Another Jersey Tomato Released This Year

Okiedawn OK Zone 7February 2, 2013

Background: The state of New Jersey was once famous for its tomatoes. As the use of newer hybrids came into fashion, a lot of great-tasting Jersey tomato seed lines were discontinued. Luckily, the people noticed that many of the newer varieties had less flavor than the other ones and kept asking for tomato varieties that would give them the full, rich flavor of the Jersey tomatoes they remembered from past decades.

Rutgers/NJAES began a collaboration, including working with some seed companies, to find old favorite Jersey tomato varieties and to bring them back into production.

Several years ago, they released Ramapo, which has great flavor and productivity and was a huge hit. Then they brought back Moreton. I've grown both several times and they produced great harvests here for me.

This year they've brought back an old Campbell's canning variety called KC-146.

It is so exciting to have Rutgers working so hard to bring back worthy varieties. It is not easy to do and requires a substantial capital investment.

I've linked their webpage below in case anyone wants to read about the Jersey tomato varieties. I think I am going to order seed of Ramapo, Moreton and KC-146 and grow them in the fall of 2013 or spring of 2014.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Rutgers and the Jersey Tomatoes

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oldokie

how do you grow fall tomatoes and get a crop before frost
for me it seems that after the heat and tomatoes set again we get a few ripe ones and bushel of green ones that are used for relish or stored to ripen

I love your post thank you so much
My wife thinks I like the garden more than her some times.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Oldokie,

Well there is never any guarantee that I'll get ripe tomatoes before frost, but I usually do.

I generally put my fall tomatoes into either the ground or containers in July. Then I just try to keep them alive and growing until the temperatures cool off in the fall. Sometimes I don't plant new tomato plants, but just coddle the spring tomatoes and baby them along until the weather cools. Sometimes I cut them back about 50% in July after most of the harvest is done, and water them well and they make great regrowth before fall.

Once the weather cools, of course they bloom and set fruit. When cool nights are forecast, I cover the plants with Agribon floating row cover. I have it in two different weights--the lighter one gives 2-4 degrees of frost proteciton, and the heavier one gives 6-8 degrees of frost protection. If we expect the overnight low to be really cold, I throw a moving blanket over each plant, using clothespins to attach it to the tomato cage.

If the fall tomatoes are in containers, I can move them into the greenhouse which will keep them slightly warmer than the outside air. Before I had the greenhouse, I'd just drag the plants in containers into the garage on cold nights.

This year, I kept them in the greenhouse until December and they produced a lot of fruit very late.

I have had years where the first killing frost or freeze hit really hard really early and I knew I couldn't protect the plants enough to keep them alive, so I just harvested all the fruit green and brought it inside. Some of the fruit I kept, and many of those ripened very slowly on the kitchen counter. I gave several grocery bags full of green tomatoes to a friend who wanted to make chow-chow.

With fall tomatoes, there's never any guarantee of getting a harvest, but I'd say I get a harvest from them most years. Like everything else involving gardening in Oklahoma, the results vary a lot from year to year.

Dawn

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:01PM
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