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Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Posted by seysonn 7b WA/HZ 1 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 8:47

For the seasoned Gardener, with a lot of experience and resources (acreage, supplies, equipments) It can come automatic, just like riding a bicycle. But for the rest of us with less experience and very limited resources, things are not that simple. Need to struggle a bit.
So the best way to cope with this situation(IMO) is to do some homework , shop around, search and plan. You might not be able to realize everything you plan, but "A PLAN" is better than NO PLAN.

I, myself, have to deal with the footage and short/cool season limitations. In other words, I do not have the luxury of trying everything I like, in terms of variety and quantity. I need to narrow down my choices to about 10 to 12 plants, at the most. And I have to focus on early and mid season varieties
Needless to say, that I want to grow for taste and for some reasonable production .

With those in mind, I am studying the possibilities. So far, I am almost decided on the followings:
STUPICE
SUNGOLD
BLACK PRINCESS,
SWEET N NEAT

considering:
Rambling Red Strip (DTM~45)
Oregon Spring (DTM ~60)
Bloody Butcher (DTM ~55)
Black Krim (DTM ~80)
Costaluto (DTM ~80)
Persimmon (DTM ~80)
Mortgage Lifter (DTM ~80)
German Johnson (DTM ~65)

OK. Lets see what your plans are.
Do you care to comment about my preliminary selections?
I would certainly appreciate them.

Thank you

**************************************************************
EDITION, REVISIONS:
In this part I will revise my previous choices:
8/30/13: : A) Add Paul Robeson, ,,, Isis Candy, Cherokee Purple,

This post was edited by seysonn on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 13:01


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I grow about 30 plus varieties every year and prefer OP/heirlooms. Part of my joy has been hosting large plant swap in the spring and distribute several hundreds of tomato seedlings to gardeners- my personal war with green lawns. LOL
For my personal use I realized that I am growing just too many cherries and need to switch more to paste canning tomatoes.
Speaking of cherries, I was browsing old posts the other day and found recommended by Carolyn Blush and Magila Rose, so placed my order with Seeds of Change. I really really like Isis Candy which is at its best right now, wonderful tomato. Also will be growing Brandywine Cherry and Medovaya Kaplya for first time.
I have grown Black Krim for several years and for me other varieties perform bit better. Paul Robeson and Purple Russian are more productive and better tasting to me year from year. For this year discovery of dark ones I really loved Pierce Pride with its buttery smokey flavor and Amazon Chocolate for being early for such outstanding tomato, great taste, production was so so, def likes cooler weather but am hoping for better produce next year.
Sungold and Black Cherry are forever on my list and I have some other eariles to try this year.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I feel the same way, and only have room for 18 plants at the most. I need to grow more early (and tasty) varieties so that I don't have to wait until August for my tomatoes.

I will be growing Stupice again and trying Bloody Butcher, Isis Candy and Momotara. I will be participating in a seed swap, so hopefully, I will get some early ones that are supposed to be good, such as Kimberley, Peace Vine, Matt's Wild Cherry and Honey Drop.

I grew Black Krim this year, but preferred the taste of Cherokee Purple which is similar. CP was early for me too, so will definitely grow it again next year.

I thought the best tasting tomato in my garden was Rose de Bern, although she suffered a lot of BER when nothing else did.

I always grow cherries as I love them in salads and for snacking. Black Cherry and Reisentraube were surprisingly tasty this year, and my OP Sweet Million was great as always, and larger than most cherries. I also plan to grow Blondkopfchen, which I recently tasted and thought it very tasty.

Linda


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 12:47

In 7b why do you have to "deal with the short/cool season limitations"?

I understand that zone 7b Washington isn't the same as zone 7b in Arkansas but many Washington state tomato growers don't consider theirs a short/cool season, especially when compared to the limitations that exist in many other parts of the country.

Make sure you aren't imposing unnecessary limitations on yourself, especially when many of them are easily eliminated.

Dave


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

In 7b why do you have to "deal with the short/cool season limitations"?
*********************************************
Dave,
As you said, zone 7 here is not the same as zone 7 in AR, for example. Technically, we have relatively LONG frost free growing season and mild winters. That is what USDA zoning means. But one month of each end is really rainly and too cold for tomatoes. (I am talking about Seattle area, to the west of Cascade Mountains. If you drive less than one hour East, you will have totally different climate.)
The rest of the season, also is not really hot either. For example our HEAT ZONE is 1; This means that RARELY HIGHS REACH 86F AND BEYOND. and also our night time low temps RARELY stay higher than 64FNormal is 56F-62F
Most tomatoes(per my experience) love heat, not of course in triple digits. I think 85F to 90F for the highs is ideal.
As of Early September, our high will be around 67F(+/- 3) and lows around 49F(+/-2). Some time in october the rain season will start.
So as you can see, I am trying to be realistic and not to fool myself.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

S...I feel you are doing the right thing....and putting thought into your plantings. Five miles can make a huge difference in weather/conditions. Many people from areas like the Mid-West may not understand the strong influence of Big Blue. Here in SoCal...I have very nice growing weather. So, I should continue to get better, and grow wonderful toms. Although technically a novice...I have studied hard this season to improve. My most-loved tomato this year is Cherokee Purple. Next year I want to try Black Krim, Suddoth's (sp) Brandywine, Sungold, and Big Beef. Lots of good feedback on these....


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I personally find Oregon Spring to be relatively tasteless and Bloody Butcher is just average and not as productive as you might expect. Kotlas and Stupice are better, in my garden. Which Costoluto are you talking about? Costoluto Genovese? Costoluto Fiorentino? There are others, the Fiorentino was better, to me, but I found both of the above to be lacking in anything that would recommend them and I never grew them again. I definitely agree with your choices of Sungold, Black Krim, Mortgage Lifter. And I would recommend you might try Jaune Flamme (it is just DIFFERENT), RED Brandywine (NOT standard Brandywine, also known as Pink Brandywine, Sudduth's, etc.), Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Chocolate, Black Cherry, and there are a LOT more.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Fc..... about Costoluto, I just got the description as "Italian C..", from Renee' Garden website.
They have that in a TRIPLE combination with Black Krim and Persimmon. Since I am already growing BK, I can save my own seeds. So then if Costoluto is not that good, I will just scratch that option.

What do you think this "Rainbow" Triple combo:
=== Brandywine Amber
=== Green Zebra
=== Marvel Strip
I have decide to stop growing BW. I don't know if this one is much different.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I grew Green Zebra for three years. It's productive and interesting in a salad, but I had a difficult time determining when it was ripe, and when it is over-ripe (very yellow) it tastes horrid. I won't grow it again.

Linda


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

But one month of each end is really rainly and too cold for tomatoes.

That was my point - 1 month on either end can be fixed with just WOWs or clothes or a low tunnel and give you a full normal 7b season. Easy to do with only 10 or so plants.

Even here I can extend my season by 6 weeks into almost a zone 8 season with various types of season extenders. Needless to say I don't try to do it with 100 plants but a selective 10-15 plants is easy.

HIGHS REACH 86F AND BEYOND. and also our night time low temps RARELY stay higher than 64FNormal is 56F-62F

Sounds almost ideal for tomatoes in many respects.

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with limiting yourself to mid-season varieties but earlies lean heavily to the bleh side in flavor.

Agree on the Green Zebra - IMO it should be allowed to die off. :) Look at Ball's Beefsteak (I), Bella Rosa (D), Eva Purple Ball (I), Jetsetter (I), Northern Lights, Tie Dye, and Old German for multi-colors (all I).

Dave


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I grew Stupice for the first time and although the tomatoes were early, they didn't have much flavour. I'm undecided about whether I would grow again. I love Black Krim, and it always does well for me. Cherokee Purple seems to be a little slower to ripen this year. I am growing Persimmon for the first time and I have two perfect specimens ripening on the counter right now - can't wait to try those.

The black and green zebra tomatoes I grow more for novelty purposes than for flavour; they look great in a salad with other heirloom tomatoes.

I grew both Sungold and Sunsugar this year and I would have to give the edge to Sunsugar for flavour. My Isis Candy is producing and although it is a very nice looking cherry tomato, it isn't as sweet as I was expecting.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Donna, I agree about Sunsugar being a bit better than Sungold. Both are delish, but Sunsugar, for me, is a bit larger and doesn't crack as readily.

Brandy Boy should not be discounted just because it's a hybrid. (That is, if you're a OP purist.;-)) It holds the benefits of a hybrid (resistance/yield) and the flavor of an heirloom. (See free shipping post from Burpee this weekend if you think you're interested.)


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks , fellows. Appreciated you comments. Definitely I will take them into consideration. I will look into WOW and Low Tunnel approach, as Dave suggested.
Donna,
I also kind of like Green Zebra as a novelty and a change from the ordinary. I am sure it should be ok in salad.
I am not a heirloom/OP purist. I will consider BrandyBoy. I have read good review by Hudson.

Thanks again.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I have grown several green varieties including Zebra, I like variety of shapes and color in my salad. This said I can not figure out when they ripe, seems I always miss. This year I am growing Green Doctors Frosted and still can not get it right. OTOH Green Zebra Cherry is very nice and because of the red color presence I can easily say when it is ready. Green Zebra Cherry has nothing to do with Green Zebra BTW


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

seysonn
I also have to deal with limited space and with short/hot season limitations that are more similar to your short/cool season problems than you might think. I focus on early and mid season varieties for the most part, as well as varieties that can thrive and produce at extreme temperatures. In the Spring I plant out well before the last frost date in order to get tomatoes ripened before July's triple digit temperatures end my season. For the Fall season I set out tender seedlings in those same triple digit temperatures in order to get fruit to set just before the days become to short and the nights to cold. Next Spring I plan to try New Big Dwarf and Anna Russian, both are fairly early pink tomatoes that make good sized and tasty fruit. Anna Russian is also said to to be able to withstand and produce in extreme temperatures both hot and cold. Rumi Banjan is a small slicer that I plan to try next Fall. It is a little later, call it an early-mid season, but it is reputed to thrive in the heat and to be a very strong producer of delicious fruit late into the cool fall weather. Although I'm struggling with inexperience a bit myself I think that any of these could work well for you.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

AblindHog,

Thanks for your comments. We all do have some limitations and are faced with challenges, don't we . To me, this adds some spice to gardening. Imagine a perfect climate that you had no difficulties and everything you planted grew without any problems ! That would've been no fun. Everybody could do it.

This was my first season of gardening in PNW and learned few thing here. I used to garden in North GA (zone 8a) before, and faced the same things that you are talking about.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Going GOOD .

So far I am almost decides on my choices . Here they are:
Essentials:
-----------------------
STUPICE (Early )
SUNGOLD(y. cherry)
SWEET RED(cherry)
SWEET N NEAT (cherry, red & Gold, plant in pots)
.EARLY GIRL (Productivity, Early)
BLACK KRIM (Taste)

Supplements:
......................................
GREEN ZEBRA (Novelty)
MARVEL STRIPE(Novelty)
MORTGAGE LIFTER (Memorial)

Possibly
..................................
PERSIMMON
BLOODY BUTCHER
................................

Disclaimer: Subject to additions and deletions. Haha


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Our Mortgage Lifters always bear before many of the others that we have grown, so I can definitely recommend them. One year, we even had ripe ML's before the Early Girls started breaking color. If you are interested in a green-when-ripe, we really love Big Zebra. Also having tried Sungold and Sunsugar, we have had the best luck, and prefer the flavor of, Sunsugar. Just my 2-cents! I do agree about planning... because of needing to rotate my entire garden yearly I have to take into account which types of veggies I can plant in the areas that get more shade so I can't just walk down the seed aisle grabbing packets willy-nilly. But on the other hand, it makes yucky winter days more tolerable, planning and dreaming of the next summer to come! Happy gardening to you. :^)
Edie


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks Edie,

I will then plant ML with added confidence.
Plus , I wiil consider adding SUNSUGAR .


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I'm giving my two cents worth. Love Sunsugar, far superior to sun gold. Hate Green Zebra. Weird tomato IMHO. Anna Russian has been a nice surprise. Aunt Gerties Gold also great and mid season tomato. Bloody butcher was very good. Black from Tula 65 days very delicious. I definitely want to try Brandy Boy. And brandywine Sudduth actually was good to my surprise. Black Krim as been slow but tasty. I'm trying some new varieties next year. A few more orange ones like Valencia and Azoychka, Amana Orange, Amy's Apricot, some reds as well like Neves Azorean Red, Italian heirloom, Red Penna, Reisentraube, and a few more I am debating about.
I definitely won't be growing Black Russian or Black Pear or Druzbra. Or Orange Strawberry. Still debating about the GWR'S. aunt rubys German Green has been so so.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Seysonn,

I like your followings.

On the considerings: In my garden/climate, German Johnson is not earlier than Mortgage Lifter. I’ve never seen it produce at or about 65 days.

Of stated responses, I agree with fcivish, but with adding Mountain Princess and Black Prince to the considerations. I will never grow Early girl again, so I cannot recommend it.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks Guys,
So many good recommendations, but too little space.
I may drop Green Zebra and replace it with Anna Russian or Aunt Gerties Gold.

I am anticipating an exiting 2014 season.

Happy Gardening !
.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

if you set on something greenish looking novelty, heartily recommend Malachitovaya Shkatulka http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Malakhitovaya_Shkatulka#tab=General_Info
name is mouthful but tomato is great and kinda easy to differentiate when ripe because it gets yellow tone. Very popular in Russia too and trust me, Russians do not have or like green tomatoes LOL


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Seysonn,
If you want to try a delicious green, you may want to try "Aunt Ruby's German Green'.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I don't think you'd need to grow both Stupice and Bloody Butcher...they are both early small red tomatoes; I think Matina might be similar.

I tasted the Persimmon tomato and it was good, not a lot of gel and seeds. The plant was very healthy but it wasn't very prolific, only produced about three tomatoes per plant but these tomatoes were a good size and in perfect condition.

I was on the fence about Isis Candy but I have since had some that were very sweet and flavourful. I would grow these again.

Here is one more suggestion - Japanese Black Trifele. I've grown these for a couple of years now, and they are prolific and taste good.

Edit to add: I grew Sweet Baby Girl cherry tomatoes and they were perfect little jewels that tasted like...blah. No flavour whatsoever...will not grow again. Sweet 100's or Sweet Millions would be my choice for red cherry toms.

This post was edited by Donna.in.Sask on Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 12:29


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Unless you have a thing for cherry tomatoes ,I would think 4 plants is alot .... If it were me I would only go with two cherry plants at the most and try something else.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I tasted the Persimmon tomato and it was good, not a lot of gel and seeds. The plant was very healthy but it wasn't very prolific, only produced about three tomatoes per plan
**************************************************************
thanks Donna,

So, Persimmon is scratched out and probably BLOODY BUTCHER. I want different kinds/size tomatoes.

@Macbeth,
I am planning on no more than 3 cherry types in ground.

@Linda,
I cannot grow something with a name that long LOL

For bigger cherry, I'll probably go for CHADWICK at Carolyn's recommendation.
After a lot of consideration, I have decided to grow Early Girl again. Not so much because it is early, but because it is the most productive tomato plant I have ever grown. We have been harvesting since mid July and right now it is loaded. Maybe over 50 tomatoes. Lots of them are about 8 oz, some smaller. Taste is ok.

So here is my revisin:

STUPICE
SUNGOLD
SUNSUGAR
CHADWICK ...
EARLY GIRL
BLACK KRIM
MORTGAGE LIFTER
SWEET N NEAT (IN POTs)
AUNT RUBY'S (or AUNT GERTI'S)
CHEROKEE PURPLE.

That is about my limit .
lets read your list !


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Seysonn, why sun gold and sun sugar? Just go with sun sugar! What about brandy boy? Aunt Gerties Gold is earlier than Aunt Rubys German Green and better tasting IMO.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

In my NY zone 5 Aunt Gertie's Gold is much later than ARGG and I don't compare the tastes of those two b'c the green when ripes have a distinctive taste all their own and there are plenty of them that I like much better than ARGG

ARGG was perhaps the first really large GW ripe and I met Aunt Ruby's niece when I was at SSE one year and we had a great talk, But since then many other GWRipes have come along and a couple of us had predicted that the next fad,after the so called blacks would be the GWRipes, and that certainlyhas happened.

Carolyn


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Well thanks Ladies, but stop confusing me, please. I need an Auntie. I got to have an Auntie . LOL

And the winner is: ..Aunt Gerties Gold.
And I need a sunshine on my shoulder too. will see.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I want to put in a good word for green zebra - It is my first year with them and they are my slowest plant, but I just ate my first ones yesterday and really really liked them. So far I dont have a problem telling the ripeness. Pick them when they start showing yellow, eat them when they ave the right firmness/softness.

Kosovo have been my most productive tomato, mine are small, (like a roma in size), but I'll be getting at least 70-80 from the plant.

Prudens Purple have been my largest tomatoes this year, and possibly the best tasting ones - to my palette. (I havent grown Cherokee Purple)

Another favorite this year has been Belmonte, probably because they are such beautiful pear shaped tomatoes, but also, nice sized, prolific and tasty.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Seysonn, not to confuse you more, but really Black from Tula is a great black tomato. Much better luck with it than BK. glad AGG is your choice. You won't be disappointed.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I really do feel a need to put in a good word and defend Green Zebra here.

One of the biggest problems with the green tomatoes is that most people aren't confident in them, and they let them ripen way too much. I agree that Green Zebra, Green Grape, Evergreen, and almost all of the green tomatoes have this same problem. When they are over ripe they are absolutely and simply horrid. Unfortunately, that is how most people eat them.

Yet done properly, they are delightful. Green Grape (when it isn't too ripe) has a nice sweet-tangy flavor. Green Zebra, when it isn't too ripe, is something special. Aunt Rubys German Green is one of my top 10 favorite tomatoes. Period.

Here is the trick with Green Zebra (and Green Grape and most green tomatoes): First, get used to TOUCHING your tomatoes. Not just these, but others, so you can learn some comparison. An unripe (green) tomato, no matter WHAT its eventual color should be, will always FEEL unripe and hard. But when a tomato is significantly on the way to ripeness, it will begin to soften. THAT is when you pick and eat Green Zebra, and the others. In addition, Green Zebra and Green Grape (but not all green tomatoes), will start to blush just a bit yellow. A tint to part of the outer skin (but the flesh remains green, and most of the skin is till clearly very green). That is when you should pick them and eat them. And they should still have just a bit of firmness, LIKE YOU WOULD EXPECT WITH ALMOST ANY TOMATO. No matter the color or variety, any tomato that is too soft is almost surely over ripe, and past its flavor peak. (Paste tomatoes possibly being one exception.) Some tomatoes tolerate this softness and over-ripeness, somewhat, but green tomatoes are almost universally undesirable when they are too soft and over ripe. In addition, Green Zebra and Green Grape and some other greens will eventually start to get ORANGE tints to their skin. That is usually going too far. Just a slight hint of orange might be okay, but if there is very much orange at all in the skin, it is too ripe. Other green tomatoes don't get this orange, but they frequently get very dark green (not the medium green you would expect). Again, too ripe.

Green varieties of tomatoes are delicious. If you haven't tried them, you really should. You owe it to yourself to experience them, when ripened to the right degree. Far from just a novelty, they are very WORTHY of inclusion by any tomato connoisseur. But they are a BIT more difficult than a standard tomato, because you need to be able to judge their ripeness, without the OBVIOUS color change that comes to red tomatoes. If you learn to gauge ripeness by feel and the subtle color changes, it will also help you with orange, black and purple tomatoes, all of which are also sometimes difficult to gauge properly.

So please experiment. Try them. And pick some of them as soon as they start to show a sign of softness. What do you have to lose? Are you afraid it might be TOO GREEN? So what? Deal with it. Then give them just 3 or 4 days and try again. Once you learn it, you will be happy you did.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Fcivish, I agree that the green toms are delicious if you know when to pick them and eat them. It's a challenge for sure. After several years of growing green zebra I stopped b/c I always had issues of BER with it no matter what I did. I agree if I ate it at the right moment it was very tasty. This year I grew ARGG and its really good, but not enough for me to grow again next year.
That being said, I think with all the heirlooms I have grown most of them need to be eaten within a certain time frame. Once they get too soft, the taste is gone, awful in some cases. The blacks fall into that category as well IMO. It's a learning experience and I am narrowing down both my choices of blacks and yellows as well, and trying a few more pinks and reds.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Well, after reading all different views and comments over the so-called GREEN tomato varieties I have changed my my mind AGAIN in favor of GREEN ZEBRA,

--- Aunt Ruby's German Green, is just like unripe green tomato. There is no visual appeal there, to me.
--- Aunt Gerty's Gold actually is not a TRUE green tomato, as the name suggests it is just an orange yellow.

--- But I like Green Zebra's green-yellow stripy color pattern, And when cut, it has a different color pattern inside.

So, back to square one: GREEN ZEBRA(lol)


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

OK. It is getting closer to action time, ie, to start germinating. So I am all set (almost).

Despite some unfavorable comments on Green Zebra and Bloody Butcher and my own yo yoing , finally I am decided to grow both of them. In addition, I have two more determinants:

1) SIBERIA: claimed to be " An excellent cool weather variety, that can set fruits at low night temperatures. Small to medium sized tomatoes, productive, DET., 2 to 2 1/2 feet plant , will produces RIPE fruits as early as 48 days .."

This perfectly fits the bill for what I need.

2) SILETS: Determinant: Fruit size 10 -20 oz., Early (DTM = 65), Developed by Oregon State University (about 200 miles from here). It is developed for our PNW area's cooler weather. I am betting that it will do well.

Changes:

--- Matina instead of Stupice

--- Cherokee Purple, in place of Black Krim. My BK performed poorly past season.

Time to get to preparation work. I will sow early Feb.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I also have to defend green zebra. It's is a favorite in our house! VERY prolific and we love the flavor.
I second Cherokee Purple and Sunsugar.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Plan:
Germinate seeds using ProMix-MX synthetic soil using an electric blanket as a "DIY" large heat mat beginning of March. Transfer seedlings to 4" pots using ProMix-MX with light fertilizer and grow using T8 fluorescent lights (6500k color; 18 hours on 6 hours off). Grow and increase fertilizer as necessary. 1st week of May harden-off plants by slowly increasing amount of sunlight over a period of 7 days. Plant 2nd week of May with Tomato-tone amendment.

I grow my plants using a combination of a drop-line technique and a Florida Weave. This provides good support and circulation. I prune to only remove suckers.

I have three tomato locations:
Cherry growth (using a 8' 2x4's with netting)
Experimental patch (drop line technique using 8' 1x1 to make an A-frame scaffolding)
"Bread and Butter" patch (same as above)

I water all using drip irrigation.

Below is my 1st draft for choices this year. It's a combination of varieties I have grown in the past and done well with and "experimental" varieties that I'd like to try out.

Cherry
1. Sweet 100 (hybrid; always does great)
2. Black Cherry (OP; always does great)
3. Sun Gold (hybrid: very sweet with moderate harvest)
4. Dr. Carolyn’s (OP; stellar producer but takes a while to get going)
5. Riesentraube (OP; never tried will be my experimental variety this year)

Early Season
1. Heidi (OP; produced well for me and keep providing throughout the season; better than Kimberly)
2. Martina (OP; experimental this year)

Mid-Season
1. Gregori’s Altai (OP; huge tomatoes; very happy with the harvest I got last year)
2. Noir de Crimee (OP; good medium sized black tomato; has been one of my best blacks so far)
3. Golden Queen (OP; USDA Strain) - this succumbed to disease last year. I’m going to give it a try again b/c it is spoken of so highly

Late Season
1. Pineapple (OP; decent harvest; very tasty tomato)
2. Hugh’s (OP; great harvest; medium sized yellow/orange tomatoes)
3. Aunt Ruby’s (OP; experimental)
4. German Red Strawberry (OP; experimental)

Standard Plot (my “bread and butter” variety that I do in groups of three)
1. Black Cherokee (OP)
2. Kellogg’s Breakfast (OP; KBX strain)

Here's a list of varieties I'm interested in learning more about:

Red Cherry:
Amish Salad
Matt's Wild Cherry
Gardener's Delight
Isis Candy
Husky Red
Chadwick
Mountain Magic (HY)
Elfin
Green Cherry:
Green Zebra
Green Doctors
Green Doctors Frosted
Yellow Cherry:
Galina's

Bi-Color Cherry:
Blush
Black Cherry:
Indigo Rose
Early Season:
Pink Honey
Mid-Season:
Frembgens Rheinlands Ruhm
Eva Purple Ball
Stump of the World
Momotaro (HY)
Jet Star (HY)
Late-Season:
Gold Medal (Bi-color)
JD's Special C-Tex
Brandywine Red Landis Valley
Rose
Neves Azorean
Supersonic (HY)

smithmal


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks Smithmal, for your detailed plan, from pick, germinating to growing, irrigation

So far we have been mostly talking about our picks, Let's talk a bit about how to make it all happen, ie. SOWING and germination, and planting out.

My last frost date here is around mid April. So if the weather was warm and nice, I might even start plant out earlier and stand by to protect them.

So, lets say the earliest I can plant out is April 1st. WHEN SHOULD I START GERMINATING MY SEEDS ? I want to have real nice 8 to 10 inch seedlings. If I count back 8 weeks, then I should start roughly by early February. That is probably what I am going to do : THREE WEEKS FROM NOW.
In the mean time I'll be working on some slow growing peppers and eggplants.

Happy Gardening !
Not much time time left, folks. Before you know it Spring will arrive. I have been telling you this since last September : hahaha


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Well I can safely say last frost date in my area is end of May, beginning of June. I'm looking at germinating beginning of March in case I have some failed germination, which happened last year. I have tons of varieties, still debating on a few. I'm glad green zebra is successful but it just was always problematic for me, so it will be off my list again this year. That being said, I liked Bloody Butcher, definitely will not grow Black Russian. I wasn't nuts about Druzba either and Black Krim is still a question mark. I'm looking at a hybrid Brandy Boy. Anyone grow Rutgers?


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Our last frost date is around April 1st. But we will have cool weather for several weeks after that. So I will start germinating my tomatoes around the 1st of February. That will give me about 8 to 10 weeks. Then I have a cold frame that I can shelter my seedlings while I am hardening them off.
So right now, lots of planning and preparation is going on.

This post was edited by seysonn on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 16:38


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

mmm, still have no plans and about 3 years worth of new seeds to try. Currently am thinking just will pull names out of the hat. LOL
Just got package from Tormato seed swap and oh boy, it is overwhelming.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Hey all, this is what I am thinking of planting this year.

- Ramapo (about 7) by Rutgers
- Moreton (1 or 2 to try) By Rutgers/Harris I think
- KC-146 (1 or 2 to try) By Rutgers
- Cherokee Purple unless their is a more prolific dark tomatoe with great taste? (1 or 2)
- 4th of July (2 to 3) By Burpee or may use last years unamed seeds that produced well.
- A Yellow tomatoe that is prolific? (I did Kellogs last summer but I think I planted them too late and had Blossom End Rot) But I think it was my mixture or container but also willing to try again.

I may also try the Rutgers from Rutgers, I think Rutgers University is selling it's seeds this year (not sure of the difference from other seed companies but they did not sell the seeds at least by my knowledge last year) But rumor has it from their site that they are on the trail to bring back the original "retro rutgers" within a few years. I can't wait

I am also open for suggestions from a Burpee variety. I am interested in Big Daddy, Brandy Boy or Super Sauce. These will be mainly for making gravy.

This post was edited by thebutcher on Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 12:49


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

thebutcher,

I admit that I don't have alot of knowledge regarding hybrid tomatoes. What is your experience with the Ramapo tomato. Looks like a black tomato, what is the taste like, size of tomato, leaf style, etc. There isn't much on it at the NJ ordering site.

For a yellow tomato, I've had good success with Hugh's. It pretty prolific, provides fruit relatively early and keeps pumping them out until frost.

smithmal

Here is a link that might be useful: Hugh's Tomato Info


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

It is that time of the year again. Germinating season is almost upon us.
Today I bought one more variety seeds: Burpee's EARLY TREAT (Hybrid). It says DTM =49. I hope so. I have another similar EARLY, ie. Bloody Butcher. I can't wait til FEB to start germinating them.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Smithmal, I use electrical blankets for years as heating mats, they work great. From varieties you are looking for opinions
Red Cherry:

Gardener's Delight- very steady year from from year
Isis Candy- favorite forever

Green Cherry:
Green Zebra
Green Doctors
Green Doctors Frosted- better than GD but still I miss lot since I can not get when they ripe

Bi-Color Cherry:
Blush- great looking for salads
Black Cherry:- like a lot
Indigo Rose- love for many things
Early Season:
Pink Honey- low production, great taste

Stump of the World- very late for me but well worth the wait
Momotaro (HY)- great
Jet Star (HY)- forget it


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

@smith

I grew 5 of them last year and each one was prolific which high yields also the taste was great. I also gave Ramapo plants to about 5 other people and they said the same. I also grew 4th of July which was good also I used the Ramapo tomatoes mainly for tomato salad I was also to the point where I was giving out more tomatoes then eating.

I am 3 years into growing so no expert at all but I highly recomend it, aslo I heard great stuff about the Moreton which is similar to Jetstar I think? As for staking/caging this year I will invest in high quality cages, I staked them (not to good) and the vines shot everywhere mainly sideways (I also didnt prune) but each vine had many tomatoes. Just be cautious of how heavy they get.

For the yellow I will check out the hugh.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Last year from watching the long range forecasts I guessed that it was going to be a cold spring and didn't start my seeds until the middle of March. Right after germination I moved them to a popup green house. I had to bring them in a few times but they did really well and actually put some in the ground the first week of May because they were getting too large. Had to cover them for a late frost even. Can't really tell yet how it will go this year as far as the weather but probably won't think about starting anything until the first of March. I think the less time under the lights the better. I haven't ordered seeds yet but going to do that soon.

My preliminary list subject to change daily: :0

Green Zebra
Kellogg's Breakfast
Cherokee Purple
Pruden's Purple
Armenian
Neves Azorian Red
Italian Heirloom
Big Beef OP
Opalka
Stupice
Rutgers
Yellow Brandywine
Unknown German Red
Unknown German Pink

Welcome any comments or additions. Trying to grow about 10 new varieties each year and save seeds and regrow the favorites.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I am sticking with Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Striped German this year mostly. I will plant one Aunt Gertie's Gold and Pruden's Purple each for old times sake.

But I will also be planting 12 Big Beefs. 2 to grow as backup (because some years the heirlooms just dont produce at all), but mostly as grafting rootstock I am trying this year for half the heirlooms...


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

yardenman,

I am interested in grafting as well. Have you had experience with it in the past? What grafting technique are you using? Is there a reason you are choosing Big Beefs over Celebrity? I'm not convinced that the expensive rootstocks (Beaufort, Maxifort, etc) are any better than grafting onto a robost hybrid.

smithmal


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Hi,
this will be my third year of growing tomatoes. This year I want to grow primarily for drying, salsas, sauce and paste. I would like to learn how to can and also I just got a Vitamix blender, for which firmer tomatoes are recommended. However my husband likes large tomatoes for salads and sandwiches so at least one multitasking variety is needed as well.

I'm growing on a deck in Earthboxes (2 boxes, 2 plants per box) and very large ceramic pots. This is the list I've come up with so far from reading posts on here and online reviews:

BETTER BUSH VFN HYBRID (Compact indet. 68 days)
MARGHERITA VF HYBRID (Determinate. 72 days)
MOMOTARO (Indeterminate. 70 days)
NEW BIG DWARF (Determinate. 60 days)
OPALKA (Indeterminate. 75 days)
PRINCIPE BORGHESE (Determinate 80 days)
RUTGERS VFA (Determinate. 75 days.)

If anyone sees potential issues or gaps in this list, I'd be happy to know.

Deanna


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

@ Deanna

I like your picks for container growing. Good number of determinants and EARLY_MID season varieties. I am also leaning on the same side. I have about 4 DETS and few EARLY to MID varietie. Most of what I am going to grow are new and experimental to me like:
MATINA, SIBERIA, BLOODY BUTCHER, SILETZ, EARLY TREAT, GREEN ZEBRA, SUNGOLD, MOTGAGE LIFTER, ..

I will wait till mid Feb. to start germinating seeds.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks for the feedback, seysonn. This is the first time I've grown determinants. Last year I used Tomato Rings for staking indeterminants, hopefully they will work for the determinants as well. Sungold was one of those I grew last year. Everyone loved the taste. Very vigorous and still producing into October.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I am for sure growing:
Black Cherry
Grant County Pink
Dr Wyche's Yellow
Zeke Dishman
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Northern Lights
Grandfather Ashlock
Isis Candy
Cosmonaut Volkov
Grandma Viney's Yellow and Pink
Eva Purple Ball
Black Krim
Lenny & Gracies Kentucky Heirloom
Minnie's Pinstripe
Purple Dog Creek
Orange variety that I don't know the name of
Valencia
Brandywine
Pink Honey
Pineapple
Amana Orange
Riesentraube
Tommy Toe

I am tilling up another small patch to add to my garden so I will be able to add a few more tomato plants. These are my maybe tomatoes. I can add 5 or 6 plants.

Hillbilly (regular leaf). I grew thse last year and I really enjoyed them but I want to give Pineapple a chance. I have heard they taste the same.
Big Rainbow
German Lunchbox
Mortgage Lifter
Pink Oxheart
Indigo Rose
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
German Johnson
Black Seaman
Sugar Lump
Pink Ping Pong
Voyage
Yellow Pear
Red Pear

If anybody likes or dislikes any of the tomatoes from my second list, feel free to let me know. I have never tried any of them besides Hillbilly. I have seeds for all of them.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

If you're looking to trim that second list, I tried red pear at a tomato tasting event last summer and thought it was horrid. Yellow pear isn't very popular. I wouldn't grow Indigo Rose again. It's ok, but nothing special taste-wise.

Linda


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Here's my 2014 list:

These I have ordered from Darrel at Selected Plants; haven't gotten a confirmation but I am hoping that I will get all of them:
Estler’s Mortgage Lifter
Big Rainbow
Big Zebra
Cherokee Purple
Orange Oxheart
German Red Strawberry

These I will start from seed:
Chocolate Cherry
SunSugar
A red beefsteak hybrid that I picked up at the after-season sale at Discount DrugMart last fall, can't remember the name
June Pink (I must remember to get these ordered ASAP!)
And I think I will add a red cherry - any recommendations?

And all of this is assuming the ground will thaw out at some point!!! BRRRR!!!!

Edie


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Here's my grow list for 2014. Many of these came from the seed swap, and I had a heck of a time whittling it down to these few. There are some red cherries amongst them. I haven't grown ANY of these varieties before and am just going by various recommendations that I have gleaned.

Cherries:

Blonde Kopfchen
Brandywine Cherry
Chadwick Cherry (red)
Carbon Copy
Dr Carolyn Pink
Medovaya Kapyla
Purple Bumblebee
Sweet Linda (red)
Tommy Toe (red)


Brandywine Cowlicks
Costoluto Genovese
Eva Purple Ball
Fish Lake Oxheart
Momotaro (Hybrid)
Purple Haze
Pruden's Purple


Earlies:

Bloody Butcher
Jagodka (cherry) (container)
Kimberley
Sophie's Choice (container)

Linda


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Christacharlene,

My opinion on your 2nd list:

Pineapple: the most prolific bi-color I've tried so far. Other bi-color's I've tried include Lucky Cross, Marvel Stripe and Virginia Sweets. I'm trying Hillbilly this season.
Big Rainbow - no opinion
German Lunchbox - no opinion
Mortgage Lifter - everyone speaks highly of this so you might as well try it out
Pink Oxheart - no opinion
Indigo Rose - as the other poster noted, it would seem the IR is more for show than taste. I have it on my list for this season, but am thinking of crossing it off due to it's subpar flavor
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
German Johnson - everyone speaks highly of this so you might as well try it out
Black Seaman - no opinion
Sugar Lump - no opinion
Pink Ping Pong - I am growing this for the 1st time this season
Voyage - no opinion
Yellow Pear - this is on many people's "will never grow again" list. I have grown this and the flavor is very bland
Red Pear - no opinion

Of your list I would try Hillbilly and Pineapple (to compare), Mortgage Lifter, Pink Ping Pong and German Johnson.

smithmal


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thank you both Smithmal and Labradors for your opinions. My mother in law grew yellow pear and she said that she really loved them. Now I am wondering if what she loved was the novelty of the tomato. They do have an interesting appearance.

Marvel Strip is one that I would like to try...probably next year.

I grew hillbilly last year (regular leaf). The plants fruit production was a little less than mediocre (at least for me). Not good but not bad either. It was worth growing though because it is a pretty tasty tomato.

Picture is one of my Hillbilly tomatoes from last year.

This post was edited by Christacharlene on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 15:43


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I like that Marvel stripe. I bought one from store(as heirloom) that looked just like that and have saved seeds. I will plant one this year.

I am also going to grow "LEGEND". This has bee developed by the Oregon State university. It is now an OP. What is more is that it is early (~ 67 days), DET and LB resistant.

here an internet picture.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Started my seeds for this springs tomatoes on the 15th of January, to plant out in early March. As of today I have gotten 100% germination (three plants each) from,

Anna Russian
Legend
JD's Early Black
New Big Dwarf
Chico III
Juliet
Big Beef

Only 33% (1 of 3 each) from,
Rumi Banjon
Dona

And none at all from 3 each of,
Black Cherry
Bloody Butcher

Seeds for Break O' Day and Danko have yet to arrive. Will give my poor germinaters a couple of more days to make a showing before replanting.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

You are killing me ABlindHog. :) Still a good 4-6 weeks away from starting seed here where it's supposed to be around 0 tonight. I will be interested to hear what you think of Anna Russian. Was thinking about growing it this year but decided to hold off till next year. Was really wanting to grow a heart this year but not enough cages for everything I wanted.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Still a good 4-6 weeks away from starting seed here

@whosurtomato,
yeah. Tell me about it. I will start mine in about 2 - 3 weeks, like Feb 7 -15. Our temps are lingering between 30s and low 50s. This will last for months until the rain season ends.
I am just trying to restrain myself here. I have already started bunch of peppers. But then most peppers are slow growing.

I have about 12 varieties in my list. But it can go up or down.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I was feeling pretty snug this week with seeds germinating and temperatures in the mid to high 70s. I set out about a hundred and fifty onion transplants on Monday. Tomorrows forecast? SNOW!


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Freezing here in Montreal. Anna Russian is a great tomato and even though it looked like it was about to die, it produced great tomatoes, especially for sauces, and withstood some tough conditions. Give it a try.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I'm pretty much a newbie. I haven't had the opportunity to garden much being military. I always tried to have containers but I didn't always have luck with those. My husband retired in October so we are now in a place where we will be for a LONG time, (woo, happy dance). Anyway, I'm doing raised beds and I'm only doing three varieties due to space constrictions. I started my seeds on the 12th of January: Rutger, Roma, & Red Currant. I never realized there were SO many varieties and that there was early, mid, and late types. I'll have to read up some more on those and decide what I want and how to meet those demands. I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts, very informative!

~Viv


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Well, now after some reading I understand the whole early, mid, late thing. I could kick myself lol. All my toms will come mid season and I would've like to have as near to a steady stream as possible. Good thing I wanted to can some of these lol. The good news is that now I know for the next planting.

~Viv


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I'm afraid I've not done much research, and I want to get a few new varieties to try.

I just started germinating a few varieties I got at the local nursery.

Anyone have any recommendations for Texas 8a? I also want to start saving seeds, and building a collection for exchanges.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

VivVarbie - Yes, I recently found out the "official DTM" for those DTM descriptors is:

Early season = less than 65 days from planting outdoors to harvest (i.e. DTM)
Midseason = between 65 - 80 days
Late season = more than 80 days

Syntria - can't speak to the best tomatoes for 8a, but for seed saving and exchanging you're going to want to adequately protect your flowers from cross-pollination. You'll either need to:
1. Ensure that varieties are separated 25' or more (which few people can do)
2. Bag flowers before they open with barrier (Tulle fabric, etc.). Wait until all flowers set fruit, remove the barrier and mark the flower branch somehow so you know which fruits to harvest seeds from when they mature.

smithmal

smithmal

Here is a link that might be useful: Protection against cross pollination


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

syntria

For 8a in Texas I can unhesitatingly recommend

Jd's Early Black, For great tasting early and productive tomatoes.
Sioux, A very good red tomato that is productive and well suited to conditions here.
Juliet, My wife's favorite cherry thrives here.

Also see Texas A&M's Aggie Horticulture vegetable variety selector, for varieties specifically selected for your county. 8A in Texas covers a large and diverse area.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/veg_variety/


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Smithmal, thanks! I didn't realize that cross pollination was an issue and now I know how to keep it from happening. I appreciate the advice.

ABlindHog, what would be a good late tomato? I'm right on the cusp of 8A/B.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

VivVarble
I have had little success with late tomatoes as the heat shuts them down before they can really get going. Of those that I have tried I thought Cherokee Purple was the best overall for my location, but I have pretty much quit trying to grow anything that takes more than 80 days. Perhaps others can be of more help.


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Thanks ABlindHog. I was cruising the gardening section at Walmart earlier and happened upon some Cherokee Purple so I decided to grab some. I suppose we'll see what happens. Is it just the crazy heat or do you think shading them some would help? I'll definitely be saving some seeds for spring as well to start them early, early inside to see if that makes a difference. Thanks for your reply!

~Viv


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

I have had better luck with black and brown boar than with green zebra. Black and Brown Boar is a salad sized striped dark tomato. It was very productive here.

Here is a link that might be useful: black and brown boar


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RE: Next Season Tomato Planting Plans

Well, now after some reading I understand the whole early, mid, late thing. I could kick myself lol. All my toms will come mid season and I would've like to have as near to a steady stream as possible. Good thing I wanted to can some of these lol. The good news is that now I know for the next planting.

~Viv
***********************************
Well, that is NOT what EARLY, MID, LATE season means.
It just means about STARTING time of ripe tomatoes.
An EARLY can continue fruiting till the end of season . So does MID and LATE..
However, Some DETERMINANT varieties might produce for a short time. BUT not all EARLY and MID season varieties are determinants.
Tomato is not like BEAN, for example, To produce just one flush and then expire. Most tomatoes continuously produce, given that they are taken care of properly.


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