Gardenbuddies.com-Where friends meet to share their gardens
Greg's Tomato Report

Garden Forum » Archives » Edibles in the Garden Forum-Archives » Greg's Tomato Report « Previous    Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Greg  Send Greg a private message!




My Weather
My Garden
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 10:33 am EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Some may argue with me, but I believe tomatoes are a staple of everyone's vegetable garden. The plants are handsome and the fresh fruits are a summertime treat that is unrivaled. I don't have a big garden, but I do like to try to cram in at least 4 different varieties every year. I also have to think about our rather short growing season here in the North.

I have tried stakes and cages in the past to hold my tomatoes, but usually ended up with such a dense forest that I couldn't reach the fruits. And there was very poor air circulation inside resulting in fungal problems. For example, here's a picture of last year's tomato jungle ...

(click the pictures for a larger view)



This year I decided to do a little bit of pruning and grow my tomatoes on fences. I am pleased with how easy things are to manage this way. Here's how it has grown over the summer.



Now most of my tomatoes have grown up and over the tops of these fences.

This year I am growing four heirloom varieties ... Brandywine, Stupice, Valentine, and Sioux. Here's how they are doing . . .

BRANDYWINES . . .



I'm kind of disappointed with brandywine this year. This is one of the most heralded heirloom varieties. My plants grew very well, easily over 6 feet tall, but the yield is rather poor. I have maybe a dozen fruits spread over 4 plants and have only harvested two so far. As you can see, the fruits tend to not ripen on the top and the bottom half tends to start to rot before the tops ripen. The flavor is pretty good, but not spectacular like people say. They are large fruits measuring about 5-6 inches and weighing a pound or more.

STUPICE . . .



Stupice was my earliest tomato, with my first ripe one coming in before August 1. The plants are dwarfed compared to my other tomatoes, barely reaching up about 2 feet. However, it has been loaded with very tasty small (1-2") fruits. I'm pleased with it's early production.

VALENTINE . . .



This is a prolific grower and I am getting great yields of this tomato. It is a firm, fleshy plum-style tomato. These fruits are larger and heavier than your typical roma tomato. For eating as is, it is kind of bland, but these cook up really well and provide a nice flavor rich tomato sauce. Definitely wins hands down over other romas.

SIOUX . . .



This is my favorite tomato this year and I will grow it again next year. This is a medium-sized tomato with about 4 inch fruits. It has a nice tomato flavor with a good balanced acid level. I like a tangy sweet tomato.

Overall, I am happy with these early varieties. It is a treat to be eating tomatoes in the middle of August rather than in September. I have not had any problems with fungal diseases or blossom end rot. I think this is largely due to the better management of the tomato vines.

How are your tomatoes doing?

Greg, ND Zone 4 Click to hear a voice greeting from Greg
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nibbs  Send Nibbs a private message!




My Favorite Photo
My Weather
My Time
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 05:10 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

My tomatoes are doing well this year. We've had the right weather, I guess. I put in only 4 Big Beef tomato plants, and did my usual thing of planting marigolds around them. My plants are healthy, the fruit is huge and everything is looking very good. I usually end up having to give lots of tomatoes away, unless I do some preserving. I've planted many different varieties over the years, and now I just stick with these because they are big, tasty, round (no ridges) and I know they'll grow very well here.

Diane British Columbia Zone 7b
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Euphorbphreak  Send Euphorbphreak a private message!

Click to see a larger profile photo of Euphorbphreak


My Weather
My Time
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 09:13 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Greg, thanks for this report! Do you know the causes of blossom end rot? After a spectacular season last year, this year has been a bit of a disappointment, and I think BER is a culprit.

Your technique looks great, and I like the sound of your Sioux tomatoes. Do you keep some for winter?

David, the other CA, 9b/17
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Greg  Send Greg a private message!




My Weather
My Garden
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 07:19 am EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

BER is caused by a calcium deficiency. Usually it is not because the soil lacks calcium, but that calcium is hard for the plants to uptake and water stress (lack of water) can be a primary cause of BER. Mulch well to keep the soil moist and give it at least an inch of water each week. It think you can also spray your plants with a calcium chloride solution to help. Searching on google will give you lots of info.

Greg, ND Zone 4 Click to hear a voice greeting from Greg
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Greg  Send Greg a private message!




My Weather
My Garden
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:24 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Here's an update with some better shots of the tomatoes (inspired by Susan. I find the brandywines taste much better if they are allowed to get very ripe.



Greg, ND Zone 4 Click to hear a voice greeting from Greg
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Susanq  Send Susanq a private message!

Click to see a larger profile photo of Susanq


My Favorite Photo
My Weather
My Garden
My Time
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 06:17 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

A great idea to show them cut open, Greg!

SusanQ - Zone 4b-5b Wisconsin
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Patsy  Send Patsy a private message!


Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 08:30 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

David
Every spring I start to save eggshells prior to planting season. When I plant my tomatoes I crumble one or two and put them into the hole. Last year was a bad year here for BER. I ran out of shells, and the tomatoes that didn't have this addition suffered from BER; the others didn't.

Pat Ontario Zone 6
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Greg  Send Greg a private message!




My Weather
My Garden
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 09:17 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Oh, by the way, too much fertilizer (to much nitrogen) also inhibits calcium uptake. Go easy on the miracle grow. I don't use any fertilizer on my garden, have never let my tomatoes go more than a week without some water and have never had BER.

Greg, ND Zone 4 Click to hear a voice greeting from Greg

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this archive.

World Clock
Pacific Eastern Japan Finland Germany Australia Russia

Copyright 2003 - 2008, Gardenbuddies.com