NH Dwarf Tomato Project

susanlynne48(OKC7a)February 18, 2011

I got my seeds today and am excited to begin this project. This means that I will not be growing as many of my originally planned tomatos as intended, since hope to grow at least 2 of each variety.

I have high hopes for some of these.

All of the following are in the Plentiful line (Sleepy F2 x Cherokee Purple):

Mallee Rose, large pink beefsteak, described as "tasty sweet and juicy.

Coorong F3 - red - medium semi-oblate, described as tasty and prolific

Coorong F3 - pink - same as above only pink

The two Coorongs are being grown out to achieve one, the best of the two, whether red or pink

Rosy line (Rosella Purple F4 x Orange Heirlom)

Loxton Lass F3 - large orange beefsteak with balance between tangy and sweet

So, I'm off to the races! This is so exciting for gardeners who do not have room for the large indeterminates or are just not able to manage them, like me, heehee.

Susan

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

FYI--Mike at Victory Seeds is selling seed of several of the dwarf project tomato varieties this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Victory Seeds Website

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:18PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Thanks, Dawn, I'll check them out. Craig said he had sent some seeds to various commercial sources, but didn't say which ones.

Susan

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan,

You're welcome. I don't know who all Craig sends seeds to, but I know he sends them to Mike at Victory Seeds and think he normally sends them to Glenn at Sandhill Preservation and to Linda Sapp at Tomato Growers Supply as well as to other smaller companies like Gleckler's.

Dawn

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 11:29AM
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laspasturas(7a)

Susan,
I signed up to participate, too. I'm interested in how you plan to grow yours--what kinds of containers, what mix in the containers, etc. I can't wait to get my seeds!
-Megan

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 4:09PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I'll check out the other sources to see if there are any offered there, too. It's too late for me to order any for this year's crop, but I still enjoy "following the seed".

Megan, I plan to grow mine in 5 gallon buckets, in Al's 5:1:1 mix, modified to retain more moisture in our Oklahoma climate (5 parts pine bark fines, 1/2 part chicken manure, 1/2 part spaghnum peat, 1/2 perlite, 1/2 part Turface or calcined clay). Usually one would use 1 part peat and 1 part perlite, but I modified with the manure and the Turface to retain a bit more moisture. It seemed to work fine last year, but I will give it this year and see how it continues to work for me. I also throw in a handful of Tomato Tone, and a handful of Espoma's Dolimitic Lime.

I will probably foliar feed with the 3:1:2 fertilizer formula that Al recommends as the best ratio for all plants, and one that he specifically suggests is Foliage Pro. I haven't been able to find that brand locally yet, so I use the John's Lady Bug that I found at Horn's. It is actually a 3:1.5:2, but is close enough to fit the bill. It has micronutrients available for the plants as well, and that's another reason Al recommends the Foliage Pro. Al Tapla's potting soil mix and fertilizer recommendations are well known on Container Forums across the board. He also has a "gritty" mix for those who grow cacti, do bonsai, etc., that requires a rapid draining mix. Haven't tried that one yet. One step at a time. I find that mixing my own is much more economical as well because I can get 3 cf bags of pine bark fines for approx. $4 a bag, and that is the bulk of the mix.

However, any good potting mix may serve you well, too, such as Sta-Green (Lowe's has 2 cf bags for $10 now), Scott's. Just don't use the garden soil or potting "soils" which are too heavy for use in containers.

What varieties did Craig send you, if you know?

Susan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 6:55AM
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laspasturas(7a)

Thanks for the information. I really like the Lady Bug products, so I think I'll pick up a bag of that. In fact, we're going to Austin (and The Natural Gardener!) this month, so I'll probably get it there. I mix my own potting mix with coir, but I've read that it may compact too much for container gardening. Where do you get your pine bark fines?

I think I will be growing half of mine in buckets and half in a raised bed that we just put in, so we'll see which works better. Do you make SWCs out of the buckets or use them as regular containers? I grew in buckets in Dallas, but didn't have a lot of luck when we attempted SWCs. I think I was using a mix that wasn't wicking enough, so I may pull the couple that I kept out of the shed and try again with a better mix.

He is sending me two vials from the Beauty line. One is a chocolate stripe and the other is a purple stripe. I'm excited because those are two that I would have picked for myself. From last year's posts, it looks like they are both supposed to taste pretty good, too, so that's a bonus! I'm hoping to have room to grow out all of the seed that he sends, but it just depends on how much of it there is. I think I should have room for at least 5 of each.
-Megan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:39AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Most of my seed vials had 5 seeds. I won't be able to grow out 5, assuming they will all germinate, anyway.

Oohhh, I'm excited for you - those sound luscious. Have you read the existing threads about them? That was the first thing I did was to check last year's reports.

I have not done SWCs yet. I just use containers. Some I will grow in buckets, but may also use Grow Bags for others. I have some black ones, and in order to cool them down, someone suggested cutting off the bottom of white garbage bags and slipping them over the top to prevent them from getting so hot in summer. So, I will do that. I also have regular "paint bucket" 5 gallon containers, and may get some more of those at Lowe's for $2.75 each. Shouldn't need too many more. Also plan to order more of the Sunleaves Grow Bags from Worm's Way. Dawn turned me on to those last year. They have a white exterior and range in size from 1 gallon to 30 gallons.

My larger containers 20+ gallons will be used for a few indeterminates, and some larger veggie plants like squash, melons, potatos, etc.

I am really excited about the project and look forward to growing these babies!

The Lady Bug I use is the liquid form for foliar feeding. It can be used as a drench, too. Kind of expensive, but if it works well on my tomatos, I'm all for it. I didn't use it last year on the tomatos, but did use it on some ornamentals and they did very well.

Susan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:51AM
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laspasturas(7a)

I read all of the posts on the Beauty sub-forum. There are only five, so now I'm just trying to read about all of the lines and find tips from others who've grown them before. I'm really excited about this project, too, I've been reading up on tomato breeding for the past couple of years, but got too busy last year to give it a try. I'm hoping to get it together and do some experimenting this year. I'm also growing some F3 seed from Tom Wagner's site called Dancing with Smurfs, so this should be a year of surprises!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 2:09PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Oh, wow! That sounds like another interesting project, but one I doubt I could take on. I am also going to grow out some F5 seed of Purple Haze that Jay was kind enough to send me as well, so I think I'm good for this year.

I love doing this and hope it will be a "fruitful" venture.

Susan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:20PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

FYI, to all who read this, Victory Seeds is offering two additional Dwarf varieties out of the Dwarf Tomato Project, Tasmanian Chocolate and Rosella Purple. Their seeds are just $1.95, but may only have about 15 seeds to a packet since these are being offered for the first time ever. It seems that SESE didn't want to sell before they trialed them, so they have been diverted to Victory. A misunderstanding on everyone's part. If you click on either two, they will say "sold out" and that may be because the seeds are in transit. I'm waiting to hear if they are actually sold out or not.

I do know that Tasmanian Dwarf is a RL, rugose, flavor compared to Black From Tula. Cross between New Big Dwarf and Paul Robeson. Fruit 5-12 oz. deep mahogany.

Rosella Purple is a RL, rugose, 6-12 oz. deep purple/pink cross between Budai and Stump of the World.

Sandhill has Dwarf Green Jade and Summertime Gold (I've been lusting after SG) but you have to send order via snail mail, and I just refuse to do that in today's world. So will have to find another way to appease my yearning for SG. I am not really too shook up about it since I have plenty of other tomato varieties to grow. :o)

Another tidbit about Tasmanian Chocolate is that its an early producer with an approx 53 DTM.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Rosella Purple and Tasmanian Chocolate

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:08PM
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