What does heavy & light production mean to you?

gardenmommy_2010July 24, 2011

As I did a garden roll call yesterday I was wondering what "heavy" and "light" producers means to different people. So, as a new heirloom gardener, what do you expect when someone says a variety is a light or heavy producer?

For example - my Burgandy Traveler is my "vigorous" plant and "heavy" producer. Each of my 3 plants reach 6-7 ft & have 30-40 med-large tomatoes of various stages. Also, my 3 Black Princes are "decent" plants at 4 ft but "heavy" producers at 20-25 tomatoes each. My Orange Russian & Orange Strawberry plants are all "vigorous" plants at 6-7 ft each but "average" production at approx 15 each (although tons of blossoms now). Aunt Ruby German Green & Hillbilly are "vigorous" plants at 6-7 ft but so far scant production ranging from 4-9 tomatoes each (although tons of blossoms - all tomatoes set w/in last week). Then, of course Yellow Brandywine is a "scant" producer at 1 tomato & some blossoms as well as Prudens Purple at 0 tomatoes & lots of blossoms. But, still, some of my "decent" producers may turn into "heavy" producers as many of them just started fruiting these past 2 weeks & have 10+ tomatoes.

Therefore, what does "heavy" or "light" producers or "vigorous" plants meant to you in your garden? Thanks for the insight!

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Personally, I associate vigorous with overall size and speed of the plant's growth rate, with or without fruit set.

Heavy production ,in my short growing experience, is somewhere around 20 pounds of fruit. Small or large.

Take care,

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:39PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Production is usually in terms of lbs. of fruit rather than number of fruit. 20 lbs. is a good approx. seasonal average production so quite a bit more would be "heavy" and quite a bit less would be "light".

I tend to use the labels excellent, good, and minimal when describing production in my notes.

Vigor in plants means more than just plant size to me - includes over all health, color, well spaced nodes, leaflet number and size and shape, diameter of secondary stems compared to primary, etc.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:54PM
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Thanks guys! This is all more complicated than I thought. I don't have a kitchen scale & have never weighed food. Do you weigh your harvests or guestimate based on average size in ounces/lbs & production. Plant vigor other than size makes sense although I don't know anything about leaflets & nodes. But, certainly understand about color, stem comparisons & disease resistance (or lack thereof). Thanks for the info, as I'm keeping track of my plants performances for next year's roster.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:18AM
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Just bought a small scale this yr expressly for tomatoes. My biggest so far is one pound but I have several that are quite a bit larger but still green. I was surprised how big a tomato had to be to weigh a pound. The avg large supermarket tomato weigs about 12oz. Also tickled with the size of Burpee Sunny Boy....first time growing this one and it is a dandy, hybrid or no. Porterhouse ditto!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:59AM
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