Summer in the Midwest So Far

misterpatrick(4)July 16, 2012

Thought I'd share a photo of some of my varieties that I've been able to harvest. I'm in zone 4 (Minnesota) and we've had an "interesting" season. A warm and dry March, a wet April and crazy heat the rest of the summer. We're hitting 100F for the 3rd time today. The tomatoes are doing great (30 varieties) and I started harvesting a couple weeks ago. I started all of them from seed and planted out early May.

I've been keeping notes and will post those later in the year. This is my second season with a garden. I learned a lot last year and keep learning more. I doubled the size and reshaped this year and also added drip irrigation. Luckily the garden is situated in a low section so holds on to moisture below the surface so I've only had to water four or five times so far this season - even with our insane heat and lack of rain.

I've got carrots, basil, chicory, mache, leaf lettuce, beets and radish all growing around the tomatoes which are only now starting to get shaded. Oh, and lots of crab grass.

In this photo I have Carbon, Black from Tula, Black Cherry, Sweet Million, Golden Sweet, Black Plum, Sun Gold, Glacier, Silver Fir, Jaune Flamme and Mortgage Lifter. The photos pretty filtered.

A few of the other varieties have several fruit that are almost ripe including Chocolate Cherokee, Black Krim, Copia and Speckled Roman.

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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

That is one yummy looking plate of tomatoes!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:23PM
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hcoon(5a)

Wow that looks great! And you're up in MN?? I'm jealous. I'm outside Chicago and have pulled in a lot of cherry tomatoes, and am just starting to get in some of the bigger tomatoes- - nothing bigger than 4 oz so far. So you're ahead of me!

They look beautiful!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:20PM
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misterpatrick(4)

Thanks! Yup, I'm in the Twin Cities. I got a pretty early start on my seedlings so that might have helped. I gave away a lot of them as well and so far the ones in my garden seem to be producing earlier. I don't have full sun all day so I guess I'm just lucky this year. I was surprised that I have some Mortgage Lifters so early. I'll have a Chocolate Cherokee in a day or two as well.

I'll post notes later. Some of my varieties are doing better than others.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:29AM
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garystpaul(4)

Misterpatrick, am also in the Twin Cities, but yours are much farther along than mine. What was your plant-out date? So far, I've gotten Sun Gold, Kimberley, Bloody Butcher, Dix Doigts de Naples, and one Monkey A**. Plenty coming,I'm happy to say. But don't know about pollination in this heat! Good show.

Gary

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:19PM
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misterpatrick(4)

I planted most of my tomatoes out on May 11th. A little risky but with the warm weather I was willing to risk it since I had lots of extra seedlings. Other than Sun Gold I don't have any of your varieties - we'll have to do a seed trade.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:03PM
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emcd124(5)

Count me jealous too! I'm in Z5 northern indiana and so far I've only had ONE red cherry tomato. I've got lots of green and growin' but nothing that beautiful. Congrats!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:05PM
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misterpatrick(4)

Here's a shot of the chaotic garden. Beans, squash and cukes are at the far end of the trelli. The low fence and the electric strand I have going around it has been successful so far. Right after I put the fence up a curious deer came and leaned against it and put a perfect imprint of his face and knees into the wire.

I have raised rows that are 10 feet long and about 2.5 feet wide with paths covered in straw. I did some early fertilizing but haven't done anything in a couple months. I'll probably side-fertilize again in a couple weeks when it's not so hot.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:50PM
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mandolls(4)

Thats a plate full of beauty! I am an hour east of you and planted out maybe a week later, but so far I have picked one Early Girl which is finishing ripening on my counter right now. I have been eating plenty of other things from the garden, but still waiting on that first bite of fresh tomato.

Please do post an end season re-cap. I am interested to hear what types do well for you. I have Prudens Purple, Purple Russian, Stump of the World, Sabre, Rinaldo, Genovese Roma, and the Early Girls. Its my second year with tomatoes from seed too, third year with a garden. That learning curve is pretty steep - but fun to climb.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 6:06AM
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