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TOMATO

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by ninniwinky on February 06, 2006 12:35 AM
Hello Everyone,

Last year was my first year growing anything, so I picked, tomato's. Well regardless of how easy they usually are to grow, I did a lousy job!!! [Eek!] I dont know if it was the type of tomato seed I bought, or my lousy taking care of! but I need to know, what kind of seed will give me a Huge, Nice, Don't care if its ugly, Tomato????? I thought thats what I bought last year, but it wasn't. There were really Little!!! Remember, I don't really know what I am doing, so please keep that in mind.... [thumb]

ninni
by weezie13 on February 06, 2006 01:25 AM
Hi Ninni!!! [wavey]

Huge Tomatoes that I grow are Beefsteak and
Beefmasters..but the plants can be 6ft or more...

I love Celebraties for taste and they are a
nice sandwich sized, like a tennis ball sort of..

But there's a ton of Tomatoe growers here,
I know you'll get more response's on other varieties..

I know Bigboy and Julianna/Tomatofreak are really in to tomatoes..
Julianna does alot of heirloom one's too....

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by comfrey on February 06, 2006 05:54 AM
I always grow Brandywine Tomatoes and they are a large tomato and very good. They are are a non hybrid, so you can save seed from year to year. And some are ugly looking, but doesn't change the taste LOL. They get very tall and bushy, the leaves look like potato leaves. They produce well even if negelected, I had aphids take over them one year and still had a good harvest in spite of it, but the only thing that is the real pain is picking those green horn worms off at a certain time of year, picking them off is not the problem its finding them that is the pain. If you want to try some of these I have ALOT of extra seeds, just PM me with your address and I'll send you some.

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by johnCT on February 06, 2006 08:21 PM
Sounds like you should stick with hybrids for their improved yields and disease resistance. Try varieties like Big Beef, Beefmaster or Burpee's Supersteak for instance.

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John - Zone 6
by ninniwinky on February 06, 2006 10:56 PM
Thanks for everyones Input, it is definitely Needed! LOL!! About the Worms, Last year, I didnt have ANY worms, I'm not even sure what those green worms are that you guys are talking about. Do they hideout or something? Are the Big Enought to see or pick off??

ninni
by Sorellina on February 07, 2006 11:25 PM
Ciao Nini,

Contrary to what Comfrey has stated, the Brandywine tomato variety can be finicky and I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie. A really large heirloom variety that's relatively trouble-free originates from France and is called Cuostralee. This plant will grow very large, however, so you'll need to stake it with 8' wooden or rebar stakes driven 1' into the ground, so the plant won't topple over in a big wind or thunderstorm. The fruits can weigh up to 2 lbs each. Have a look at www.tomatogrowers.com for seeds. If you're hesitant about growing from seed, visit several reputable nurseries and talk to their staff about relatively trouble-free plants. Most of the plants found at nurseries are hybrids, but that's ok if you're not interested in saving the seeds for the following year.

As for the hornworms..there are typically 2 critters, the tobacco hornworm and the tomato hornworm and unless you're a budding entemologist, they look very similar and do similar damage to your plants. They grow quite large, 4" long and 1/2" across, before they get to the point of wanting to pupate. They have the same colouration as your plants, so that can make it hard to find them, but they're a BIG critter and you'll want to pick them off when you do see them. If you're squeamish, just cut the leaf that they're in the process of eating off and either kill them (which I don't advocate) or donate them to a local grade school so the kids can learn about nature.

Good luck and I hope some of this info helps you,
Julianna

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by ChristinaC on February 08, 2006 03:30 AM
quote:
Contrary to what Comfrey has stated, the Brandywine tomato variety can be finicky and I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie
I've never had a problem with Brandywine tomatoes. And like Comfrey said...the taste is amazing!!

You should also remember how "big" you want your tomatoes. A 2lb tomato is huge..definitely more than a meal tomato and unless you are feeding a family and I don't know about you or others but when I cut open a tomato, I like to use the entire thing. I don't like wrapping it up 'til the next day, and then rewrapping it, etc...the tomato gets mushy and I always have to cut off a slice for garbage. I suppose you could can them but most like to use a paste tomato for that purpose. Remember, it's what you prefer.

BTW, you should take a look at Comfrey's webshots. Her vegetable garden is amazing! So strong and healthy looking.

Comfrey...I PM'd you quite awhile ago to warn you that I'll be full of questions come spring time...be aware. You've been warned. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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by johnCT on February 08, 2006 09:31 PM
Brandywine's taste alone makes it well worth growing. Even if you only get one fruit off the plant, but it's yield is normally not very good as Sorellina points out.

The best yeilding variety of Brandywine is Red Brandywine. The "TRUE" red brandywine. Look for the Landis Valley Strain at Tomato Grower's Supply HERE. It should be a regular leaf plant with med sized delicious red fruit.

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John - Zone 6
by tkhooper on February 09, 2006 12:47 AM
One thing I found out last year is that if I through half decomposed compost on my tomato plants about halfway through the season it helps them produce bigger and more tomatoes. I plant to amend the soil big time with 50% compost where I'm planting the tomatoes this year. I have roma, tiny tim and grape in the ground as of today. I don't care for the extra large tomato because they are usually very juicy and I like the meatier kind. But I wish you the best of luck with whatever you grow.

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by comfrey on February 11, 2006 02:17 PM
I have growing Brandywine's for years they were the first tomato I ever started from seed, And I have never had any problem getting seed to germinate or having healthy plants, The yield in my opinion is excellent, I also can them and they make wonderful tomato juice. It is just a matter of opinion here about tomatoes and I am sure everyone has their own favorite variety and reasons for growing it. That is why Ninni posted this question to begin with to get input from different opinion's so she could form her own opinion. So Ninni, hope you take every ones thought into consideration and experiment..grow more then one variety and see which kind you prefer.

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by ninniwinky on February 11, 2006 08:04 PM
Thank You everyone!! I think the problem I had last year, had more to do with the soil I bought. My Mom said it looked Too Woody!??? I'm not sure if that meant the soil stayed wet and moldy or the wood soaked up the water and Made the soil too dry!!?? [dunno]
Different Varieties is an EXCELLENT idea!! I think I will try a Few Types this year!! Looking forward to getting the seeds from Comfrey!!!! [clappy]

When should I start them?? Now, or wait a few weeks?

Thanks!!
Ninni

PS.... We are getting HAMMERED here with snow!(Southern NY)

ninni
by comfrey on February 12, 2006 11:22 AM
You need to start your seeds 6-8 weeks before your last frost date, proable sometime around the middle of March for your zone????

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by johnCT on February 13, 2006 09:30 PM
Ninni, I'm in Zone 6 and will be starting mine the first week in April for transplanting out on Memorial Day weekend. But who know's....We got 25 inches of snow yesterday. I probably won't melt til May. [shocked]

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John - Zone 6
by Sorellina on February 14, 2006 03:21 AM
Ciao Nini-

I'm between zone 5 & 6 and I usually start my seeds around the last week in March. If you don't use any artificial lighting source, you may want to wait a week and start them when John starts them so they won't get tall and leggy from stretching towards whatever light they can find.

Just my 2c cdn. Good luck with your tomatoes and keep us posted with your results ;o)

Julianna

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by peppereater on February 15, 2006 12:02 AM
I've also had great luck with Brandywines. They're often rated as the best tasting of all tomatoes, and I think that's true.
Weezie mentioned the Celebrity...I've had great luck with those, and they taste great, too. And they're a perfect size.
Ninni, I've bought soil like that before, and it had no nutrional quality. If you're growing in containers, you'll need excellent soil.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by comfrey on February 15, 2006 01:07 AM
The celebrity is a good tomato and has a good taste also, but is a little smaller, We like mator sandwiches here, so the Brandywine fills up the bread better. There are so many good tomato varieties out there, it is sometimes hard to chose.

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by tkhooper on February 15, 2006 01:17 AM
Did I mention that my grape tomatoes have sprouted. They are the first of the three varieties I planted. I am soooooo looking forward to having them this year. And the peppers and the flowers and everything. Woohoo I just love gardening.

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by weezie13 on February 15, 2006 01:54 AM
I love the taste of those grape tomatoes..
I think they have a good flavor...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on February 15, 2006 02:11 AM
yeah, if I had to pick one, Celeb's would be it,
nice size, good taste, easy to grow...
*I like the beefsteak/master, etc types, but they are big plants, and BIG TOMATOES.. *

Someday, Julianna's gonna talk me into growing the others...when I move outta town and I have more room....

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by njoynit on February 15, 2006 04:57 AM
Yep Celibirty is good to grow....till about June here....then if it DOES survive the heat of summer.it WILL go back to produceing about october.Maybe if I made a climate controlled box with AC..... [thinker] But is easier for me to just grow early girl.It will produce in the heat of summer.I also got some seeds of some from germany called Red giant tomato. Brandywine is a good beefstake type,but not easily found in my area(& done lost them seeds)

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

http://community.webshots.com/user/njoynit03
http://community.webshots.com/user/njoynit
http://photos.yahoo.com/njoynit03
by weezie13 on February 15, 2006 05:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by njoynit:
Brandywine is a good beefstake type,but not easily found in my area(& done lost them seeds)
I think Julianna had some of those kinds...
not sure if she still does..
but she does those heirloom varieties...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by johnCT on February 15, 2006 09:19 PM
If you guys like Celebrity as a hybrid, you should really try Big Beef. As hybrids go, it is one of the best next to Brandy Boy.

quote:
Originally posted by njoynit:
Brandywine is a good beefstake type,but not easily found in my area(& done lost them seeds)
I have seeds to most brandywine varieties if you like a few. Then you could save some for yourself in the fall. Or you could purchase them at the many good seed websites like TGS or Sandhill.

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John - Zone 6
by mater sandwich on February 15, 2006 09:53 PM
quote:
Originally posted by comfrey:
We like mator sandwiches here,
Well, thank you Comfrey. We like Comfreys also. {grin}

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Some days there is more laughter than others....Just depends on what/who you focus on....
by weezie13 on February 15, 2006 10:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
If you guys like Celebrity as a hybrid, you should really try Big Beef. As hybrids go, it is one of the best next to Brandy Boy.

John,
I googled BIG BEEF TOMATO...
got one that said "Big Beef VFFNTAST"
(would it also be Beefsteak VFN???)
Very, very curious..if you know...????

I usually always bought pre~started tomatoes,
most of the years, and what ever was available.
but the tomato disease's were/are bad in my dirt..

Since finding my greenhouse, I have been doing seed, and mostly find the Rutger kind here, but last year I did find a package that said Beefsteak VFN, and they did a wonderful job with the disease resistance... thumbsup, but were very tough to get off the vine...

Do you know is the same true for that variety you mentioned..
I'd do those again, but was curious as to the variety you posted about..

More info [critic] if you have it [thumb] [kissies] [Smile] ????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by johnCT on February 15, 2006 10:39 PM
quote:
Originally posted by weezie13:

Do you know is the same true for that variety you mentioned..

Yes it is Weezie. Big Beef was an All America Selection winner back in '93 I think. Tastes as close to heirloom as you can get in a hybrid. It's a different tomato than Beefsteak, but it is usually regularly availible at Walmart or Lowes as transplants. They sell seed for it everywhere too.

http://www.tomatogrowers.com/midseason.htm

Regarding the diseases in the soil, mulch the plants heavily with straw or something to keep the rain and water from splashing soil onto the plant's foliage.

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John - Zone 6
by weezie13 on February 15, 2006 10:54 PM
Oh John, I have tried every method and the complete gauntlet you could imagine with warding off that stuff..
HONEST, go thru the ARCHIVES and theres' so many things I've gone thru, mulches, styles of watering, raised beds, varieties, different places..

I can work with it, I plant enough varieties,
I can't stop, I'd have 50 kinds if I had the room..
but when I plant many, I get many from the early crops.. and *enough to share too* and then because of the shorter growing season, just about when the plant is totally gone or eaten up by disease, it's time to close up shop here anyways...

The one thing with that one variety, it was a bit slower to produce, and the tomatoes were HUGGGGEE!

And oooooooooohhh do those tomatoes look soooooo good, I could dive right into that page and devour them...My mouth is watering already, and I'm wishing for FALL TIME AND HARVEST, RIGHT NOW!
I'll have to look at those kinds a little closer..
Thanks for the info!!!

And it was Wally~World I got those VFN seeds from.

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 17, 2006 06:25 AM
Weezie...I'm a little reluctant to do a lot of hybrids, 'cause these days I don't know what might be a genetically modified type, and I don't want pig genes in my 'maters, lol. But anything that has all those vfn, f2, on and on suffixes are going to be VERY tough. You probably know what those things stand for, right? (probably better than me.) [muggs]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on February 17, 2006 06:36 AM
JohnCT...my climate here is vastly different than yours, but I believe I'll try the Beefmaster. You've sold me. I think one I grew last year was a Beefsteak, or Big Beef, and it was fabulous...huge, round, no cracks, tasted GREAT!
It's funny how some tomato plants you buy have all this great stuff on the label, but are short on taste.
My favorite remains the Red Brandywine, but they always have some green areas on them, whereas the Beefsteaks are uniformly ripe.
I've been starting most of my own plants, and find that tomato seeds still have about 100% germination after 2 to 3 years. I grew one last year called Kelloggs Breakfast. If you like yellow, low acid tomatoes, it's a nice big one with a unique flavor. Not the same as the acidy reds, though!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 17, 2006 06:38 AM
Yes, and no, only what I've read..
**Realllllly wished I did know alot more..
like all that scientific stuff.. someday**

The VFN stand for something to the effect of
Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium and Nematode resistance.
*so, if you have those problems in your garden,
you can grow that type of plant and know that it is resistant to that stuff... so they say*
It catches up with the plant, but not as fast...***

They were terribly hard to pick off the vine...
I think they'd still be hangin' there if I hadn't of picked them off... whewwwwww!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on February 17, 2006 06:41 AM
I LOVE Beefsteaks and Beefmasters...
Soooooooo yummy, and HUGE!!!

quote:
If you like yellow, low acid tomatoes, it's a nice big one with a unique flavor. Not the same as the acidy reds, though!

Did you know that it's not technically that it's low in acid,
it's the sugar content in the tomato...
When there's more sugar, the acid is then considered lowered,
but it's the sugar/sweetness you taste..
Did that make sense????
*where's the gremalin with the twisted tongue*

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 17, 2006 06:43 AM
That's funny. Some of mine were easy to pick, others, I'd break the vines picking. I don't remember which varieties did what, but I wound up using scissors eventually.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 17, 2006 06:48 AM
I used my pruners!!!
Heyyyy, I'd go to bed with those things
if my poor husband would let me....

I have an apron I wear, from the time I get, to
the time I go to bed...
Pruners, clippers, snippers, kleenex's, twist~ties, 2 or 3 trowels, rubber gloves, ohh, geesh the things' packed to the nine's!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 17, 2006 07:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by weezie13:
I used my pruners!!!
Heyyyy, I'd go to bed with those things
if my poor husband would let me....

I have an apron I wear, from the time I get, to
the time I go to bed...
Pruners, clippers, snippers, kleenex's, twist~ties, 2 or 3 trowels, rubber gloves, ohh, geesh the things' packed to the nine's!!!

We should do a thread on tools. I like Corona hand pruners, and I have a pair of Corona snips that are a cross between regular handsnips and scissors. They're great, but since they lost their edge, I can't get them as sharp as they once were.
I'l like to get a pair of those cool Japanes style garden scissors for dead-heading! [flower]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by johnCT on February 19, 2006 03:43 AM
Kellogg's Breakfast! What a great tomato peppereater. Definitely an orange though. One of the best oranges also. There are so many great varieties of OP tomatoes out there. And the best part is you only need to buy seeds once and just save them whenever you need them. A few other great large ones are Tidwell German, Coustralee and one with a great story behind it, Mortgage Lifter.

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John - Zone 6
by peppereater on February 19, 2006 04:09 AM
I've had a lot of catastrophic losses over the years...extreme drought, alternately, extremely wet summers, one year a grasshopper plague that was so bad they stripped some of the trees of their leaves, so you can imagine what they did to my garden...Pests to numerous to mention. Last year was the first time I had so many tomatoes that I actually got tired of them, after eating 2 or 3 pounds a day for 3 months!
One variety I grew once was Black From Tula...what a pretty thing, and what flavor! I only got to harvest 2 of those before the plants were destroyed by grasshoppers! I love the heirlooms, and all the exotic names.
Ror one reason or another, my Mortgage Lifters didn't fare well, and I don't remember if I got to taste those. I've already got my seeds for those for this year, though! [clappy] [muggs] [clappy] [clappy] [clappy]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 19, 2006 04:46 AM
Dave, could you not make a make~shift tent/covering/cage like stuff from Bird netting??
Could that not keep out them pesky things??

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 19, 2006 05:25 AM
Weezie, it was one of those once in a century types of infestation. They called it a "plague of Biblical proportions." They would have found their way into pretty much everything. They ate all of the plants I had that are said to repel grasshoppers. They ate all of my plants, period. I had five varieties of sweetcorn, so I'd have sweetcorn all summer with ton's to give away. I had 2 good meals from the earliest variety.
I had 20 varieties of tomatoes, all started from seed. I got maybe 3 pounds.
I had someone tell me that they had eaten the nylon window screens off of their house.
I bought some Nosema (a.k.a Grasshopper Spore) from the only local nursery that even knew what I was talking about, and used it, and then discovered it was out of date by 8 years, and that stuff only keeps a few months REFRIGERATED!
I finally found some online (after much searching) at HYDROGARDENS, got some and treated about 2 acres. I also bought Guineas to free range. A month later the plague was over at our place, but there was nothing left of the garden. They'd eaten most of the leaves off of my cherry trees, even.
And that is just the story of one year here in good ole Oklahoma.
Remember, we're the Dustbowl state, and tornado alley...
It's always something!
But we can grow magnolias, crepe myrtles, and KILLER tomatoes here...and evidently camellias, too... [Embarrassed]
And it was 75 degrees here on Wednesday (23 today!)
We take the good with the bad!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by comfrey on February 20, 2006 11:54 AM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
There are so many great varieties of OP tomatoes out there. And the best part is you only need to buy seeds once and just save them whenever you need them. A few other great large ones are Tidwell German, Coustralee and one with a great story behind it, Mortgage Lifter.
This is so true! I have grown Mortage Lifters, very interesting story about how they got thier name, I use to try a different variety every year, but it just seems like to much trouble to grow a bunch of different kinds. I am trying some black plum tomatoes I got in a trade, but will plant them in a different area then my main tomato crop.

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by Sorellina on February 21, 2006 01:16 AM
Ciao all, what a great thread, thanks for starting it (and I can't remember at the moment who it was).

Weezie's correct, all tomatoes have roughly the same pH..it's to do with the level of sugars inside the fruit that influences overall flavour. Some tomatoes when ripe are on the tangy side, some are full-bodied like a good Italian red wine, some are very mild (a number of whites and yellows come to mind). One person's favourite might not taste the same for you due to different climate, rain/sun, and also taste-buds are highly variable from person to person.

John in CT listed a number of excellent OP (open-pollinated) varieties and he's right, too..you grow these instead of hybrids and you're not only able to save seed and have them grow true from year to year, you're also potentially preserving someone's priceless family heirloom from disappearing off the face of the planet..and that's a good thing as a very famous housekeeping ex-con once said.

Comfrey, Black Plum is an excellent variety, in my opinion and I'd call it a semi-determinate because at least in my zone 5/6 garden, it wasn't the largest plant in the tomato bed, far from it. I think it topped out around 5' tall or so, much shorter than say my monster Aunt Ruby's German Green which reached over 8' tall by season's end. These tomatoes are excellent dried..plump them up with a bit of boiling water, then drain and cover with extra virgin olive oil and they'll last you all winter long in the fridge (if you don't scarf them all). We had them on pizza last night..YUM.

Njoynit, PM me with your mailing address if you'd like some Brandywine seeds, darlin. I've got plenty.

Oh, one more thing before I forget...some varieties of tomatoes retain green "shoulders" even when completely ripe. Dr. Wyche's Yellow and Black Plum come to mind as examples of this. It's just cosmetic. The more you gain experience in growing tomatoes that don't look like the perfect red cardboard globes you get at the grocery store, you'll be at peace with some funny-looking, exquisite-tasting heirlooms..Weezie?

Buona fortuna a tutti,
Julianna

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by peppereater on February 21, 2006 06:30 AM
Julianna...you still have to keep OP's widely seperated, and maybe take other precautions as well, to keep the strain pure?
I'd love to get some Aunt Ruby's and black plum if you've got excess seed!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 21, 2006 06:47 AM
Alrighty Julianna,
You may end up talking me into growing them...
hehehe...

What kinds of the heirlooms are there that are
like the size or consistancy of a Celebrity and like a Beefsteak??

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 21, 2006 07:04 AM
weezie, whatever you do, don't go HERE!
http://www.totallytomato.com/
Actually, I think you posted a link for khaadu to there...
the first time I got their catalogue, I ordered MUCH more stuff than I should have!
I do that everywhere, though. [lala]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 21, 2006 07:23 AM
Tomato Siberian looked like a nice tomato...
Good sized..

Anyone had that kind???

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 21, 2006 07:41 AM
I grew Siberian once expecting it to be the earliest to ripen. It wasn't...but then my climate is vastly different than yours. I didn't have a great year that year...I think that was the year of the grasshopper infestation. Let me look and see if I still have some seeds...they'd be a few years old...if I do, I'll send you a few so you can try a plant or two... [thumb]

My luck with tomatoes has been spotty since I've lived in the country, in part because the soil is poor and I've been working hard to build it. I can recommend things based on my success, but my failures don't reflect on the varieties...for instance, I had a low opinion of Kellogg's Breakfast when I first grew them, they were small and not that tasty, but last year they were huge, tasty and productive. I'll go look for those Siberia....

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Amigatec on February 21, 2006 09:32 AM
I have tried both Bigboy and Betterboy without much luck.

The Betterboy's last year were ugly, all of them. I cut them up and froze them.

I started some Rutgers this year in peatpots. I am going to try some different brands this year.

I think most of my problem is the soil, it sets up like concrete. After many passes with the tiller I am finally able to get the tiller all the way down. I have a strip about 6' wide that is much harder then the the rest of the soil, this is right over a old gas line, so maybe it was packed down a bit. The line east and west.

Also I have a LOT of trash in the ground, mostly on the west end of the spot. I have picked up many handfuls of glass, metal, and plastic. I keep a plastic bucket out there just to put the trash in.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by weezie13 on February 21, 2006 09:43 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Amigatec:
I started some Rutgers this year in peatpots. I am going to try some different brands this year.

Also I have a LOT of trash in the ground, mostly on the west end of the spot. I have picked up many handfuls of glass, metal, and plastic. I keep a plastic bucket out there just to put the trash in.

I found Rutger's seeds at Wally~World, twice, I've eaten them, ther'e not bad...
Not a Celebrity or Beefsteak.. but not bad..

You soil sounds like the old, in ground garden I used to have on my side of the property..
**I switched to raised beds on my mom's side**
but that garden was filled with crapp~ola...
Doorknobs, coal, glass, buckets, etc.. I couldn't believe the stuff.. I think it was an old dump before, get me the willies, and was lucky to change to the raised beds..

quote:
think most of my problem is the soil, it sets up like concrete. After many passes with the tiller I am finally able to get the tiller all the way down. I have a strip about 6' wide that is much harder then the the rest of the soil, this is right over a old gas line, so maybe it was packed down a bit. The line east and west.

I do alot of reading, and some of the big gardener's on tv, books, etc.. are saying not to till the soil, as it wrecks the soil...*turns it like concrete* that you should take something like a "broad fork" and aerate the soil...
When tilling, it breaks down all the worm tunnels, air pockets and such..
To encorporate soils or composts, should mix it in lightly with a trowel or something..

I didn't rototill for the first time this year,
can't say I saw a huge difference, but didn't seem to harden as bad.. I will do the same again this year, I think...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 21, 2006 10:00 AM
I think it mostly compacts the soil at the depth the times bottom out at. Use a fork, spade etc. and stab around so it breaks up the "hardpan" caused by the tiller. Another problem with tilling is that it disrupts the "strata," the minute variations of bacterial, fungal and other colonies that are very happy where they are. That's why you should just loosen soil with a spade or fork before planting...it takes a little while before all those beneficials get busy again if they're tilled.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on February 21, 2006 10:10 AM
One more thing, Weezie...I think the Rutger's is an all purpose tomato...good for cooking, canning drying or eating fresh, if I remember right...so they wouldn't be as good for slicing as a beefsteak type or others, but versatile...I may grow some just to see.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on February 21, 2006 10:17 AM
Yeah, I grew them, twice now...
Not a bad tomato.. easy to pick and the size wasn't bad at all...
I basically eat fresh or make salsa..
**I'm not into canning and stuff, just love a raw tomato**
I love Beefsteaks, but as I am the only one eating them *tomatoes* it's hard to eat a big huge one like that, all by myself.. *well, in the begining it's not hard, but when you're all tomatoe'd just about out, that's a big tomato to eat by myself, especially in warm weather and I do not like a cold, refrigorated tomato..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by peppereater on February 21, 2006 10:22 AM
I just caught Pat's post...zoomed right by it before. If the area over the old gasline is that hard, it's because they backfilled with clay, I'm thinking. You probably have a little more clay than me...or a LOT more. We have pretty much all sand here...
My tomatoes do well mostly in variations of the lasagna bed...I thought I had invented that type of gardening the first time I did it! I did that 7 years ago as an experiment! And didn't hear that term until last year, or the description.
In my experience, the only way to know if a varitety is good or not is to try it in different soils in different years...if it's good once, it's good. If not, it's not condemned. Raised beds are the way to go, when you've got the time.
The best ammendment I've come across around here that's available commercially is mushroom compost!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!

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