Ripe Tomatoes!!!

daddylonglegs(z5 WI)July 26, 2006

Just picked about 20 lbs of ripe tomatoes, sat down and ate a pound or two with my 3 year old daughter (she loves tomatoes, I actually need to stop her from eating too many).

I had to get on the Wisconsin forum and post my preliminary results. I'm growing Rose, Cherokee Purple, Carolina Gold, Opalka, Black Prince, Great White Beefsteak, and a few Roma.

First one to ripen was a single Rose, then a Black Prince, but the Cherokee Purple took over and a bunch ripened at once, had some end rot on the Opalka and Great White Beefsteak. Cherokee Purple and Black Prince have produced the most ripe fruit so far.

The Rose tasted excellent, waiting for another to ripen so I can now compare to the others side by side.

Cherokee Purple, unbelievable, I love this one.

Black Prince, very good, not quite as sweet as CP.

Great White Beefsteak, quite sweet, hint of squash flavor? Disappointed with the rotting though.

Opalka, this is a keeper for next year for sure. Meaty but great flavor, I didn't know this combination existed. I was concerned with this variety earlier in the season because they seemed weaker than the other plants but they are coming on strong now. End rot issue has me a little worried but maybe that will clear up.

Carolina Gold, none ripe yet. Last year these ripened first. They are typically meaty so I wanted a few, but next year Opalka will take their place. We'll see if the Roma can hold a candle to the Opalka.

Anyway, August is here and harvest season is upon us! How's everyone's veggies doing??

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Wow, great news about your tomatoes! I'm thinking of trying some different kinds and colors next year. This year I went with the standard seedlings from the local greenhouse.

Tomatoes are doing great, but I've only had a few cherries ripen so far. I'm right on the lake, so that makes for a little later growing season. The last week or so has been great weather for them, rain at night, sunny most of the day, warm but not too hot. My Early Girls and cherries are doing the best, but that might be because the are planted right next to the house and that always seems to help (warmer near the house at night, I guess). But the romas and beefsteaks and celebrities are doing good too, much better than last year. I think the 800 lbs of manure I put in this spring has really paid off.

The first of my pole beans had reached the top of the poles about 3 weeks ago, so I ran some twine from pole to pole and up to the rain gutter on the house to give them some more room. Now they've reached the rain gutter and made their first loop around it. I'm thinking by September I may need to hang out of the second floor windows to get the beans. ;) I've harvested a few pounds of beans so far and steamed them and ate them with a little butter. Mmmmmmm.

The potatoes are pretty much done. They didn't grow very well, but I put them in the worst spot in the garden, so they toughed it out anyway. I'm getting some to eat when I dig them out, but the plants never got above about 1 ft in height and are now just wilting away. Ditto shallots. They grow in the spring, but just die off by mid-summer.

Cukes and melons and squash are doing okay, but not great. Again, they are on the "unproductive" side of the garden. They vine out okay, but then the leaves start dying from the base out for some reason. I've got a few cukes ready to pick and a few melons about an inch in diameter, and a few tiny squash, but it's wait-and-see to see how big they get.

Eggplants are growing a bit, but I don't think it gets hot enough for them here. I've had 3-5 flowers on each plant, so I guess I'll see what I get. This is the first year I've tried to grow them, so it's an experiment anyway.

Spinach and lettuce is done. I'll plant a late crop in a few weeks, with maybe some onions (I love green onions right from the garden).


    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:28AM
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I planted 3 types of tomatoes this year. I planted early girl, tomato celebrity and Better Boy's. They are all doing really well, they are big and plump, but still not ripe, no red on them yet. Should I be concerned at this point? This is my first year doing tomatoes.

Are these tomato variety's usually very tasty?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:14AM
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daddylonglegs(z5 WI)

I like the Celebrity also. Always reliable, no pest or disease problems, no cracked skins growing mold, etc.
I swapped for so many seeds this year that I couldn't bring myself to by hybrid seeds.
Regarding why they are ripe so early, I use Wall-O-Waters that you fill with water. I planted early to mid April, it can freeze outside and won't hurt the plants. So I may be 3 weeks or so ahead of schedule this way. Don't be concerned, they normally shouldn't be starting to ripen yet.
Better boy, early girl, are OK but the Cherokee Purple and etc. are much better tasting, in my opinion. Unfortunately unless you head up to Eberts or some other garden store besides Steins or another local greenhouse you won't find the variety. Eberts has Brandywine sometimes, those are good too.
Mike, I'm getting ready for a fall planting as well.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:53PM
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I actually posted the wrong type of tomatoes I planted. I was correct regarding the Celebrity and Better Boy's, but the other one was not an early girl it was Big Early's. Is there much of a difference?

When you say you couldn't bring yourself to buy Hybrid seeds, what is that? Is that what I planted? Are Cherokee Purple and Brandywine not hybrid?

Where is Eberts? Do you know of some good garden stores that would carry a better variety in the Appleton/Fox Cities area?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:17PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Nicole, Cherokee Purple and all of the Brandywines are not considered hybrids. As with every tomato which we normally grow, every one was at one time a hybrid in that it was the result of crossing 2 separate varieties. Since that process began over 500 years ago, it's often difficult for some people to understand that!

40+ varieties being grown here but so far it's only small guys that are ripening in profusion. Gardener's Delight, Green Cherry, Tommy Toes Red, and Moby Grape make a nice mix. Of the medium "working class", Medford and Oaxacan Pink have begun changing in just the past 2 days. No color yet from Cherokee Purple or Black Brandywine but they'll do their thing soon enough!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:07AM
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Hi eveyone,
It's too late now, But i like to start tomatoes from seed next year.
Got any ideas, etc. for starting them like the potting soil

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 2:06PM
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daddylonglegs(z5 WI)

Nicole, the Celebrity seeds I buy won't produce seeds that I can germinate the following year. At least I haven't been able to. I can't tell you much about Appleton, Eberts is in Watertown. Swing down for a plant swap next spring, I'll give you some tomato plants. I'm sure we'll get a thread going in March or so. Maybe you can google for greenhouses in your area.
Bill, the best luck I've had in germinating is simply with peat moss. I cook it in the basement oven (with an exhaust fan on) at about 200F for an hour or so. Sometimes I add perlite or vermiculite to it and sometimes I'm out. Check out the germinating forums. No luck with potting soil, plants dampen off and die. Need pretty sterile soil.
Martin, have you grown Black Prince? Very nice looking and tasting tomato. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be as small as they are (racketball size) or if my spacing is too tight or ...


    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 1:21AM
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I bought an early girl that was gigantic and in a pot for $7. I have been eating ripe tomatoes for a couple of weeks and it is just loaded. It is definately worth the extra bucks. In the garden my first ripe heirloom-I am not sure of the type rotted on the vine-what a disappointment. I see a roma out there now that is ripe and a few cherry tomaotes. I have a wilt or blight or something that will keep my production down again but have lot's planted to keep me and a few others in satisfied! I am in house right now looking for mosquito repellent...YIKES!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:29AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Rich, no Black Prince yet but I probably have seed for it around here somewhere. Cherokee Purple is in its third and final test here. That's not common since I normally only give a variety two years to do something or live up to hype. Nyagous was a new black for me last year but left a lot to be desired. Since 1 of 4 plants produced a red fruit, I'm growing out a pair of the red ones to see if they'll come true. There's also Mr. Fumo which is supposed to be a smoky color. That's not a commercial variety but a private "heirloom".

An additional variety showed up with ripe fruit today. That's Balkon Star, a short but productive variety created just for containers. Huge dark green potato leaves make it quite an attractive plant for balconies, hence the name. Possibly grown for the first time in the US as it's a recent Finnish release.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:17PM
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Good morning, all! Rich, I'm your fellow Wall O'Water user, remember? We're had ripe toms for 3 weeks now :) so far, Great White Beefsteak, Rose, and cherries. All the plants have big fruit, and no signs of trouble yet!

Gallons of beans! No signs of bolting on the lettuce; we plant sunflowers all through the veggie garden and the resulting shade is just the ticket. Also, they look great...

We're starting to worry about a raccoon raid--the corn is looking soooo good. Any suggestions for keeping the critters out? The veggie garden is fenced, but that's not going to keep those guys out. We're hoping the dogs keep us informed--



    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 11:46AM
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daddylonglegs(z5 WI)

Con, my fellow WOWer, yes I remember. Ripe tomatoes for three weeks and you're in the great white north, very nice indeed!!!! We had planned to hook back up and report on our success, I guess this is the time.
No trouble with rotting on your great white beefsteak? How's your Rose? I had one ripe one but none since. We've been getting record highs and a good deal of rain, but my beds are raised and I have black mulch.

Sunflowers in the garden sounds like a great idea, but I had heard they can poison the ground somehow, just a rumor?
No idea what to do for coons.
Martin, if you need Black Prince seeds let me know.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:19PM
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