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Cut Flowers and Floral Design: 2009-10 TOMATO TOURNEY!!!!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
12:33 AM

Post #7010425

And sow it begins.. the 2010 TOMATER TOURNEY!

Theres biguns, lil uns, and tweeners! Be they tall, be they small! On the vine or in a basket.. show us yer maters! Mater flowers, mater vines!

What can ya do with a mater in an arrangement!

(Yeah, I know its still fall.. but gotta give the guys down under a start too ya know!)

So it begins..

SOoooo, how ya'll starting your seed or whatcha got growing?

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

September 1, 2009
12:53 AM

Post #7010521

Well this plant that I started from seed got 42 maters on it so I am sure I will harvest this seed for next year.

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
9:55 PM

Post #7014329

Well, thats some l plant there! Im going for big and large yeild per plant next season. I was at one of my favorite GH's a few days ago and she gave me some whooompas maters.

Check this out.. they grow 12 to 15 feet in the GH and heres have been yeilding almost 2 bushel per PLANT! Now thats a space saver in a container for you.

You grow them in the GH tied to a string. She says lop the branches off and just let thing grow. It will bush out and get lots of bloomers for new maters. I am gonna try them on the hoop house and let them run up the hoops instead of strings and raise them outside to see what happens there! Hopefully them will not be woody like some hothouse maters are or to pink. I want lush red sweet maters and large ones at that.

I plan to fertilize them with chicken poo tea.

I am also gonna do some in hanging baskets for cherry maters. How I did them this year worked just swell!

Well, here is her plants at her GH! They are the tall things towards the back.

To get my seeds from the maters I let them rot in a tray in the GPS for the winter and whalah! Seed mush, goes dry and there ya go. I just plant the mush particles with the seed. I usually broad cast the seed some how, be it in a tray or in the garden and transplant the better starters later to where they will grow off!

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

September 2, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #7015004

Sounds like a plan to me BB. I took a pic this evening, it finally toppled to the ground in spite of all the stakes. I have been harvesting from it and still counted 37 maters still on the vine and they are a good size. Like your idea for harvesting the seed, will do the same here only in the garage or basement as I don't have a GH.

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2009
1:22 AM

Post #7015224

I dont know any other method to really extract the seeds fro the maters... I guess you could try mashing them through a screen.. but rotting them out works. It does smell, but my GH is not heated in the winter and I am not our there as it goes to storage of my containers etc and by the time I do the spring cleanup, I find the mater seeds andits about time to plant. For some reason I alwasy have cherry tomato volunteers so I collect those and dont make to big a deal to start them. I chuck a few cherrys out in the garden and find them when they grow. I figure if its good enough to grow in the garden, then its time to work on really gettign maters going.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 4, 2009
6:19 PM

Post #7025703

Im finished with harvest for 2009...it will be something in 2010...Hmmm need to figure out my planting date for spring!
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
3:25 AM

Post #7050039

Can a Zone 9 join this thread? I had a wonderful crop this year! (as opposed to the past two which were pitiful indeed.) Don't want to butt in ... I know there's a difference in the growing seasons. I also save my seeds, and all my tomatoes I start from seed, even the Big Beef.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2009
11:23 AM

Post #7050594

Any zone is welcome!

Well, I should have said finished with my big beeves harvest. I have cherry maters coming out of my ears!

So, jubilada, whats your plan?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2009
5:56 PM

Post #7051786

Heres the last of the cherry mater baskets 2009. This really worked well for me! Beat picken the lil boogers by hands and knees! Iput up about 40 of them off of volunteer seeds that were found in the garden.

I fertilized them with chicken doodoo tea, but regret I started doing that to late in the season!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
7:52 PM

Post #7052174

You all have some lovely-looking tomato plants.

I've had a 20 x 40 foot plot in one of Palo Alto's community gardens for 21 years. I guess you'd call me an "urban" farmer. I've narrowed my tomato growing down to 10 or 11 plants per year. Tomatoes grown this year: 2 Big Beef, 2 Imur Prior Beta (a Norwegian type, bred for short, cool seasons), 3 Ropreco, 1 Juliette, 1 Great White, 1 Orange Oxheart, and 1 Striped German. The Imur, and German were new to my selection this year, and I can only say they are fabulous. I think the Imur is better than Stupice in flavor: nice and tangy. The Striped German is a huge, meaty, very tasty tomato, and the plant seems to be quite hardy (for an heirloom type). Of course, I swear by all the others, and they are in my garden each year. Since July 1, I have harvested over 240 lbs of tomatoes, and have made and frozen enough tomato sauce to last me and my husband from now until the first ripe tomato next season. In the dead of winter it's like having a spoonful of sunshine!

I save seed from all my heirloom/open pollinated types, and buy seed from a local seed company for the hybrids.

I try to do all my garden planning and planting according to the phases and signs of the moon. Yes, I'm eccentric. There is a very helpful calendar I get every year: Gardening by the Moon. They publish three versions each year, one for short season, one for medium, and one for long.

I start seeds in flats in my "greenhouse" kitchen window in early March, transplanting seedlings twice (once to 4-inch pots, once to 6-inch pots) before putting them in the ground around the first week of May.

Soil prep includes a cover crop of hairy vetch in soil that has been well amended with steer manure and compost. I never plant tomatoes in the same place two years in a row.

Plants go in with doses of vitamin B (for transplant shock), fish meal, and a tablespoon of epsom salts (for trace minerals). After a while the plants get an occasional feeding of fish emulsion.

The thing is, it's hard to believe that tomato season is almost over this year ... seems like I just put the plants in! The Juliette will probably produce through October, the Big Beef has maybe two weeks left, as do the Ropreco. The rest are ready for the compost heap, pretty much. I might get another couple of pounds from the German. It's that time of year, though, where there's starting to be morning dew, the little brown spiders are spinning their webs, and somehow or other tomatoes don't care for that too much.

That's it from here!
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
7:54 PM

Post #7052180

July 30, Orange Oxheart, Great White, and some Ropreco.

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
7:56 PM

Post #7052190

August 27, Beautiful Striped German

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
7:57 PM

Post #7052194

August 31, A bowl of Juliettes.

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 13, 2009
3:13 PM

Post #7058777

awesome, thats some competition! LOL!

Keep 'em coming! Lovely pics and hints!
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 14, 2009
5:40 AM

Post #7061828

Jubilada - nice variety of tomatoes you got there.

I only planted Ace this year, along with some self-seeding cherry tomatoes. My harvest last week of Ace tomatoes for canning. Some small, some big. Apple included for comparison.

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

September 14, 2009
11:53 AM

Post #7062149

Now those are good looking crops, looks like you all have shined them up for the table. Guess I better stop making the sauce and take apic of ours before we use them all. I did harvest the seed from several yesterday that were on that hugeous plant that had 40+ maters on it. Hope I get a whopper again next year.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 14, 2009
12:17 PM

Post #7062200

OH oh oh!! SHOW US THE SAUCE!!~~~
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 14, 2009
6:49 PM

Post #7063508

Oh, yes, show us the SAUCE! (I'm about sauced out, quite frankly).

This morning's harvest ... 4 lbs of tomatoes (The Striped German is 1 lb), a few jalapeņos, some chiles de agua, a handful of beans, and some lovely basil. The season is winding down!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 14, 2009
6:51 PM

Post #7063517

And my Roprecos still have a little life in them ... though the plants are starting to look pretty scraggly!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 14, 2009
7:34 PM

Post #7063700

One of my favorite and most simple things to do with a big beef mater is to quarter it, and cut the quarters in half again. Then take some Western dressing and put that on them and top with parmasan cheese and green olives. I can make a meal on just that in the summer! YUMMM!
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 14, 2009
8:01 PM

Post #7063816

Sounds mightly delish, Blossombuddy! Can't go wrong with parmesan and green olives. Maybe mayo instead of the Western dressing.

Anybody ever try making panzanella (Italian bread salad) with their heirloom tomatoes? Pretty darn good too.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 1, 2009
3:01 AM

Post #7122226

Fermenting the seed according to P. Allen Smith!

http://www.pallensmith.com/index.php?id=1646&questionid=858
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 1, 2009
4:08 AM

Post #7122383

Look, it's so much more simple than all that!

Take a tomato you like (of course from an heirloom or open pollinated sort), cut it open, squish out the seeds with some of the tomato jam into a small container, put in a little water, set in the kitchen window, and wait for one or two days until you see the layer of mold. Remove that layer (real easy), pour the seeds into a fine mesh strainer, rinse them, and then put them on waxed paper to dry out. Make sure you have a plan to identify the seeds you're saving, and then, put them into little envelopes, label them, and remember that they will be viable for at least four years. No mystery there, real easy, and it has worked for me for the past 20 years! Happy seed saving. (It's important for the ecology of the earth.)
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 1, 2009
1:01 PM

Post #7122996

I just chuck them in a flat tray or a tin pan in the greenhouse and leave them there until planting time. No fuss no muss! They are dry by then and then just pick out the seeds from the dry matter.

Sometimes I will just chuck that mess into a spot in the garden, wait until they sprout and then trnsplant them.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 14, 2009
5:13 PM

Post #7168420

ergo...tin tray with my giant hot house maters.. starting to rot down already...e-yuk! and stinkola!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 14, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #7168764

Yuk, indeed. Looks like you'll have a mess of tomato seeds for next spring!

My seeds have been saved, dried, stored in envelopes, categorized, and shared with friends. They're at the ready for next season's planting.

Now I'm about beefing up the soil and planting cover crops. Hairy vetch where the tomatoes will go, and fava beans everywhere else. Garlic and onions go in early November. Chard and kale and broccoli already planted. Then I will rest until mid-January, I hope.

Had a very good tomato season, harvesting nearly 300 pounds. Best in about 5 years. Who knows why. The Juliette tomato is still producing, and I'll leave it in until the first frost. The rest, well, they're in the compost pile.

Until the spring ...
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 15, 2009
4:40 PM

Post #7172071

You sound very tomato minded! LOL!

Yano, one tomatoe I would realllly like to try is that little guy called a Cherub. Man, I tasted those for the first time and oh yum!

They are like a cherry mater but have a pointy end and are so sweet! Melts right in the mouth they do!

I got cherry tomato seeds up the kazoo... Need to pack those up...they are dried and last years...
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 15, 2009
6:23 PM

Post #7172385

We are having the last of ours this evening as our favorite BLT's. That will be the end of the fresh sliced maters for this season.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 15, 2009
6:31 PM

Post #7172407

Im going to the grocer... I saw them there.. what the hey, will try to extrude them after I eat a few of course...I have not seen seed. Hopoe they still have them and I hope they dont hybridize off weird! They sure are good!

But first its the cafe!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2009
4:02 PM

Post #7186229

Ok, Im back, got some cherubs... I will probably riase them off in hanging baskets in 2010.

The cherries I grew this year worked well in the baskets and so labor saving in picking! Only trouble is, is where I had the baskets hanging.. they dropped maters and I am sure I will have volunteers to clean up on the spring. I may as well do both if that is the case

So my 2010 lineup for maters is gonna be
1) cherubs
2) cherry
3) big beef
4) the giant mater I got from the hothouse that I have no clue as to the name of so for the sake of giving it a reference, will just call it the Jurassic mater.

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 3, 2009
4:19 AM

Post #7236117

Today I planted Hairy Vetch in the locations where I plan to put my tomatoes next year.
This is my tomato lineup for 2010:
2 Big Beef,
2 or 3 Ropreco Paste,
1 Juliette,
1 Norwegian (Imur Beta Prior),
1 Great White,
1 Orange Oxheart,
1 Striped German, and
1 Prudens Purple.

Also put in my fava beans today. Friday will plant garlic (usually around 110 cloves), and onions. The chard, kale and broccoli are growing already. So, my winter garden will be in, and in the meantime, I've got lots and lots of tomato sauce for the winter. Whew! Time for a break!

No frost yet here in California. Some beautiful weather in the Bay Area lately, in the 70s. Of course, we need rain ...

BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2009
2:07 PM

Post #7236849

Jubilada, jolly good list there! Looks like you are gonna be busy!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

January 20, 2010
2:46 PM

Post #7478980

So anyone else joining us here in the 2010 Tomato Tourney?

Im marking my planting dats for:


Sow 2/11, 2/25, 3/10 indoors for setting out 4/19

This message was edited Jan 20, 2010 9:27 AM
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2010
4:47 PM

Post #7479327

I'm in!

Plan to start seeds last week of Feb. or first week of March, and set out plants last week of April-first week of May.

Have added two new ones to my lineup: Zapotec (a large Mexican heirloom) and Federer (a long--6-7 inches, they say) paste tomato.

Hasta la primavera!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

January 20, 2010
5:08 PM

Post #7479373

Si!
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2010
6:18 AM

Post #7493974

Blossombuddy, do you put 1 plant per hanging basket?

My cherry tomatoes were good last year. Black Cherry was my favorite. My regular tomato seedlings had lots of trouble (but I learned lots of things not to do this year) The few plants that survived got hit with frost before any tomatoes were ripe.

I had cherry tomatoes in nursery pots and some in a window box. The window box was too small, but the pots worked well. I didn't have room for a regular veggie garden, so I used containers.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

January 25, 2010
1:40 PM

Post #7494467

I put three cherry maters per basket.. or one for each space between the hanger wires.. some might have 4!

The cherry maters I did last year were not really meant for hangers because they were the trailing kind and not the bush type, but I got plentyof maters off of them and it worked for me. They were straggly looking, but I dint care. It served my purpose.

So therefore I do recommend a bush mini of some description, but either way.. no problem. YOu will probably get more maters per plant using a bush variety though!

I planted some of mine in straight horse poo...the dung was composted so the fertilzier value was pretty rung out of it from the start and then later was doig the chicken poo tea thing. I also used THRIVE.

Baskets need regular fertilizing.
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2010
12:50 AM

Post #7496748

Thanks! I will have to find some more hanging planters.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

January 26, 2010
4:38 AM

Post #7497450

You might try your local nurseries.. the mom and pops might have some that they woul dbe happy to give away or maybe sellf or a cheap love donation!
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2010
5:34 AM

Post #7497630

I will have to check the nurseries, but I doubt that I will find any generous souls around here. I asked at a local place-a bakery and plant place-if they had any pots that they didn't want or any pots for sale. They quoted me a price for cracked, used pots that was more than twice the price for new ones at Walmart and Lowe's. This is an odd area, there are many local people who are born and bred in the area and never even visited New York City or Philadelphia. There are also weekenders from the New York City area. Local merchants overprice their wares for the weekenders. I visited a couple of nurseries, but they have the same plants as the big box stores for 2-3 times the prices. Selection is typically limited to pansies, big boy and big girl tomatoes and Burpee seeds.

I keep my eyes open while walking the dog in spring/summer. I found a lot of empty nursery pots that way. I have had some luck at the salvation army store and discount/dollar stores as well.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

January 26, 2010
1:42 PM

Post #7498155

This is what mouths are for! If you dont ask, you will never get anywhere!

Sometime syou can hit them when they are cleaning out the old and just wanting to be rid of stuff and other times its the e-cheapo sale..

Any time I see murseries offering things free I ask them what else are you cleaning or clreaing out... I get lucky sometimes. Like last year I came hope literaly with a pickup load of mums. The nursery had a sign FRee. I asked well how many could I take.. next thing I knew ole Leo loaded my truck up! God bless his soul!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 2, 2010
7:40 PM

Post #7853736

Big Beef maters... bumped to #1500 size cans...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 2, 2010
8:10 PM

Post #7853824

Oooooh, you have a lot of Big Beefs. I only have two (I have a limited growing area), but they are now about three feet tall, full of blossoms. Oh, yes, I also have two Ropreco, 1 Federele (another paste), one Great White, one Orange Oxheart, one Striped German, one Juliettte, one Zapotec, and one Norwegian (imur beta prius) which now has two baby tomatoes!

You must have a huge area to plant all those tomatoes! I only have a 40x20 area, and must grow my beans, squash, potatoes, garlic, cucumbers and everything else in that space!

Much luck with your "maters" -- hope they grow well and thrive!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 2, 2010
8:18 PM

Post #7853844

Thank you so much for the well wishes. Im growing for the food pantrys in my local so homefully we willhave plenty.

My taters were a wash this season.. Drat!

I put in radish, carrots, beets, some lettuce, peppers, I have in containers - cukes, zukes, green peppers, banana peppers, some loofa.

If we get the garden worked this weekend I am going to broad cast some melons and some squash.

Been thinking aboiut beans.. maybe do them in some containers...

Hope your garden does well too!
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2010
8:15 PM

Post #7862454

Well, my potatoes this season have been really good. I'm getting around 2-3 pounds per seed planted, which is much better than last year, which stank to the heavens. I mean, doodly squat!

I'm also expecting (on the basis of the first head picked) a good garlic harvest. This is number one (Music), of 111 planted (Music, German Porcelain, and Chesnok Red) ... whadya think? Is that a pretty garlic? (Of course, you have to love garlic as much as I do ... I mean it's like wine ... a day without garlic and / or wine ... is like a day without sunshine!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 6, 2010
7:08 PM

Post #7865297

on a good season I will get around 600 lbs of taters or a heaping helping pickup truckload which is more tha I need and love to give to the local food pantries BUT

.. but I got an idiot for a neighbor who keeps flooding the area and well what can I say...this year again we got nada.. its gettign rather annoying.
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2010
7:29 PM

Post #7865368

Well, blossombuddy, you plant far more taters than I do. Remember, I'm an urban farmer with a community garden plot! Whew, 600 lbs! That's a whole lot of taters! My harvest is minuscule in comparison! LOL!

Can't you talk to that neighbor ... given that water is a precious commodity these days, why would anyone be flooding anything, for any reason???
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 7, 2010
3:22 AM

Post #7865858

The neighbor is an idiot... some people think they are above the law when they do stupid.. They have ruined properties by doing what they do and its ridiculous. I swear some people have no regard for anyone or anything no less themselves. People do not know what they do and the authorities can be just as bad. Trouble is, none of them give a rats potato about anything but thier selfish selves.

There are solutions to the issue, but stupidity reigns. Like talking to a brick wall. One thing though about talking to a brick wall... it does not do anything but stand there and listen. That is far more I can say about some ignorant people.

Anyway, the tomatoes here are looking grand. I have them in pots. The rains we have had have been wonderful on them. They are starting to bloom and I need to get them where I want them to crawl on a fence soon.

My chickens are still "tilling" the area that they are going in.

This message was edited Jun 7, 2010 6:09 AM
GardenWren
Canton, OH

July 9, 2010
5:26 AM

Post #7954475

The tomatoes are thriving in my garden. Six Big Boys planted as seedlings (4 in the garden, 2 in topsy-turvys), four organic Brandywines started from seed, and one of no-name because it's growing from last years droppings. Ate two of the delicious Big Boys already and I've counted more than 50 popping out. The organic tomatoes are catching up.
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 9, 2010
8:14 AM

Post #7954789

Only one ripe tomato so far, a Norwegian type, very small, but very tasty. It's been such a cool summer here ... things are growing very slowly. There are piles of green tomatoes on all my plants, all started from seed, and I am hopeful for a good harvest ... if they EVER get ripe! I'm trying three new ones this year, Zapotec (a Mexican beefsteak), Federle (a roma type), and an unidentified roma type a friend gave me seeds for, which I am naming after her. Otherwise, my regulars are Big Beef, Great White, Striped German, Orange Oxheart, Ropreco and Juliette. I think the Orange will produce the next ripe one. We'll see.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2010
6:39 AM

Post #7957031

Well, my tomatoes have tomatoes! YAY! I put up quite a few plants this season and the hoop house trellis is working wonderfully so far. I really need to start pumping some fertilizer to them. Going to be doing the chicken poo tea thing and Superthrive.

I have tones of cherry tomato plants and some where around 24 or more large beefers or I take that back, Big Boys.. I will have to watch labels as its probably both.

I need to repot some hanging baskets. I did not do tomatoes in baskets this year.

I am wondering to see everyones Topsy-turvys.. I am skeptical on those as my baskets were probably not as llush as if they were in the garden, but I am good for skimping on fertilizer due to time and size of the gardens

I just tied up my maters for their secong time. And they are all about 2-3feet tall depending on variety.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

July 12, 2010
3:11 PM

Post #7963347

Its a BETTER BOY!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:21 PM

Post #7968291

Here's one of my favorite hybrids, a Juliette ... the plant is loaded with clusters of 8-10 grape tomatoes. They're a good size, grape, too, and really tasty when ripe. But, alas, still green ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:23 PM

Post #7968302

My other hybrid, a tomato staple, Big Beef ... two plants just loaded with GREEN tomatoes (no, I don't like fried green tomatoes) ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:24 PM

Post #7968304

Super performer heirloom paste/roma: Ropreco ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:25 PM

Post #7968309

New heirloom for me this year, a Zapotec. It's a late season beefsteak, and I'm hoping for the best ... looks pretty good so far!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:26 PM

Post #7968313

The first of my favorite tried and true heirloom BIG tomatoes, Great White ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:28 PM

Post #7968317

Second, Striped German ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:29 PM

Post #7968321

Three, Orange Oxheart ...

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2010
12:34 PM

Post #7968337

The two remaining not pictured here are an heirloom roma, Federle, and a small cool season one I call Norwegian. They're not producing up to snuff this season, as far as I'm concerned. I'm growing Federle for the first time, and it's a wispy plant with not many tomatoes, and some displaying (gasp) blossom-end rot. The Norwegian, which I had great success with last year, is not living up to its previous self. The plant looks poorly, the tomatoes are few and small. Such is life.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

July 14, 2010
12:43 PM

Post #7968359

Cool!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

August 5, 2010
4:50 AM

Post #8019681

Ok, I am getting maters galore but they have "crackles" or rings around the tops.. whats causing this or is it the breed?

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2010
8:02 AM

Post #8020076

I think it's a water issue ... too much?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

August 5, 2010
8:08 AM

Post #8020086

Nah, I have not watered them at all, we have had good rains though...but cant say its overly abundant.

How about humidity? been beastly hot andhumid lately?
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2010
9:23 AM

Post #8020259

Well, yes, severe weather fluctuations cause problems ... but it may just be a varietal wrinkle ... I looked in a couple of my books and they didn't say anything specific about cracking, but some of the heirloom varieties pictured in one book definitely showed cracks , so ...
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

August 5, 2010
10:19 AM

Post #8020376

I thnk its Big Beef or Better Boy or something of that nature.. one of the old standbys. Im not havig too many tomato worms.. so far only 2 this season, but I have 24 plants. I have been pruning the leaves because they have been growing like monsters and I am tying them up to what they are climbing on. The maters seem small to me. Not like the ones I had last season. These are almost 1/2 size.

this ones in a #1500 nursery can and just climbing from there. Need to push some chickepoo tea to those. Some I have in cans like that but they are sunk into the ground. Thought I would try it that way so whenI water, the watering does a good job.

They are all going great guns though. Did my cukes the same way and also my zukes and loofas in cans too.

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2010
11:33 AM

Post #8020484

Here are two sites that discuss tomato cracking and the causes/remedies ...

http://www.agrisupportonline.com/Articles/cracking_in_tomatoes.htm

http://vegetablegardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/causes_of_tomato_splitting_or_cracking

Looks like cracked or not you've got a bunch of tomatoes on your hands! Mine are still mostly green, but I've seen some flushes of color on a few, so I think next week might be the beginning of my tomato season (I hope).

Sadly, the squirrels seem to have devoured most of the Zapotecs (still green, too) ... I picked one to ripen on the counter, but it won't be the same ...
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2010
6:01 PM

Post #8110724

well, I got these devouring my maters.. boy they moved in with a vengence!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 20, 2010
6:54 PM

Post #8110824

Wow, that's something Blossombuddy! At least you've got some natural predators there!

I was taking out some of my tomato plants, and found just one of those guys ... after all the damage that squirrels and rats did, during this coldest of all summers on record, I just said, hey, guy, go at it, have a blast!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2010
7:35 PM

Post #8110987

oh no no no no... if you do that they will be back and back and back! Thats not RICE on that werm there, thats eggs! ICK, even the chickens think twice on eating these varocious greenies!

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Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 20, 2010
7:39 PM

Post #8110993

Well, I tell you, BB, that picture there just about gives me the creeps!

However, in my case, this is the first horned tomato worm to grace my plants in YEARS ..., and he'll be going into the city compost bin very soon ... hopefully, that will be that ...
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

September 20, 2010
10:20 PM

Post #8111236

I have been disappointed, again, with my tomato harvest, but planning ahead for next year. I got some black cherry tomatoes and a few super marzano this year. (At least I have saved seeds, so I can plant them again.)

What are your favorite short season tomatoes. I eat them fresh and can the extras, but also would love to have good sauce tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes have performed better for me, but none have been fantastic. To be fair, my flowers and roses get most of my gardening attention, but I would love some more fresh veggies. At a local plant/seed swap, people recommended Fourth of July.

I don't have a green house, so I have to start my seeds inside. I am setting up a light shelf for my indoor/outdoor tropicals and starting seeds, space permitting.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
4:47 AM

Post #8111416

Im going materwerm hunting again today... them slimey critters defoliated a good part of my maters and ate some holes in the fruits. Grrrrr. Granny, wheres my can.

After I collect them I run them over with the lawnmower! Oh the humanity... green pudding everywhere, but that rice filled momma.. I know she dropped more eggs and I cant say rolling them kills the nits.

Sorry peter people, but these guys gotta go. I cant say they put out a pretty butterfly, they are not that kindof beast to my knowledge.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
6:58 AM

Post #8111619

SCORE!!!!

BLOSSOM - 9 >>>>SA-MASHH!!!!!

GREEN MEANIES - 0

Found three more with eggs though this morning... OY! Next year I think I better pass on doing maters!
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 21, 2010
7:54 AM

Post #8111758

Those eggs, btw, are wasp eggs, and they are a natural predator ... the worm does turn into a hummingbird moth, which is quite fabulous ... sorry you've had such a lot of them eating up your "maters" ... sounds like you're getting even, though.

Garden Quilts, for an early, short season tomato that's bigger than a cherry and does make a good sauce, try the Norwegian type that was bred especially for short, cool seasons: Imur Prior Beta.

It is an heirloom, so you can save the seeds. I've grown it for two seasons and find it a pretty productive plant, and a decent tasting tomato. This year was the pits, however ... no summer to speak of. Surprised I got any tomatoes at all!

Fourth of July, btw, is a very nice small tomato! But, it's a hybrid, and so you can't save the seeds.

BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
1:36 PM

Post #8112355

Oh rats, now I want to see a hummingbird moth.. but I sure the heck dont need the wasps I have tons of those and surely dont need getting stung. We have hornets, wasps and carpenter bees that can get pretty nasty.

Now to go look up a hummingbird moth...

Weird on those wasp eggs, they were olny laid on the smaller of the green meanies,...I wonder if "sex" of the worm is important to the wasp? or why else woudl the worms be smaller?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
1:48 PM

Post #8112374

Oh dear, that is a pretty thing.. hmm sure wished I knew before I murdered them...never realized they could be something so purdy! But man they got an appettite!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroglossum_stellatarum

Im so ashamed! well not really on those wasps though...
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 21, 2010
1:54 PM

Post #8112389

BlossomBuddy, some wasps are our friends ... they're beneficial, and they prey on pests, like tomato worms. Paper wasps are fairly non aggressive, ground wasps are aggressive, carpenter bees are basically docile, and good pollinators ... hornets are just plain nasty. My opinion. I hope someday to actually see a hummingbird moth in person ...
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

September 21, 2010
1:59 PM

Post #8112398

Thanks for the tip on the Norwegian tomato, Imur Prior Beta.

I have to grow that one, being Norwegian-American myself!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
3:34 PM

Post #8112535

Oh no, carpenter bees here are NAAAAASTY. They make their nests in the ground here often and have stung my horses to no end. Had one filly that got stung above her eye and it made a royal mess. Had to wrap her poor head up like an Arab wearing a turban while those pocks drained and one unfortuneately drained right into her eye causing a droop to her tearduct. Had a young stallion that got nailed about 15 times on his head too and had puss pockets like you would not beleive. No, those are nasty here...

We just anialated some waps nests made in the eavs on our house... and while they might be predators, I am not given them welcome to come into my house or attic or affix their evil little homes to which can often be massive if they get into an attic. They have been thick here. Got paper hornets nests out in our woods. Infact just harvested a nest to preserve. They come in through light fixtures, outlets, cracks through the siding and oh my.

I dont cotton much to getting stung and many folks as well as the animals are hyper-llergic. It took over a week for that one filly to heal and that poor colt, oh my. He looked like his head was popcorn! Had to "squeeze the pimples" off him and OMG, the holes he had, but he finaly healed. Had to "irrigate" him and dear Lord, that poor colt in the pain he was in, he still was pretty much a gentleman about it.

I dont mind bees. Honey bees, the lil black and yeller fellers we got are fine and there is a bumble bee too, but them carpenter bees. NO NO NO.. nastiest things if I ever saw! Maybe mine are hybridized? I doubt it, but those I steer clear if ever possible.
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 21, 2010
3:48 PM

Post #8112555

Well, BB, you just have a different ilk of carpenter bees and wasps it seems. We're fortunate that we don't have them trying to take us over in such an aggressive manner! I do try to nip ground wasp nests in the bud, if I catch them soon enough, cause they will sting you silly!

Sorry about your poor horses. My, they must have suffered!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2010
5:25 PM

Post #8112789

They were not to happy, but cooling the stingersites off with the hose helped. They were a lil touchy about their heads for a little while, but they are both fine now. That was a few years ago that happened. We keep our place pretty clean so we do not have the filth bugs, but some places, oh man, pigsties and poohbugs.. how they can keep animals like that is beyond me. Its cruel.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

September 24, 2010
4:25 AM

Post #8117867

I looked up those materworms on Wiki...they claim they are not from this country, but have a greater territory overseas.

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 3, 2010
1:56 PM

Post #8135100

Well, the mater tourney for me has about ended. I yanked most of the tomaters off the plants last nite because of frost predicted.

Then this morning I get up... no frost. So now I have a huge pile of green tomaters...!

Still need to pull the cherry tomatoes, but I can cover most of them.

This message was edited Oct 3, 2010 2:58 PM
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 3, 2010
2:08 PM

Post #8135116

I took out three tomato plants today: Federle, Great White, and Juliette. The Norwegian, Zapotec, Ropreco, Orange Oxheart and Striped German got taken out last week. That leaves just two Big Beefs, and they are still producing. No frost for us, I think, until November ... but most of the plants were pretty sad looking, so ... I must say that the Big Beef plants produced about 50 lbs EACH of some pretty remarkable tomatoes!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 3, 2010
10:09 PM

Post #8136049

Im not happy with my maters this season. Im dumping Better Boy for Big Beef. They were better tomatoes last season. Big Beef did not crack like the boys did.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2010
4:40 PM

Post #8164936

I am however head over heels with my cherry maters... they do the best in the ground vs baskets. What a bumper crop.. and these have been hardy for fall.. still going, but I cover them at nite.

These are third generation.. so they are not like the original, but have actually gotten better and tastier!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
5:31 AM

Post #8204257

Hauling away th elast of the dead vines and doing cleanup getting ready to thnk on next year.
Jubilada
Palo Alto, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 10, 2010
7:02 AM

Post #8204473

Believe it or not, picked 2-1/2 pounds of tomatoes from some volunteer plants near my compost pile ... otherwise, have planted hairy vetch where next year's plants will go ... clean-up finished some while ago ... of course, my garden is no where near as extensive as yours is, blossombuddy!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #8204589

Ima still working on the mater plants.. they are all dead and dun, but still clinging to the trellisses... Just finished plucking the marigolds and have that mess to clean up too.
To say again, if its not one mess, its anudder! LOL!

Looks like my cherry maters are "planted" for next season.. I had a few maters fall back into their pots soi I spose I will get some nice volunteers again. My cherry maters are great for coiming back that way. Im probably gonna have marigolds popping up hither and yon too as that was a royal mess after them plants frosted and gatherign the seeds.. they are every where.

Nas maters thar J!

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