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Tomato growing this year anybody?

Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:14 pm

I've got about six black cherry tomato plants that have volunteered. Although not quite sweet and remarkable I love these tomatoes with garlic, butter and a touch of balsamic. They make a great sauce. Also if left to fully ripen they have much of the black cherry tomato flavor I enjoy.

This year I've got one Brandy wine, six black cherry, one black trifele, six Celebrity tomatoes.

I opted for some disease resistance this year just in case I have bad luck. Last year was blight city. I've had good luck growing hybrids that were sweet and tasty as heirlooms. I think the trick is to use natural soil amendments and not to give them liquid steroid fertilizer. Mostly the thick skin hybrids get pureed entirely and cut with molasses, honey and brown sugar for bbq sauce.

A lot of people seem to make mistakes in watering. Some say water once a week only, or water the hell out of them. It's so variable but I honestly think the best way to water is to let the hose slowly trickle at the root base for 15-20 minute at a time. Or soak a big ring around the base leaving the stem area dry.

I also prune the lower canopy to keep good air flow and avoid getting the leaves wet. A couple pieces of pvc pipe slammed into the ground is all I use for stakes. It's fast cheap and easy. Some twine during the growth and they grow up just fine. I really can't wait for this year to take off. It's been ideal conditions for early growth here in CA.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:25 pm

One of my coworkers has a great garden. I'm going to try to horn in on his tomatoes and snappeas. I already get some herbs from him. He overplanted rosemary and basil and I benefit.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:26 pm

I have a small garden. It is large enough for 6 tomato plants and 6 pepper plants
So this year I am growing 3 Roma tomatoes which will all go into my homemade marinara sauce.
I have a pressure canner, so I can put up the tomato sauce as I harvest, then pop them open when its Marinara time.
I have 6 quarts from last season ready to go to make my next batch of Marinara sauce.
3 more tomato plants so we can enjoy them in BLT sandwiches, salads, salsa, whatever.
I made a balsamic reduction sauce last year that is just fantastic on tomatoes, and a lot of other foods too.

Also growing Italian frying pepper, bell peppers, and other sweet peppers for the grill, salads, and whatever whenever.
We had so much rain here last summer, I don't think I had to water the garden more than a couple of times all summer.
I put mulch on top of the soil which holds the moisture in.

Do NOT over water your garden, if the roots get too much water, they will rot, and your plant will die.
Once the plants are established they can take care of themselves easier. It is that first month of growing that you have to be most careful.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:29 am

Had 48 plants last year of different types. Probably the same this year.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:02 am

I have a very large patch as well. Anybody got any favorite tomato varieties? I grew one two years ago that was an orange heirloom variety. I neglected to keep the seed packet and don't remember what it was called. It wasn't overly sweet but wasn't very acidic either. It was nicely rounded, not an odd shape. Anyone got a suggestion what it could be? What's your favorite?

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:46 am

RedWattle...if I had to take a guess I'd say the tomato variety you grew was Juane Flamme. They make orange globe shaped tomatoes that don't split and crack as much as more large heirlooms.

I like Cherokee Purple and Black Krim tomatoes. Also enjoy the Japanese Black Trifele...It's a russian variety and has nothing to do with Japan, it makes cool looking pear shaped purple tomatoes. It's a large potato leaf variety.

If you want a large orange heirloom I'd recommend Kentucky Beefsteak. The leaves will often look spindly and wimpy but they still seem to produce a good amount.

The best cherry tomato I think is the Chadwick Cherry. It seems to resist disease and tolerates temperatures extremes well. Highly sweet, and can get to be a good ounce per fruit. I also really like the black cherry tomato. It might not have the best flavor but it produces so much even if you let it sprawl and flop over. Mine was 12 feet last year and very large and bush all over the place. It sent three runners on the ground out five feet or more...I just got tired of staking it. It's going to be interesting seeing what six of them will do this year.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:34 am

That just might be it! They were really great and yes they resisted cracking and were really beautiful globe shaped tomatoes. I will look those up and plant a few of them. I have a tray started already. So far they are doing good. Thanks for the name on those.

We do the black krim also.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:36 am

Our garden is 1 acre+. We grow several varieties of tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, spinach, jalapenos, green beans of 2 types, speckled limas, broccoli, cabbage, leaf lettuce, yellow squash and beets, among other things. We do a $hit load of canning and blanching/freezing to have home grown veges throughout the year. Most nights when we sit down for supper everything on our plate came off the farm. It's a great feeling! One of the pluses of being a southern boy.
We have a watermelon patch :D and sometimes we do pumpkins too. Our largest pumpkin to date is 175lbs. and over 5ft in diameter.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:00 pm

I almost got tricked last weekend into planting the herbs. Good thing i got too busy. We had more snow this week (No acumulation really but it was enough freezing ice that it would have killed whatever was out there). WTF. It's april already. This is Jersey not Alaska :P

I usually do

Hot Peppers/Tomatoes

All in containers outside.

Re: Tomato growing this year anybody?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:40 pm

I've had the best luck with two varieties: Omar Lebanese and Better Boy (both indeterminate).

The large Lebanese are the most flavorful and Better Boy's the most productive. This season I am NOT going to stake/cage the vines but just let them sprawl.
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