Tomatoes - Where to Start?

m5allenAugust 13, 2012

Let me start by saying that I have never grown tomatoes before.

I am looking to try it out this fall. Can anyone provide a Tomatoes 101 education.

-What variety should I try? (I would like a fat, juicy and sweet tomato, but one that is not high maintenance)

-I plan on growing in containers, so what size? Is earthbox a good idea?

-When should I plant and when can I expect to harvest?

-What soil pH should I shoot for? Are they water pH sensitive?

-Any type of organic pesticide and fungicide info is also helpful. I have some wettable sulfur spray that I use on my blueberries as well as some organic insecticide soap.


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zzackey(8b GA)

You can plant them now from seeds or store bought ones. Beware of the big box stores tomatoes. They usually have diseases and all kinds of bugs on them. If you have a good garden center, buy some there. Ask at the garden center or better yet the agricultural center what variety would fit your desires. You can go to EDIS online and find tomatoes that grow the best in your area. Get a soil test done, so you know what you need to add to your soil. They are pretty cheap at the ag. center. Don't get water on the foliage if you can help it. Water in the early morning if you can. I grew mine in 3 gallon pots. I didn't have alot of dough to spend on soil. The bigger the pot the bigger the tomato will grow! And you will not have to water so often.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Thanks Zackey.

Anyone else? I know there has to be some tomato experts on this forum. I am primarily interesed in variety recommendations.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:34PM
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I like Park's Whopper and Super Beefsteak. I have had very good luck with Clebrity. Although Celebrity is supposed to be determinant, I have had them act more like indeterminants. As far as continers go, IMO the bigger the better. However, last year I had better luck in the ground than in containers. I covered them during the freezes and they lasted into the bug season.

Tomorrow I'll be planting Park's Whopper, Super Beefsteak, Vinson Watts, and Jack Miller Australian Heart. I've never tried the latter two before. The Vinson Watts story is interesting. I am eager to see how that variety works out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinson Watts tomato

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:52PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi m5allen

I am in zone 9b and my tomatoes are ready for transplanting, I always do them in containers for a lot of reasons.

When you start tomatoes from seed, you have a lot of choices, when you don't then you are limited to the varieties available at the store.

People varies in taste, and even the same varieties do different one season or another depending on a lot of factors.

You describe a big and sweet tomato, most people like Brandywine but not all are the same. Some are not that productive, I had a good luck with the brandywine seeds from Monticello. If you want to grow hybrids, you can find Beefmaster and Big Beef available at the store.

I grow every season a good variety of heirlooms and hybrids, different colors and sizes and mine are ready to be planting soon.

Harvest from another season


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:14PM
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