Greenhouse tomato recommendations?

joel_bc(z6 BC)September 12, 2010

Hi. Well, we're not situated toofar north (but still too far for some general gardening forums to be much help, it seems). I'll describe the situation first, then ask about the type of tomato we're seeking...

Situation: Just north of the 49th parallel, in southern British Columbia, Canada. Growing season tends to be 150-165 days outdoors. The daylight hours are somewhat shortish in the mid spring and late fall. We have a sunheated greenhouse (extends the shoulder seasons of spring and fall).

Tomato variety: We have lots of gardening experience, but all outdoors. This year (first year with our greenhouse) we were happy with the size and flavor of "Black Krim" tomatoes - good size, round, deep red color, low-acidic taste. We bought them as seedlings from a local nursery. Three problems: 1) they were not indeterminate varieties, and while growing them in the greenhouse helped the plants to grow tall, we could have managed a longer vine (per plant). 2) the production of flowers (hence, fruit) was not at all remarkable... fewer tomatoes than we expected. 3) the larger, ripened fruits tended to remain "green shouldered" (stem ends didn't ripen so well).

Can you recommend on the basis of your experience a tomato that does well in northern greenhouse situations? That produces prolifically on an indeterminate variety plant? And that is low-acid in flavor?

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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

The Stokes catalogue has several.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:50PM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

Thanks for your reply, xaroline. I know we're not very far north and not very cold, here, by comparison with some of the gardeners who log onto this forum

For 30 years we were growing bush varieties like Beefsteak up against the south wall of our house. Nearly three years ago I built a deck along that side, hence eliminating the old tomato-growing site (where light and warmth had been reflected from the wall). We tried growing the bush varieties in a sunny area in one of our veggie gardening plots, but the production was not that remarkable. That's why we put up the greenhouse this past spring.

Given our experience growing the Black Krim bush variety in the GH this year, I'd say we'd be better off growing a vine variety (indeterminate) - I feel there'd be enough light for that in our GH. So I'm now inquiring about GH varieties of tomatoes.

I do prefer personal recommendations in a situation where dialogue is possible. The seed catalogues strike me too much as advertising - plus many varieties come on the scene as fads, and a couple years later hardly anyone is growing them because they didn't work out so well as expected.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:28PM
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I know this is an old post but I had to respond, just in case you're still our there. Back in the spring I started some tomato plants. They were called Baxter's Bush Cherry. I just bought them off the rack. I put them in my greenhouse and even though they are a determinate, those things grew ten feet! They were not early but mid season and even at this late date... I gathered 40 today and will gather 40+ tomorrow or the next day. Lots of tomatoes. I plan to try a bigger tomatoe, but if you like cherry tomatoes, this one did well. Also, I had zero problems with any pests.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 9:51PM
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It's been along time since you asked, but I just found this website today, so I'll give it a shot. I have been growing our food in a greenhouse for about 15 years and my favorite tomato is "Amish Paste" an old heirloom. The vines are very vigorous and they don't stop growing until it freezes. We have had vines grow to 24 feet before freezing. They produce tomatoes the same way. Keep picking and they'll keep coming. I've tried so many varieties and keep coming back to this one. It is very healthy, no green shoulders or blossom end rot. The others taste OK, but when you take a bite of this one, you say yum. I start in the house from seed and transplant to greenhouse. Really it's my garden with a see through house built over it. Gets very hot in the sun.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 1:09PM
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