any one started their tomatos yet ?

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

here in manitoba we just got hit with a snow-storm.....but it still has been a great winter not as
bone-chillin' as usual. a trip through the stores reminds that yes ! spring is coming. found great deals
at costco on peonys.
the tomato seeds have all come in now, and i'm choosing which varieties for this year.
last year was my best ever....lots of luck with late-season heirlooms....amazing.
tried some old manitoba favorites too like starfire and fantastic.
what tomatos are you growing this year ???

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I'm going to do more bush varieties this year. I like some of the Heirlooms like Purple Cherokee. Last year I tried Sunsugar cherry and thought it was better than Sungold. This year I'm going to try a cherry Sweet Baby Girl (Heirloom from Holland) and a few extra paste

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stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

good morning joannabanana!
you must of had a geat year... how many plants in total did you have, and what was the
variety of the tomato, top shelf, right side with the pointy tip, looks like a paste ?
when do you plant out your tomatos... i know calgary can be difficult with the chinooks.
here we have a slow thaw....most plant out last week-end of may.
2010 was a terrible year for entire crop was wiped out...but 2011 made up for it. i was able to grow many late heirlooms. my best seeds came from upper canada seeds, and blue ribbon seeds.
cheers ! L

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Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Hi Ladies
I will be doing my Sun Golds again as I have the seeds already and they will be started near the end of March. I hope to get the G house going in April and they do best out there.
Joanne I will have to have a look at the Sunsugar Cherry. Are they orange too? Maybe I should do a comparison . I have been putting in pots in the last few years and they still are going to 10 ft. I was able to keep them in the G house for the cold spring last year and they were way ahead of my friends who had put theirs out. It's just about time to get going again and I so like the daylight being longer too!
Lindy , blight would be heartbreaking!
Joanne as usual you will have a bumpercrop, Chinooks or not.
Alberta Ann

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)


I think that one in the photo is Mamma Mia..but not positive.


Sunsugar is yellow. I had both Sun Gols & Sunsugar - I like Sunsugar better, but it may just be the year. You know, some just do better in different years.

My mistake, packet says Sweet Baby Girl is a hybrid. Oh well, I have no preference, as long as it tastes good.

I usually start about 20 to 30 different varieties. I have some on trellis' on the house in the flower bed, some in the veggie garden and some inside the greenhouse. They definitely do better in-ground, no matter what size of container that I've tried (even a plastic garbage can) Pics taken July 22

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stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

g' morning !
i'll be on the look-out for sweet baby girl, ann have you checked out the tumblers for pots ? i've also tried the patio roma with success.
jo, love your raised beds you have a great looking set-up there !
do you start your seeds in t he house or in the g-house, and if in the house, when do you
move them out and do you have heat in the g- house ?
i also see you have a fan going...i 'heard' putting a fan on the plants causing them to grow 'stabilizer' roots.....i'll fertilize too with 10-52-10. getting a real robust root-ball.
for a cherry i'm going to try 'coyote' and yesterday my seeds came in from ontario, upper
canada seeds, 'turkish' was great, and for paste 'san marzano' applause is a great hybrid
a smaller plant with a big yield and my hubbys fav. 'first lady' looking at the yard, some more grass may have to come out ! cheers L

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Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Joanne that's funny as I have found mine do better in Pots.... could be cause I have lots of big trees so the pot is easier to put into the sun. Also last year with the cool nights i kept the pots in the G house till mid June when the nights were warmer. My started Tomatoes went to a neighbor who put in the ground and Lynn who put them in raised beds and pots. The ones in the ground at one neighbors did as well as the pots but the other neighbors didn't do that well in the ground. So.... I think there are lots of varibles.

Lindy I find the tumbler tomatoes are too small so harvesting is awkward. I to give them a boost of 10-52-10 and I plant deep in the pot to get a good root going. My Pots are not small but aren't as big as a 45 gallon drum either.
I too find a fan helps and I have one going with my seedings in the house and when I move them to the G house where I have bottom heat only at the beginning. The fan is indirect and doesn't blow directly on them but off a wall to them. Someone once told me that tomatoes like to be touched buy hands but not by other tomatoes. Anyone else have thoughts on that?
Alberta Ann

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

hi all weather here has been extreme...snow, cold and now they're saying plus double
digits for next week ??
ann i grew 'applause' in raised planters last year and they stay pretty compact, maybe
a good choice for your pots. i've seen most of the companies have smaller sized plants,
i guess there's more demand for that.
my aunt brought me back some 'moneymaker' seeds from the uk. she's here for a week
to visit.
tried to get her to go for accupuncture for her arthritis but she'd have no part of that !
just hope the meds she's on don't give her a gut bleed.
going to start a couple dozen peppers this week....i'll put the trays up on the tops of the
kitchen cupboards, nice and warm up there. have a great week-end!
cheers L

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

been going through all my seeds and i've got lots of extras if anyone is interested....
i've been trying new varieties each year and get sent more than i can use. hate to see them go to waste, lots of heirlooms from the u.s. but i have hybrids too. has anyone heard of 'starfire'? here's some of the names, none older than 3 yrs.
ace lady...turkish...coyote...cherokee purple...giant belgium...fantastic
let me know, will label cheers L

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Thank you for the offer! I have about 30 seeds that I will be growing and that's all the Pots that I have.
Alberta Ann

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)


Thanks for the offer. My last mail order just arrived today, so I will have way too many seeds too. + one lady that I start tomatoes for gave me seeds too. There is going to be a lot of tomatoes this year, again.

I usually start them late February and move them to a heated greenhouse in 4 weeks. But I have to install new roof panels on the greenhouse 1st, so I am a few weeks behind. Oh well, they sure take up a lot of space, so maybe I will have more room with them being started later. Which is good since I went to Costco and bought a ridiculous amount of spring bulbs

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

j... i have to stay away from costco...i've got hubbys bar fridge full of peonys and lilys,
and there really is no more room for anymore plants !
the snow here is disappearing fast, but things can change in a heartbeat !
would be nice if the temp. is warm on weds. moms been in and out of the hosp. and would like to take her out for some fresh air on her 86th birthday.
clocks ticking...peppers have to be started in the next day or two.
been looking at tatiana's tomato base...sure are hard-core tomato people out there !
cheers L

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I finally seeded the tomatoes. 3 weeks late this year
Big Beef
Bush Champion
Primo Red
Mr. Stripey
German Green
Striped German
Carbon - Black

Super Fantastic
Bush Beefsteak
Prairie Pride
Ultra Sweet
Lemon Boy
Cherokee Purple

Black Prince
Early Girl
Early Girl Bush
Centenial Rocket

Amish Paste
Bonny Best
La Roma
Mamma Mia
Polish Linguisa
Roma V.F.

Tumbling Tom
Green Zebra

Sweet 100
Sweet Baby Girl
Chocolate Cherry
Green Zebra
Red Robin
Tiny Tim
Yellow Pear
Christmas Grape
Sweet Mojo

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

hi J. that's quite the list, will be starting mine at the beginning of the week.
would love to know, what are your favorite......
favorite flavor

how many of each do you start and grow,
how do you fertilize ?

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

hi all, raining like crazy...lots of boomers. tomatos are started...finally, my list
black pineapple. big zac. winter grape. applause
black from tula oregon spring chocolate cherry
black master szakacs beduin
turkish kellogg's breakfast primo red
amana orange atol lemon boy
belgian giant ponderosa moneymaker
kentucky plate white zebra elizabeth
granny cantrall malinowy olbrzym italian heirloom
red belly grandma viney's san marzano
bull's heart barnes mountain starfire
oxheart red coyote first lady

hoping it's going to be a good year

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hi Lindypuddin,

I usually start about 300 (over the years I built a little client list that like some of the unusuals) I try to keep one of each between me and my neighbour. A lot go to the In-Laws in Saskatchewan.

I start fertilizing them once they get their 1st set of leaves, with fish fertilizer. I transplant mine them into 4.5" or 1-gallon and at that time I use a 4-week granular vegetable fertilizer.

stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

hi J i'm doing much the same.. 4 plug trays of 72. for sure need more romas for sauce,
but still like to try new ones each year. i have room for about 45 plants myself, and family
and friends get the rest. once i transplant into 3.5 " pots i use the plug trays for petunias.
the weather here has cooled off alot, but the snow is gone..
cheers L

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

ooooo! petunias, now that is a fetish for me

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stony mountain, MB(Zone 3a)

thats a GREAT picture...not just petunias...but every kind of petunias !
tomatos and peppers are up..brought the rack into the house, so they're under the lights now. have a tray of perennials going, and fountain grass.
the magazines are showing what's new for 2012....can't wait to get into the green-houses.
Joanna do you start your annuals too ?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Yes, I start a lot of annuals, including some bulbs. I now also work at a wholesale grower, so I go go way overboard...although that photo was taken a few years ago, before working at the grower, apparently I am challenged with limiting my amount of flowers. The photo was taken on Sept 19th, after a few frosts too boot

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