tomatoe status in zone 6

gardendrivenlife(6)June 23, 2012

Now, that we're into the season some, how are everyone's tomatoes doing? Mainly, are the toms progressing to harvest as expected? This year I decided to plant later,"when the soil has thoroughly warmed." So, that was a later than normal start for me. Plus, we had an early warm spring. Nonetheless, my plants are healthy with some watering even though it's been dry. Small,green tomatoes, lots of flowers. I think harvest will be close to normal time. Thanks

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I started 45 from seed and planted out first week in May. I also planted 30 more purchased plants ten days later. I have approx 17 heirloom and 5 hybrid varieties. I am satisfied but dont see the robust growth I had last yr. Either I under fertilized or its the lack of rain. I do have a lot of tomatoes, some softball size so it could be worse. I have also rooted seven suckers that are about 18" tall.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Prudent irrigation has been the difference for me. I put out six early plants in march, covered them up in the April 12th frost, and have had at least a few tomatoes since the first week of June. My mistake with those plants, though, was not putting them on drip irrigation. I watered them with a hose every day, which was a bad idea. The water didn't soak into the clay, and the root systems are far too shallow. The plants wilt every day now. I think I will let them die; watering them is too much work and my plants on drip look much better.

The drip-irrigated plants were put out much later, but were still yielding a few early tomatoes by mid-June. I was a little smarter with the watering. They got consistent water for a couple of weeks, and then I forced myself to only water once a week, but leave it dripping for about four hours each time. The water soaks down, and the roots follow. Now I have giant plants that don't wilt in the 100 degree sun. The ground in middle of the rows is like concrete.

My mistake with the drip system on the tomatoes was putting the header line on the downhill end of the garden. It still works, but due to the back pressure I can't get my fertilizer injector to work. I've had to mix up fertilizer in buckets and carry by hand, low-tech indeed.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I've taken plants out in succession starting with early April (very warm and sunny March, seedlings overgrew their window accommodation and had to be taken out much earlier than planned). April 11th frost took out 13 of 50 plants in the ground at that moment, but they came back and are catching up with the rest. There are 100 plants total in the ground now.
From those 1st 50, i've harvested around 3 lbs ripe so far (just 2-3 from 1st truss of each plant). The other 50 have breakers so shouldn't be long now. Plants are already taller than i am.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic set

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:05AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

We have tomatoes running out our ears!

Granted I grow in High Tunnels, planted these guys on March 17th, but they are all ripening at once. This was a portion of last weeks picking!

On another note, with the high temps we have been having, no blooms are setting, so we may run out of tomatoes. We have more plantings, May 1, June 1 and hopefully July 1, but we will see how they fair.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:58PM
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I actually picked 4 cherokee purples today / i think this is the earliest ive had CP"s / samwiches for lunch tomaro / yehaw

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Great picture, jrslick! What varieties are in the pic? They look great.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:34AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Well at the very top there are Cherokee Purples. The reds are Polbig, Big Beef or Estiva. They yellows are Lemon Boy and finally, the little ones are Mountain Magic or Indigo Rose.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Thanks. Are you taking measures to prevent sun burn of the fruit? (Yours look much better than mine!) I am having sunburn problems, both outside and in container-grown greenhouse plants. I thought that the double layer of poly, which reduces light by about 2/3, would be enough, but not at all. I recently painted the poly with a temporary latex paint, but might try doing that earlier next year. Those greenhouse tomatoes started getting sun burn as soon as the hot summer temps arrived. I guess they need a cage or stronger shading???

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 1:13PM
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I'm ahead of last year, which is not saying much. Zone 6

The deer are the main problem, one ate a single plant and part of another plant. Have put down dog hair, moth balls, and stretched out VHS tape around perimeter.

Early Blight is about like one would expect with modest rainfall so far. I looked at one neighbor who always plants and neglects -- all tomato plants have wilt all over plant. I've stressed the importance of mulch and cutting off lower branches, all to no avail.

Cherry toms can be picked this week. No Blossom end rot yet. Tomorrow the high temp is expected to be 108F! Last year I think we had one 100F day.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 6:16PM
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40+ tomato plants, all doing well. We had some 90+F temps in late May early June where the plants stopped growing, but cooler weather since have made them take off and flower like crazy.

Created a huge new bed in my sand using only a bit of manure and compost + mulch and those tomatoes are growing fastest and healthiest, actually overflowing and outgrowing cages already which is early here and lots of flowers. Only a few green tomatoes going so far. Containers have the most tomatoes for now, but smaller plants overall. New bed should yield huge amounts once they get going on fruit. They are laden with flowers right now. No pests or disease anywhere so far on toms.

Wish I could say the same for my fruit trees.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 11:43AM
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EB is soil-borne, not airborne, right? My uncle 1/2 mile up the road (not the one with potatoes and blueberries, he's 10 miles away) has EB and what I hope are just broken dried-up branches, not LB. I mentioned something to him about cutting foliage and spraying, he said they were his wife's plants. She's still working (he's retired) and hasn't planted the 2 cherry toms and 1 eggplant I gave her more than a month ago, so I don't know if she'll do it. Whole area is mulched heavily (by the kids' trampoline, which may be how the branches got broken...).

I've got some Husky Red (still green) in containers, 2 CP and 1 BW (my cousin started early) with fruit. A few of my BW and Glaciers I started from seed in mid-March have flower buds as do the volunteers in the manure pile. I thought it funny that my 50 DTM and my 90 DTM have buds the same time, the other varieties don't yet.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:48PM
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