First field tomato today

Rio_GrandeJuly 1, 2013

I know this isint early for many but mid July is early for us in the past. This year with our complete change in practice we were able to start earlier and with our pathetic little greenhouse were able to keep them in a controlled environment until a break in the rain allowed us to transplant to the fields. These are the earliest started from seed on our property tomatoes to date. With what we have learned we will be earlier next year! We have around 550 plants this year. All started on our property.

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

When were these planted? Just curious.

We have about 585 tomatoes this year, but they are spread out over 4 plantings. The first planting, in one of the high tunnels, was 280. The 2nd one is 135 outside, then the third one is 90 and the final one, in one of the movable tunnel spots is 80. We spread them out to not have such a huge glut at once. We also want to keep our size that is why we have so many plantings. Finally, demand goes down, that is why we keep planting fewer and fewer.

Jay

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Rio_Grande

I think they went in the ground in early may, but I can't remember the start date for seed. Sad to say I can't even remember what kind they are. Slicing size tomato. I don't really have this down yet and have tons to learn.we spread our start dates out too for the reasons you mentioned.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:51PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

In early May, we still had snow flurries and freezing weather! I didn't take my row cover out of the high tunnel until mid May, just in case!

I never seem to remember to write things down, but I use lead-free window blinds and cut them up to use as plant markers. I just use a pencil to write on them. I can always seem to remember to write down the starting date, transplant date on these tags. Then when I forget to write it down, I just go out and pull the tag and look. It is my own little back up plan!

Jay

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:27AM
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myfamilysfarm

Sure glad to here field grown is just around the corner.

550 isn't much for 1 planting, if you have the market for it. I used to plant 2-4x that many, but I had the market.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Rio_Grande

I don't know that we do, but we plan to give it a shot. Seeds are cheap, I sure hope we sell some outside of the Csa.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:19AM
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myfamilysfarm

You can always take to the local Amish auction, Last Friday, canners went for $22.50 for 25#, otherwise any where from $1.50/lb to $2.50/lb in 20-25# boxes, then minus the auction fee.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 1:04PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I use blinds too from a basement window behind my pantry shelves; some day my husband will see what I have done.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:53PM
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myfamilysfarm

I used blinds, until I ran out of all unuseable blinds in my house and all of family. The stick labels are not that expensive, 1,000 in box for about $10. Not worth the time cutting them.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:35AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

BTW here where so many people grow their own tomatoes, I only have planted 80 this year (28 are late planted for late tunnel). The first year I marketed in 2009 there was a bumper crop of maters. I had no idea how many I would need for market. I think I did about 80 then for just the one market and no CSAs. Well I had a super hard time selling them! Many were tossed. I set up a roadside stand and sold some. So now I am much more conservative about how many tomatoes to plant. Also at market two vendors sell canning tomatoes way cheaper than I can afford to so that outs that possibility. I have even had some CSAs say they get too many tomatoes.

Anyway my crop this year is doing great. Nothing ripe yet but many have fruit which is great for how late a year it has been! Absolutely no disease problems either.
I use these red tomato greenhouses. They make a huge difference.

Here is a link that might be useful: red tomato bags

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:43PM
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myfamilysfarm

The number to plant really does depend on your market. There no need to plant hundreds when you don't have a market for 50. The last few years, I feed our cows the leftover or non-perfect ones. Looked strange, but they loved them. They were like candy to them, and they really love to crunch down on one, spraying tomato juice all over.

You will not know your market for a few years at that market, whether CSA or just farmers market.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Rio_Grande

We will see how ours go. I can already see we should have planted more early tomatoes than mid season. Everyone wants them now and we only have a few. They will wear out soon and we will have tons. Well worse things could happen. Guess we will have to find more jars this year!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 6:19PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

We always plant the most we can early in the season in the high tunnels. Then we taper off our plantings. I am getting concerned that our additional plantings are going to swamp us with tomatoes. We have been much cooler than normal for the last 10-14 days and they have been blooming this whole time. They all set and now we will have tons of tomatoes. Our high tunnel tomatoes were blooming prior to this "cold" snap and it was excessive heat and we lost many of the blooms. I am just wondering what is happening with our home gardener friends.

We had a great day at market on Wednesday. We took over 200 pounds of tomatoes and they sold great. I wish we would have that many for Saturday, but with the cooler weather they just aren't ripening as quick. We will just have to wait and see.

Jay

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:53PM
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