How are your N. CA tomatoes?

gardenmommy_2010June 30, 2011

Mine are sloooow. With the prolonged cold wet weather I got hit bad w/ bacterial spot. It wasn't until our weather warmed & dried up in June that my tomatoes rebounded. So, now they're finally growing & putting on baby tomatoes. I just won't be getting any tomatoes, except cherry tomatoes, for at least another month! Still, about half my plants have no tomatoes on them. It's just crazy! With our heat wave coming this weekend I'm now worrying about setting up a sun screen for one of my beds & bumping up the watering times. I'll be suprised if my Brandywines produce any tomatoes at all this year. My in laws 5 tomato plants are great (I have 40+) since they're in transportable containers and, therefore, avoided the rains/hail. How are everyone elses?

Better yet, what tricks are there to encourage some of my more fickle plants (Hillbilly & Brandywine) will produce? Thanks!

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NorCalNiko(USDA 9 Sunset 16/17)

My Early Girls are producing huge quantities, but they're all stuck in green... Won't turn red! My other breeds (black zebra, yellow plum, several others) are growing slowly, and not too densely.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Same here in Hayward-green early girls about the size of Apricots. They are however perfect looking. Could be on Tomatoplay magazine..

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:09PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

My tomatoes are finally starting to grow, the Sungold is about twice as big as any of the others and is the only one that has any baby fruits. I'm hopeful that the rest will get going soon though, I would be bummed if I had two bad tomato years in a row.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Bay Area: I started all sauce types from seed. Then I bought 4 other varieties at various places. I think I have 17 plants total. All are robust, large, lots of blossoms, some have already overgrown the cage. There is fruit setting too. Best looking year in quite a while.
And the S's (little tree dwelling robbers with fluffy tails) appear to be very quiet so far this year. Usually by this time of year they have stripped all the apples and figs, but I still have both on the trees. Hopefully they will leave the tomatoes alone too. The past several years I have gotten a very small harvest due to the S's (don't say the word out loud!)

Mulch your plants well is the only advice I have. Helps to reduce watering needs. Less water is better.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

I live in the Sonoma Valley. My tomato plants are large and bushy, a lot of flowers, not too many set tomatoes. Cherokee has one tomato size of a handball. Early girl has a few golf ball size. Sungold has a few almost cherry size; they will be first.

It would be nice if you posters would say where you live especially when discussing weather dependent issues.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 2:09PM
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Last week I pulled all the plants (30+) started from seed. Very traumatic. Apparently, they got infected with the tomato wilt virus by thrips when seedlings. Most were dropping leaves daily with no fruit. I also have to apologize to friends who got plants from me. Two cherries held over in pots from last year are producing ripe tomatoes with poor taste. Mother Nature is putting me in my place this year.

Just planted a few store bought transplants and started seeds for a fall crop.

On the bright side, lots of plums (bruised by hail) a few weeks late.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 7:13PM
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bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

Yes it's been a slow year for me too. There're green unripe tomato, but nothing impressive and late. I also agree on possible hail damage. Did not cover the seedlings when the late hail hit because I refused to believe the weather report. That ought to teach me a lesson :-(

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 11:03PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Last year was such a washout for my tomatoes, I moved them to a warmer location this year, and they are loving the extra heat. I am having to water daily to keep the new growth from wilting and drying. Lots of tomatoes set on early girl, but not on the Celebrity yet. Al

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Sacramento here. I have 5 big bushy tomato plants with flowers and only one visible tiny green tomato. This year could be a dud!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:25AM
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toyon(USDA 9b/Sunset 14 CA. (Sacram)


I have six tomato plants this year. All six are doing fine. My 'Celebrity' plant has two tomatoes which should ripen in the next two weeks. My Purple Russian is loaded with tomatoes, but this variety ripens later in the season. Jet Setter looks like it will produce an abundant crop.

Last year I had twelve plants and lost most of them to fusarium wilt. Jet Setter and Purple Russian managed to pull through and produce.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:43AM
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cymbidia(9 CA)

I record my "pickings" on a spreadsheet and we are two weeks behind last year(which itself was a late year). I have picked a few(4) ripe tomatoes so far but this weekend looks like the first real qty . Early Girl, flamme and speckled siberian, the heirlooms(big, green and plentiful) look like another two - three weeks away

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Pictures of tomato plants...not so exciting, but here's what I'm doing in the Bay Area.
All mine are sauce tomatoes, except for an Omar's Lebanese, a Green Giant, a Golden Mandarin, and a Green Plum.
Must have pasta sauce!
Here is location 1. 3 plants. Sun from 9am to 7pm. Soil is not too good.
Planted in hardware cloth baskets to protect from gophers. Not growing so tall, but are setting fruit well.

This is location 2. 5 plants. Sun from 11am to 5pm. Raised beds. Nice growth. Fruit is setting.

Here is location 3. 3 plants. In black cloth bags. Sun from 9am to 6pm. Good growth. Fruits are setting.

Here is location 4. 6 plants. In various containers. Sun from 11pm to 5pm. Very nice growth. Fruit is setting.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:44PM
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I am in Davis, I ate my first ripe Glacier about nine days ago. The first Sungold is just ready to eat tomorrow or the next day and the beefsteaks are blushing.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:36PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Here in Merced, my 14 plants are doing well, but way behind schedule as compared to last couple years. 'Sugar Plum' has given me several red ones to get me started, but everyone else is setting well, but little pink showing. Picked one 'Opalka' but wasn't quite ripe yet, but the dog enjoyed the rest of it! 'Neves Azorean Red', 'Nebraska Wedding', 'Joe's Portuguese' and others just setting a good crop, but long from being ripe.

With this week's heat, and forecasts showing continued good temperatures, I should be inundated with more tomatoes that I know what to do with very soon! I'll probably have to take a couple days off work just to get them processed in time.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:50PM
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hello fellow tom growers -

west contra costa county (hercules) checking in and i'm here to do some commiserating, and get some inspiration.

i have 5 toms - yellow pear, super sweet 100, sweet 100, sf fog, and roma - that i put in giant wine barrels. they get plenty of sun, about 6-7 hours daily, and they're growing nicely, just not as densely as my plants last year. they all have tons of flowers, but only the sweet 100's and the romas have set fruit, small though. the sf fog has only 3 clusters of flowers, 2 of the clusters are dried up and not going to set fruit, and the last cluster is flowering nicely, but so did the others.

So far all the plants look healthy and are growing well, but aren't the monsters that the plants i had last year were at this time of year - and i had toms this time of year.

oh well.....

~ angela :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:26PM
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I'm in Sacramento and like others am having a really slow year. I didn't plant until mid-May because of the weird weather. I have a few toms on my Early Girl plant that look like they will turn red in a couple of weeks. I got a lot of hail in that freak storm that hit on June 2nd or 3rd. It didn't kill any of my tomato plants but they didn't look good for a couple of weeks.

I also just started getting zucchini last week. Usually by early July I am sick of the stuff and making plans to pawn it off on unsuspecting friends and co-workers. Not this year.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I think my T-matos look as good as I have ever got them to look. Only early girl has fruit of any size. The others are filled with flowers and leaves..not much else. Despite a 8 day stretch of near 90f in Hayward,nothing seemed to ripen much faster.
And like one poster above,I waited until mid May to plant too. In the best years,I have picked Early Girl about the third week of June-red and ripe. At least a month behind this year.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:40AM
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