What tomatoes are you gonna grow

dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)December 10, 2009

What toms you gonna grow ? When do you plant them out ?

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I always grow Stupice, Brandywine and Black Krim, plus a few new ones to try. I start them inside in late March and start hardening them off in mid to late May for early June planting. I usually grow in containers.
I recently received free seed from Trudi at Wintersown.org to try winter sowing tomatoes for the first time. I've WS'd flower seed before, but not toms. I just don't have enough room inside to start many different kinds, so hopefully the winter sowing will enable me to do that.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 2:47PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

This was my first time growing.I containered also and have been to Wintersown .I got a couple toms growing now just to see if I can get anything,I will try the winter sow for first time too.I am going to try to do 12 varieties or so of tomatoes and some mild and hot peppers and a melon or two .

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:40AM
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How much room do you have for your containers? I have to cram mine. Here's a couple photos from my '09 season(a little blurry from re-sizing)...in the beginning, and mid-summer. My neighbors were a little put off, but I had permission from apartment management...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:50PM
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No idea why your neighbors would mind the greenery, it looks beautiful and well maintained. Some people...

Anyway, I will be growing Sungold, Neve's Azorean Red, Persimmon, Cherokee Chocolate, Bush Early Girl and Opalka for sure as these are very dependable for me. Will then toss in a couple/few others to try for the first time or to give a 2nd chance to since '09 saw tomatos running a couple weeks behind schedule.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:30PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)


    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:36AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

About 70 containers ? Nice patch

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 6:30AM
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I don't know how many containers I had...about half were peppers. I had tried giving away seedlings early in the season(I always start too many)and no one wanted them. The previous year everyone wanted plants...go figure. There's a vacant lot next to the building and I'm going to try putting a small raised bed in so I won't have so many pots crammed together. I guess it might be considered 'guerrilla gardening', the lot has been for sale forever and the city just bush-wacks it twice during the summer but leaves a strip on the edge. Hopefully, they won't know exactly where the property line is.
So Dickie, what kind of area do you have for your containers?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 1:00PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

My home is on a lot about 50 feet by 150 feet. 2009 was my first year growing. I had about 25 containers.Nine were peppers ,the rest tomatoes .(with one cuke plant )Most tom plants were put on or around my raised 6x12 deck (with 4 foot lattice around it) This way I could tie the plants to the lattice .I also have about 20 feet of 5 foot high fence I will be using next year to tie plants to as I plan on growing more tomatoes varieties.I also plan on growing some short patio types which won't need staking. The pepper plants I just had in the back yard as this area has the most sun .

    Bookmark   December 20, 2009 at 7:15PM
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That's a pretty good number of plants for your first season. It's nice you have your own growing space. The fencing will be a big help, but make sure it's sturdy...the toms will definitely put some strain on it. I used bamboo stakes that I got second hand and they weren't really enough support. I was re-tying all summer long. I had a bit of lattice up against the building for my cherry toms...I'll probably do that again.
I hope you'll post your garden pictures once the season is under way.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 11:20PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

I am new to this ,lets see if if works

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 9:51AM
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Very nice...and tidy! Your plants look really healthy! Is that shredded paper mulch? I have a shredder too and used paper mulch two years ago. The only problem I had was the wind spread it all over before it settled. I was chasing paper strips for days(didn't think about wetting it first, duh!). I though about collecting paper grocery sacks this winter and shredding those, or maybe thin cardboard, but I hate throwing out all my shredded junk mail...gotta find a use for it(LOL).

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 12:54PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Yes thats paper mulch ,I did wet it real good in a bucket,kinda like paper mache'. What did you use for growing medium ? soil ,mix ? Do you/willyou reuse your soil ? I think I am going to mix pine bark ,and potting soil and or potting mix together with last years mix and shagum peat for next year. Late blight did in my tomatoes last year,did you experience it ?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Well, I started out gung-ho and bought MG potting mix(was gonna do things "right"), then started running out of money, started mixing bags of soil with the MG, then got desperate and ended up going into the woods and scraping up topsoil and leaf mold and mixing it with bagged manure. I couldn't tell you what worked better, really. I just made sure the containers had drain holes, watered when needed(sometimes twice daily)and added a bit of MG solution or Epsom salts when things got a little pale.I did throw in a handful of generic granular veggie food when I planted. I usually throw in a handful of bone meal too, but I couldn't find where I'd stored the previous year's bag, so did without.
I didn't really have a problem with blight, although the toms started looking a little diseased at the end, just before the cold temps took them out. It's quite windy here and I think that helped to keep the foliage dry. And there are so many birds, wasps and toads here that I usually don't have many pests(knock wood!). If I'm able to put a raised bed on the next door lot, I will definitely have a deer problem, but my containers were too close to the building for them to be tempted.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 3:43PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

noinwi So,I guess you are reusing your soil then.I too felt the pain of buying all the containers and buckets,fertilizer , all the soil.Nexts year I will buy new stuff to mix with the used soil.Also going to nursery with my truck to buy bulk instead of bags from Wally World,and I have been buying more containers a few here and there and scavenged some too.

justaguy do you grow in buckets or in ground ?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 11:22AM
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I grow tomatos both in a raised bed as well as in self watering containers. While this advice is unsolicited, I hope it's not perceived as snobby to offer it.

If you are not able to use fresh potting mix or have to incorporate actual soil(dirt) into containers there are a few tricks that can improve the drainage and aeration within the container. Tomatos in general are pretty adaptable plants and don't really require a top shelf, super draining/aerated mix to do at least reasonably well, but drainage/aeration remain important.

One option is to open the bottom of the container to the ground below. This effectively makes them raised beds as the water moves into the soil below. The drainage properties of the potting mix are now less important than the drainage properties of the soil below.

Another option is to elevate the containers off the earth and insert a wick through the drainage hole. Just let it dangle below the container. This will cause the excess water (the perched water table for those familiar with the term) to not stay inside the container, but to exit via the wick.

Either option can go a long way to improving the drainage properties of the media around the roots. Improving drainage can only result in a healthier, more vigorous plant.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 2:36PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

I understand what you are saying as I have read a hundred posts here, alot on soil ,soil retention, etc .I think I am going with pine bark,shagum peat,potting mix,moisture controll potting soil,to mix with last years soil ,if I have a problem I'll remember your advice for wicking.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 5:11PM
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jungseed(z4b & z2b)

Yipppeeee! A friend said she would start my tomato seeds in Canada for me. She will start them in March and when I get there in May, I'll pick them up and then plant out about June 1st. So here is the list of seeds I'm thinking of sending to her:

Brandywine (pink)
Cherokee Purple (purple)
Black Krim (black)
Aunt Ruby's German Green (green)
Sungold (cherry)

Right now that will be my 2010 season tomato patch. Unless I change my mind or someone helps me change it.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 10:37AM
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My list is:
1. Sungold
2. Riesenstraube

3. Stupice

4. Eva Purple Ball
5. Cherokee Purple
6. KelloggÂs Breakfast
7. Black from Tula

I've planted Brandywine two years in a row and haven't had any luck with it so I'm giving up. Eva Purple Ball and Cherokee Purple were both wonderful last year - earlier than most and productive in spite of the temperatures and really good tasting. Sungold was great too, very sweet and productive to the point of having way too many to eat. I'm planning to try Reisenstraube because my husband thought Sungold didn't taste like a tomato, and Stupice because Bloody Butcher was very small and didn't seem that much earlier than the others. Kellogg's Breakfast and Black from Tula are attempts to find better yellow and black tomatoes than what I tried last year. I think Bruce Co should have all of these as plants in the spring. They had a really good selection last year of plants from Seed Savers.

Oh, and I did try growing tomatoes using winter sowing, but it didn't work out well for me. The tomatoes were too far behind and I ended up buying plants from the nursery that were twice as large. The one plant from ws that I did keep was about a month behind the others.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 5:30PM
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Stupice is a fairly small tomato too, or were you saying the Bloody Butcher plant was small(not the fruit)?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 6:31PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Well. I couldn't wait so I am growing some SubArctic Plenty,Silvery Fir Tree and just planted some Patio tomato seed.I only have 2 24inch grow lights From WalMart and, 2 windows that get a lot of sunlight,also have a pepper plant overwintering after it was frozen a couple times outside. If nothing else at least got dirty fingernails and something to watch grow. On my list I am thinking of New Big Dwarf,Sheyenne,Volvograd,Bush beefsteak ,Black cherry,Super Sweet 100,Black Krim,Cherokee Purple,Black Sea Man,Aunt Ruby's German,German Red Strawberry,AkersW.V.,Goldman's Italian,Opalka ,Cow's Tit. Then hot and mild peppers

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 1:25AM
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jungseed(z4b & z2b)

My list has changed. I got some good info from some tomato smart people. As I do my tomato gardening in zone 2b my list was not practical. three of the 5 I had on the list have DTM of 80 days or more. After some discussion about early tomatoes and taste, here's the new list

Black Krim
Grub's Mystery Green
Bloody Butcher

Maybe this list will be the final?? Ok maybe not.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 12:20PM
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I figured Stupice would be small too, but I am hoping it will be earlier than Bloody Butcher was. I didn't see the point of growing a fairly small, average tasting tomato if it wasn't earlier than Eva or CP.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 6:42PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

jungseed you may like this variety
One of the distinctive things about Matina tomato heirloom plants are their leaves. These tomatoes have a leaf shaped like a potato plant leaf. The tomatoes are medium-size(4 oz.) and originally of German origin. The fruit grows round and is uniform in shape and size. The Matina tomato is also known for not having "green shoulders", and is red all the way around the fruit.

The tomatoes are meaty and the taste has been compared to a beefsteak tomato. These tomato plants also grow large. The plants are disease resistant, too. Fruit is ready to harvest in 58 days.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 12:57AM
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I have mostly fallen out of love with heirlooms. I do not find the flavor of heirlooms to be any better than hybrid tomatoes, and the hybrids bear heavier and are more disease resistant.

This year I am going with:

SUN SUGAR Â It is like a gateway drug for people who do not like tomatoes. A DIL did not like cherry tomatoes until she ate Sun Sugar - now she loves them and will grow them too. A neighbor child hated tomatoes until she tasted Sun Sugar - now she cannot get enough. My coworkers, my childrenÂs coworkers, friends, everyone is hooked on these candy sweet gems. Huge tall vines bear millions of small orange tomatoes. I cannot be without them.

This is what one company had to say about them, and I can attest that every word is true. "A medium-sized, orange ripening cherry tomato, sought after for its intense sweet flavor. The fruits grow to a bit under an inch wide, with a thin skin that is very crack resistant. Sun Sugar plants fruit in huge quantities, with a single plant often bearing hundreds of fruits in a single season. The fruits have decent storage capabilities, generally lasting off the vine for 1-2 weeks. Flavor is highly sweet, with fruity overtones, setting the Sun Sugar apart from many of its red counterparts. Plants are vigorous and may grow to 6-7ft, though it will fruit nicely in containers. Maturity: 62-67 Days"

PINEAPPLE TOMATO - Heirloom bi-colored red and yellow; rich, fruity and sweet. Large vines 2 lbs., 85 days. I have saved these seeds for about 5 years now  it is an excellent tomato.
SCARLET RED - said to be "Flavor Enhanced Hybrid Tomatoes", Indeterminate, 75 day.
BUSH GOLIATH - F1 Hybrid 68 days, Indeterminate. They were good last year.
SAN MARZANO - small paste. I am only using up the last of the seed - wonÂt buy again.
JELLY BEAN TOMATO - red cherry tomato. Last of the seed - will not buy again.
VIVA ITALIA - Roma type paste, seed saved by my son - gotta like them.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:39PM
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