Tomato Adventures

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I always have so much to say about tomatoes, this tomato, that tomato, a pic of this and that and I always have a picture of something....I just wanted a spot where I can post anything about tomatoes without starting a hundred different topics.... and anyone from anywhere can chime in. I am not in zone 8 and I am not in zone 10 and not in zone 5.........somewhere in between. : )

How bout this weather===wondering if we are going to have a winter. I think the north used up all the snow last year and didn't save any for this year.

Here is a pic of a Brandywine I grew......not sure if i posted it anywhere. Been so busy couldnt tell if i was coming or going.
It cracked when I was trying to get it off the cluster stem.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I had to go back and hunt down my last group of tomato pictures back in July to see where I had left off. I didn't leave much off. Here I thought I was going to post some pictures and already did in July. I'mmma dork. Might have a few that I haven't posted.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

closest up= brandywine

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

oh yeh===I grew the Tommy Toe.......it was a beautiful plant. The only plant that did not have a fungus. Huge---about 10 feet tall when I chopped it down............the tomatoes were BLAH. to me they had no flavor. What a huge disappointment.

tommy toes up front. growing in 4 gallon pots. several vines each.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I grew a Black Knight. no flavor. blah.
I grew the Big Beef open pollinated-----not the hybrid-------it was ok. The Big Beef Hybrid produced more.
Grew the Giant Tree which are in the pic above next to the tommy toes.. It grew tall for sure. I couldn't tell much difference between the PLants of the Giant Tree and the Brandywine that were growing on the other end of the bed. I liked the Brandywine fruit better. It might be a mental thing.

A basket of Brandywine fruit. Big basket===huge fruits.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I was not impressed with any of the heirlooms that i grew.......cherokee purple, caspian pink, indian stripe, gee , I grew so many......I kept going back to the Big Beef, Brandywine, Better Bush, Sweet Million Cherry......and I like the Pineapple. Others that I like but have not grown in a while are the Celebrity and the Better Boy. I tried the Atkinsons too......they were pretty good. Produced abundantly until the heat beat them down. Nice size toms too. I didn't even give them much care. No telling what they would of done if I gave them the attention they needed.
Atkinsons were actually bred here in Alabama for Alabama climate.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

"Big Beef open pollinated-----not the hybrid-------it was ok. The Big Beef Hybrid produced more."

Totally agree. The OP version just isn't worth the space for me but the hybrid is a tough one to beat. I even found the hybrid to be better tasting.

Really surprised you didn't like Cherokee Purple, Caspian Pink or Indian Stripe that much. I've had off years with each but for the most part they are back every year.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I have tried almost all the ones you named, and I too liked the Pineapple. I used to grow Sweet Millions and liked them, but really prefer Sun Sugars now. That is all I grow in the cherry toms now.

I too am going back to the Celebrity, Oregon Spring, Early Girl, etc. I know they work, and are good. I had the Brandywines too, but you know, they only produced a couple of those giant tomatoes per plant. Too much work for that.

Who do you supply with tomatoes? You have a regular farm there.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

deleted.... comment...for personal reasons

This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 3:19 PM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Good for you!! That is great. You must have a lot of energy. Hope you do good. Sure sounds like it. 12,000 plants is a lot of work besides tending your own and selling them. Good business!!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)



Oh my goodness.
so - I thought i wanted to grow better bush in the garden but im getting mixed info about it's flavor and production and I thought it tasted
pretty good....but when somebody tells you they thought it had no flavor you start wondering if you have taste buds or did they disappear.
so confused right now.
You know=====spring fever when the brain starts tripping over itself.

This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 3:19 PM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Maybe you have so many different ones to compare that they are all running together now. Possibly you should figure out a way to maybe cut some up and have other people try them. Customers. When they come in give them a toothpick to pick the toms up with, and a paper towel. Let them see the difference. Get their opinions. Might help.

Put some little pencils and scraps of paper out and a suggestion box next to the samples. Might be fun. :0)

Waaaay Down South, GA

Some of the ones we like are Dlicious, Beauty King, Aussie, Eva Purple Ball, Black From Tula, Lady Lucy, Royal Hillbilly and Box Car Willie. These are always winners for me in zone 8B
~Susan

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Hey Susan, how are you? The only one of those you list that I have tried is Box Car Willie and it has been so long I forgot what it was like. Last year was our weirdest weather here and the tomatoes came out with the best flavor. Go figure.

Normally, we don't get enough sun for them. The season didn't even get warm until almost July. Then the plants started growing. Really strange weather we are having. Again this year. No snow.

Jeanette

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

deleted .

Happy Gardening

This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 3:21 PM

Waaaay Down South, GA

Hi Jeanette! Our weather has been crazy here, also. We actually ate 3 tiny tomatoes last night that we picked about a week ago ... whenever our last little cold snap was. They finally ripened. I've never eattened home grown tomatoes in January.

Cricket, I've grown the Goliath , and am pretty sure I don't have any, but let me check my seed stash. I'll let you know tonight. Have you checked Vicktery Seeds? I'm placing an order and could order them for you if that's all you need.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I have checked Victory seeds for the heirloom goliath......not on file.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

found some Heirloom Goliath.

http://www.localharvest.org/goliath-heirloom-tomato-seeds-C21499

i am not sure about the company. Lazy ox farms ? 75 percent of their seeds are out of stock.

This message was edited Jan 11, 2012 6:12 PM

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

You might try Totally Tomatoes. They have several different Goliath varieties, including one they call Original Goliath and another named Old-Fashioned Goliath. I haven't tried these myself. My favorites are Big Beef Hybrid, Cherokee Purple, Indian Stripe, and Stump of the World.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

yeh, that Stump of the World has me curious.
I bought the orignal goliath hybrid and bush goliath at TT.
they didnt have the heirloom goliath. and i did read about the
Old Fashioned Goliath Hybrid.... It kinda sounds like the heirloom.
The only reason I wanted heirloom was so i could save the seed.

Waaaay Down South, GA

Good luck finding your heirlooms! I grew the bush Goliath, not the heirloom. Didn't have any left. That was back in 2009. Hope you find some. ☺

Central, VA(Zone 7a)

see I grew the black brandywine and the red brandywine last season,loved them both also grew cherokee purple and it was my favorite most definetly.This year I ordered Arkansas traveler and Keloggs breakfast to try.I also grew rutgers wasnt impressed. Giant belgiums which were huge and pretty good.Paul Robeson's are on the small side but quite tasty and very very prolific.Rutgers and Oxhearts wont make the cut to get grown this year

Thumbnail by TomVa
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Tom, did you like Kelloggs Breakfast? I grew them too, but my labels got mixed up so not sure which they were. Jeanette

Central, VA(Zone 7a)

Jeanette,I just got the seed's this year for them,I will definetly let you know this fall though,My grandfather grew a big yellow tomato,I bet it was kelloggs breakfast and he just didnt know the name of it,Hopefully I will like it.Anyways it's fun to grow new one's and sample them....Tom

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

in another forum there was a topic started about a trash can cucumber.

what we gonna do here is......cut the top of my head off.......wiggle around in there with a stick.....


http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1054483/

So--as i mentioned over there.......I want to adventure this with a tomato plant..... Nothing ventured=nothing gained.

Taking a 30 gallon trash can and lid. Cutting a small hole to the side of the lid to hold a small mesh container of soil and tomato pant.
Cutting another hole on the opposite side to slide a PVC watering pipe through to the bottom===like they do for those eco buckets.
Since tomatoes drink more water than cucumbers, it will have to be refilled with nutrient water on a regular basis==unlike that cucumber in the trash can.
I'm doing it................ Do you want to give it a try? You have nothing to loose.......you gained another trash can.

This message was edited Jan 13, 2012 8:52 PM

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

"...wiggle around in there with a stick.."

Hah! Too funny, Cricket. (I think my head would only require a toothpick sometimes!)

Go for it. I've done lettuce and a few other things hydroponically but used perlite as an anchor medium. I read about the cukes year before last but never followed through with trying it. I'll be watching your progress.

Shoe

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Goliath

When looking for seed sources, don't forget Tania Tomato data base. Scroll down on every variety page to see the seed sources if indeed there is a seed source.

Above is a link to the heirloom Goliath and Tomato Growers Supply has it for 2012.

Tania can't fill in all those for 2012 until all catalogs and websites are updated. With over 3,000 varieties in her data base it then takes her lots of time to update everything.

Carolyn

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

thank you Carolyn. I went to tomatogrowers.com and found the heirloom Goliath. :)

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Tom, Pineapple is a real good one too. Jeanette

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I always said I was not an expert with growing tomatoes and it shows everyday that I learn something new.

I just read some information about tomato problems and I sit here stunned.
I never knew that heavy low pruning will make the first sets of tomatoes ripen quicker.
did you know that? I am still trying to put that together. I am just the type of person that needs small details
as how something works.





This message was edited Jan 17, 2012 10:27 PM

This message was edited Jan 29, 2012 3:24 PM

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

what do you mean by "low pruning " ?
When I get the first bloom, I normally remove all the leaves below.
Is this what you are talking about?

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Yes . That is the low pruning I am talking about.
I don't remove all the leaves below the first bloom cluster until
it's almost time for them to ripen and I prune many leaves near harvest.
When they bloom, I only remove a few leaves at the base that are touching the soil cause
they need the leaves for better production. Photosynthesis . Sunlight feeds the leaves and leaves
feed the plant and fruit.(simplified explanation)
Now I found out that the heavy low pruning near harvest makes them ripen quicker. I would love to understand this one.



Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

quicker .... aaahh
Here they ripen too quick when it gets to be May ...

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I normally low prune heavily but don't know that it affected the ripening. I don't fertilize much, but don't get yellow plants either. Not too sure we are on the same page on these. I normally prune a lot of the leaves etc half way thru the season. Limbs that do not have any fruit etc. I start watching since our season is so short, and get rid of anything that is not going to be productive.

Then about the last month I take the tops off. Above the last green tomato, even if it has blossoms. Depending on how long I have left weatherwise, I might even take some of the smaller tomatoes off also.

Difference between night and day. Your season and mine.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

yes I also trim the lower branches after I have finished to harvest the tomatoes ... in this way the plant stay much cleaner and diseases free.
I normally have 3 months of fantastic tomatoes here in Dallas. From beginning of April, May, June and some in July (depending on how early the heat will arrive)

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, I can't even plant until the end of May. Plants I have started in the house about mid April.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I feel your pain Jnette. I watch zone 8, 9 and 10 get their plants started while 6,5,4 watches me get mine started. But see, you have the upper hand. Zone 10 can already tell you which tomato variety is a bad idea before you ever sow your seeds. LOL. I just thought it was funny and A bright side of having to wait.


I have sown a few tomato seed and transplanted them already into 4inch cups. I wanted an extra early crop to have for sale during the plant sales. But I didn't do very many. I think I counted 40 Big Beef, 16 Brandywine, 5 Sweet Million cherry, 6 Lemon Boy, and 12 Better Bush. Along with some pepper and eggplants. All will be grown in 5 gallon pots. The Better Bush and Pepper Plants will be in 5 gallon buckets with lids. (not eco buckets)
I have sown tomato plants for the Tomato Greenhouse. About 412. Big Beef, Sweet Million, Brandywine.
I don't sow my garden tomato plants for another 4 weeks yet. Which will be all those other varieties I listed.
I think it's gonna be a fun year.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Cricket, I used to plant Sweet Millions, loved them. Until I tried my sister's Sun Sugars. They are really better. Wish you would try a few anyway. Jeanette

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I found Sunsugar at totallytomatoes. It is a hybrid.
I will try it.
I will grow some for the customers too.
I am tempted to try a black cherry too. No idea which one.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2012 10:27 PM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

You'll love the Sun Sugars.

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