Tomatoes: How much do you can?

robinkateb(z4 VT)August 23, 2010

I am just getting started on my winters supply of canned tomatoes (Vermont's growing season means we are just beginning to be inundated). Last year I canned 28 qts of crushed tomatoes and I had enough to last until tomatoes were ripe, but only because I was careful.

So, how many tomatoes do you can for the year? What method is your favorite?

This year my goal is 40 qts, mostly crushed with citric acid as the acidifier


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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

My big harvest is just coming in as well---I am in Z5 but got my seedlings planted late.

It's just DH and me so I can mostly in pints and even in half-pints. I generally do plain tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, herbed pasta sauce, and Annie's salsa (which we use as the basis for meals as well as to eat with tortilla chips; it's also much prized as a gift among my family so I like to have extra).

Last year was a crummy tomato year---I did probably 75 jars total spread over those four types of stuff. I had to be careful, was stingy about giving away, and still ran out of everything a few weeks early.

I'm aiming for between 150 and 200 jars of assorted tomato stuff this year to keep us happy and well stocked --- and if it's at the higher end, able to be generous!

Note that sauce takes a lot more tomatoes than crushed tomatoes to make the same amount of jars (even if, as in my case, you use mostly paste tomatoes and don't cook your sauce down too too much).


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:30PM
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I'm wondering the same thing. I did 7 quarts of tomatoes last year - mainly as an experiment.

I'v tried to keep track of how many store bought cans I've bought - diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and marinara sauce. (FWIW - we are a family of 3, with the 3rd one being a 5 yo) Based on that, I'm shooting for

35 pints diced tomatoes
21 or 28 quarts of tomatoe puree (similar to the pastene kitchen ready tomatoes)
28 pints of marinara sauce

Plus 1 batch of Annies salsa

Now I just need to figure out how many bushels of tomatoes I have to buy to can all of that!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

So far this year at last count we have 32 quarts of whole/halved/crushed tomatoes, 38-40 quarts of tomato juice and Shirley's Veggie Juice Cocktail, 40 1/2 pints and 12 pints of tomato sauce with various herb seasonings, 8 pints of ketchup, 8 pints of Bar-B-Q sauce, 12 pints of rotel-type with jalapenos, and 30 pints of Stewed Tomatoes. And we still have lots of tomatoes to go.

We will bump the whole/halved tomatoes and juice up to 50 quarts each as that is our normal amounts and the rest will go into more stewed tomatoes and sauces.

Wife and I are tomatoholics and use them in some form with most every meal.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 1:32PM
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So far this year:
27 pints pizza sauce
19 pints tomato sauce
5 1/2 pints ketchup
I wiil probally do about 10 more pints of ketchup, 10 of pizza sauce, 18 or so Annie's salsa, and the rest will go in quarts whole. That will use up 4 1/2 bushels. The rest of my tomatoes will be given away or I'll put them in the freezer in case I run out of anything.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:21PM
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My harvest was in plenty early, and we had plenty of heat this year, but my bumper crop is just now prime.

I am drowning in tomatoes now, lol, and that is a good, not bad, thing.

I have not counted accurately yet, and my tomato canning is prolly only half done. So far, fourteen quarts crushed, fourteen quarts sauce, seven quarts juice, thirty five quarts whole or halved, eight pints salsa. The jars are running through now to put up another fourteen quarts crushed and a kettle of them on the stove heating up. There is probably two bushel out in the solarium waiting to be processed, I'll just keep canning as long as tomatoes come on and there are still a lot on the vines to pick. We use canned tomato products at least twice a week.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:00PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Just curious, dinytcb, how many tomato plants do you have to get that kind of yield?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:47AM
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you guys do amazing work!!!
I'm new to canning. This is my second year.
14 pints of salsa twice because I messed up.
6 half pints of BBQ sauce.
14 quarts of stewed tomatoes.
I only planted 10 big boy plants, but this will give me what I need to two and a half people.
I have an 19 month old who runs around and keeps me busy also!!!
Happy canning!!!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:46PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

We are lucky to get some tomatoes from July to December, even though the peak production has passed. So for half a year for two people we have 24 pints tomato sauce, 3 pints soup, 6 pints salsa, 1 quart dried tomatoes and 10 lbs frozen tomatoes.

We will probably can more soup and freeze a few more tomatoes. The new tomatoes we'll get until it gets cold will be just enough to eat, but if we get more, we'll can more!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:57PM
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Oh geez, it depends on the year, the tomatoes and whatever else is going on!

Last year there were very few tomatoes, blight got most of them in my area, I couldn't even buy canning tomatoes.

This year I got my first real picking over the weekend, and there are more out there waiting for me. So far I've canned 7 pints of salsa so I could have some for gifts for a Cooking Forum get together, and 77 4 ounce jars of wedding favors.

Ideally, for myself and the girls, I'd can at least 50 quarts of tomatoes, another two or three batches of salsa, some chile sauce to make sloppy joes, maybe a dozen pints and two dozen quarts of Readinglady's Tomato Basil Sauce. If I have time and tomatoes, a batch or two of KatieC's Roasted Tomato and Grlic Soup, just for me!

Oh, and at least one bath ov your tomato marmalade.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:43AM
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last year was a good tomato year, we canned over 200 pints salsa, 40-50 pints tomato sauce, 36 or so pints crushed tomato, some BBQ sauce, Rotel style tomatoes and ketchup. even had enough to make tomato powder.
this year - nothing yet, still waiting on tomatoes to start ripening, looking at at least another 4 weeks,.....
Good thing last year was a good one.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Caryltoo, I have about 40 or so plants and they did really well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:53PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

I started with about 40 plants, about four didn't make it and some I didn't get staked in time and they're not thriving. But I've had enough tomatoes to make a batch of homemade meat sauce (froze the leftovers), four quarts of plain sauce (frozen) and a batch of Annie's salsa (in fridge). More tomatoes coming every day, and it looks like a second planting in late June of all the leftover seedlings might get ripe fruit before the first frost.

In other words, not a lot put up so far, but I'm just getting in canning mode.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:32PM
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It looks like I won't be canning any tomatoes at all this year because I made the mistake of planting "Big Mama" from Burpee.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:44PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Never grew Big Mama, what was the problem? I grow 95% heirlooms, 1 or 2 SunGolds, and about 5% my own crosses.

Everything got in late this year but ended up with 56 tomato plants and 44 peppers.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:05AM
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Every plant had the worst case of leaf curl I've ever seen. They were stunted and puny. They did set a few fruits, which all developed blossom end rot, every one.

In the meantime, two rows over, my Big Beef plants were flourishing abundantly, so I don't think the problem was conditions in my garden.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 10:03AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I have tomato envy. I am still awaiting my first ripe tomato of 2010.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:14AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

oh, Flora! Wish I could send you some.

How late will your season go, usually?
We can have frost as early as October 5 in my neighbourhood of Canada, so our season is short, but it's been very good this year.... (Last year, not so much!)


    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 7:19PM
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I met my tomato canning goal this year. This was my 1st year attempting to can all the tomatoes for the family. I hope this lasts us the year, but for some reason, I think not.

22 quarts crushed tomatoes
18 quarts diced tomatoes
26 pints marinara sauce
19 pints salsa

FWIW - I bought 140 lbs of tomatoes to do all this which cost me $56

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 10:00PM
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If I can keep getting 3 pounds for a dollar, I'd like to get about 100 quarts, mostly sauce but hopefully some diced tomatoes and salsa, maybe some chile sauce and catsup.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 2:57AM
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bumble_doodle(Z5 CT)

Wow, GREAT prices on toms pixielou and tracydr! The best I have found around here is .99/lb. (and I was thrilled to find

So far I have about 50 pts of tomato products and I'm hoping to put up some more salsa this week.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 8:55AM
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snowgardener(z4 NY)

Right now we are up to:
62 quarts of plain tomato sauce, canned with bottled lemon juice, and
8 pints of plain tomato sauce. I'd like to get up to 72 quarts as that seems to be the magic number to get us all the way through to next year's harvest.
7 pints of ketchup and would like to get more.
19 pints of crushed tomatoes and
4 quarts of crushed, which will probably be enough
13 pints of salsa

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 9:36AM
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Well, for me it was a bumper crop year. I have big beef, roma's and Siberians. I have canned 69 quarts crushed, 42 pints crushed, and 20 pints of sauce. Also 15 pints of ketchup, and 8 half pints of tomato jam. I still have a few left hanging, and will probably make green ketchup next weekend.
On top of that, I had some cherry tomatoes, which I have dehydrated - approximately 3 quarts.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:17PM
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No matter how many jars of tomatoes I put down it never seems enough!

Most have been put in the cold cellar by now so I'm guessing when I say.......

125 jars of tomato sauce, some with herbs, some piquant, some sweet Italian.

50 jars of what I call stewed tomatoes; tomatoes, peppers, onions and celery. I use this for chile con carne and soups. I just know this is not going to be enough but the peak has passed!

30 or so jars my Chile Sauce...this could also be a challenge in terms of lasting until next year.

...and a bunch of salsa.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 2:44PM
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45 quarts of tomato puree (plain tomato sauce cooked down). I shoot for 52 quarts each year so I can make a good size pot of spaghetti sauce every other week.

Next year I'm going to try making Annie's Salsa . . . it so popular so it must be good!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 1:01AM
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