Tomatoes all ripening at once

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)June 23, 2012

As a customer at market said, "Holy Tomatoes, Batman!" and our market manager declared be the "Tomato King" this week too. My tomatoes all seem to be ripening at once. This week alone, we have picked over 700 pounds, 500 in the last 3 days. Cherry tomatoes are even more plentiful, I have picked over 100 pints a week for the last 2.5 weeks, there is no end in site for them!

My wife made me take this pic tonight as we are getting ready for market.

The funny thing is, I have fewer plants in this planting than I usually do, These are all from 160 plants. If you take out the low producing yellows ones and the small Mountain Magic and Indigo Roses, it would be about 130 plants.

Crazy year!

Jay

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myfamilysfarm

That's what heat will do to you. Heating degree days says it's the middle of July/first of August. We are picking here from outside plants also, about a month earlier than ever.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:16AM
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2ajsmama

I showed your pic to DH last night and said "We've got to do a high tunnel (even just 1 row, 50 plants) next year!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 9:37AM
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suburbangreen(8)

Time for some creative marketing!

That happened to me last year. The heat hit during the early part of my harvest season and everything ripened at once. The heat stayed around and the plants didn't set any new fruit.

Fortunately this year the harvest period has been more drawn out. I pull most of my plants by the second week of July, the same week I plant my Fall tomatoes.

Pete

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:32PM
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joe-il(5)

mine are coming on pretty hard also. picked 100 # more out there, easy to sell them near the 4th of july.

this year is the largest I have seen sungolds. big and sweet.

How are you holding up in the heat? think I read 118 in your area.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:07PM
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myfamilysfarm

Our first 3 have been picked today. We were lucky and got some rain and a bit of hail (no damage), but am very thankful for the 3/4". It's been 2 weeks for most and 1 month for others since last rain. Most all of our area is now in Extreme Drought conditions.

Only 99 today, 103 yesterday. Glad not in the 115 degree area.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:12PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Still picking tomatoes by the truckloads! They have gotten a little smaller, but still very plentiful.

On the temperature front, we are boiling out here. However, things couldn't be better in the high tunnel for the tomatoes.

Due to the success of a few other, we are experimenting with evaporation cooling of the tomatoes. We are trying to save the blooms and get them to set. I was very skeptical, but I think it is working great. 111 degrees outside, 95 degrees inside at 3:30 in the afternoon!

Inside hoop building

Row of Florida 91's planted on May 5th

Happy cool blooms

Spinner Sprinklers

This is a really low-tech option. We used 9 spinners in the building to get good coverage. They are on a timer to start at 11 until 7:15 pm. The spinners run for 2 minutes out of every ten. They just add enough water to wet the foliage, and lower the temps of the blooms. By the time the 10 minutes is up, the leaves have dried off and they are ready for the next misting.

We will find out how successful this is in a few weeks.

Jay

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:00AM
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2ajsmama

So are you just using your regular watering system to mist, or is this a new system?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:40AM
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randy41_1

what is your water source?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:43PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I have run a separate 1/2 inch "Header" line down the middle of the tunnel. It is tucked up under the plants to keep it cool. We water out of a well, so the water is nice and cool too.

Jay

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:40PM
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myfamilysfarm

Looks good. I didn't think about using cable ties, you do come up with some great ideas using very simple items, Jay.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:00PM
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jcatblum(7)

How successful was the timed misting to keep your blooms setting Jay? Curious to see your results.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:02AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

It has been great. We are starting to see the fruits of our labor. We are getting nice tomatoes again, in good size and quantity. Others are starting to run out of tomatoes, we are really kicking up again. Tomatoes are still blooming and setting. I will post pictures later.

Jay

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:33PM
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jcatblum(7)

Awesome to hear! We only have a few vendors with tomatoes here. I am down to picking 20lbs a time. Around here most pull tomato plants from houses & close them up completely about the 15th of July until the end of August for solorization of the soil. I know you have multiple houses, do you ever close them up for the summer?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:07PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Ack and to think I try to keep my tomato leaves dry.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:47PM
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randy41_1

here we have late blight all over the place. wetting the foliage of the inside tomatoes would make the blight spread.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:20AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I was afraid of wetting the foliage too, but if you are careful and don't wet too much for too long, it seems to have worked. I am picking tomatoes, when most people are really low on quantity. I also have another 200 plants coming along for September-November.

About the wet foliage, this doesn't run all the time, 2 minutes out of every 10 and only between 11 and 7. The plants have 2 hours to completely dry off before the sun goes down. I also only run it when it gets above 95 degrees.

Jay

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:39AM
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HamMan

That is about how much we would get out of around 1500 plants every other day where I work.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:41PM
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