherokee Green. Hopefully they will be better this year, although I am thinking that Cherokee Purple is not as great as people like to make out. I wouldn't even put it in my top 10 list from last season. Or even my top 20. Yet people swear by it and say this is the best of the best. 

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On 8/12/2020 at 7:31 AM, SailorBold said:

Wanted to ask..  why the gloves?  Is it for the blight etc..

No man, I actually impaled my thumb on a spike when trimming my CIDP last summer.  It was quite a deep, nasty wound and I wanted to ensure I kept any dirt, or debris, out of the cut while working in the garden, so I was wearing a glove haha. I didn't actually have any blight issues in 2020, unlike in 2019 when it ravaged my tomato crop. 

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One thing's for sure is that I will be doing less potted tomatoes and a LOT LESS bamboo sticks this season as well. I'm also going to make sure I pinch out the side shoots too, so they don't send shoots out everywhere, get untidy and produce lots of leaves, instead of fruit. I CANNOT be growing plants like this again, that snap and need multiple support sticks...

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climate change virginia

beautiful 'tomatis'

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Tracy

I'm still picking and eating tomatoes from one of the plants that decided to stick around over winter.  It's a small cherry tomato variety, I'll have to pull out the tag which is buried in foliage.  I had to hack the plant back a few weeks ago to access my water heater where my irrigation timer is located to turn the irrigation back on.

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UK_Palms
4 hours ago, Tracy said:

I'm still picking and eating tomatoes from one of the plants that decided to stick around over winter.  It's a small cherry tomato variety, I'll have to pull out the tag which is buried in foliage.  I had to hack the plant back a few weeks ago to access my water heater where my irrigation timer is located to turn the irrigation back on.

Wow, I'm pretty envious of your climate. I wish I could overwinter tomato plants outdoors here and harvest fresh tomatoes in February/March time. Pretty much all of my tomato plants look like crap come October here at 51N. My best tomatoes typically come down in July-August, and although I still get decent harvests well into September, it quickly goes downhill by October as diseases and cooler weather starts effecting them. I typically make my final tomato harvest around mid-October, as nothing else is ripening anymore, or tasting good. Plants are dying back as well.

If the late blight doesn't kill the plant off come mid-late October, I'll be left with tons of big, green tomatoes that just refuse to ripen. They'll stay that way until a frost picks the plants off a few weeks later. Last October/November, I lost loads of 1-2lb beefseak tomatoes that just didn't ripen in time and weren't ready for picking, despite being big. I let them go until November 5th when the first proper frost got them. A low of 30F burnt all the tomatoes and turned the plants to mush. The pepper plants on the other hand always keep maturing and hang on a good 3-4 weeks longer than my tomatoes do. Most peppers can weather a few frosts as well, unlike tomatoes..

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PricklyPearSATC
15 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Wow, I'm pretty envious of your climate. I wish I could overwinter tomato plants outdoors here and harvest fresh tomatoes in February/March time. Pretty much all of my tomato plants look like crap come October here at 51N. My best tomatoes typically come down in July-August, and although I still get decent harvests well into September, it quickly goes downhill by October as diseases and cooler weather starts effecting them. I typically make my final tomato harvest around mid-October, as nothing else is ripening anymore, or tasting good. Plants are dying back as well.

If the late blight doesn't kill the plant off come mid-late October, I'll be left with tons of big, green tomatoes that just refuse to ripen. They'll stay that way until a frost picks the plants off a few weeks later. Last October/November, I lost loads of 1-2lb beefseak tomatoes that just didn't ripen in time and weren't ready for picking, despite being big. I let them go until November 5th when the first proper frost got them. A low of 30F burnt all the tomatoes and turned the plants to mush. The pepper plants on the other hand always keep maturing and hang on a good 3-4 weeks longer than my tomatoes do. Most peppers can weather a few frosts as well, unlike tomatoes..

They don't survive our summers or winters down here.  We're stuck growing smaller tomatoes in two seasons:  spring and fall. 

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Tracy
21 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

I wish I could overwinter tomato plants outdoors here and harvest fresh tomatoes in February/March time. Pretty much all of my tomato plants look like crap come October here at 51N.

I had a different variety of larger heirloom species growing adjacent to this cherry tomato variety which died back in Autumn, but this one just kept on growing.  During December, it colonized the entire area behind where it is now, so I couldn't get to the water heater closet behind it.  It's about 25% of the size that it was in December and it never stopped producing.  I have to frequently cut it back off the deck as it loves the heat of the deck

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