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Crossing my fingers

Posted by sue_ct z6 CT (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 23:22

I have had some tomatoes, maybe 15-20, so although its been really bad, not as bad as some people who lost all their plants before getting one to late blight. But I have yet to taste my first Linnies Oxheart or Fish Lake Oxheart, and only had two German Red Strawberries. This is what is left on the vines. And the first temp below 40 degrees is expected tonight. Low of 39 predicted. This week we will only probably get 3 nights that it does not get below 50 degrees, although highs will be in the mid to high 70's. I just might cry if these all turn mushy, have poor flavor or freeze. So please, cross your fingers along with me, lol.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Crossing my fingers

Why don't you cove them with a blanket?


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RE: Crossing my fingers

If it gets down to frost temps I could do that. But I often find they just don't progress and ripen in the cold temps and the flavor and texture suffers a lot. If I could just get them to breaker stage I would pick them and let them finish inside.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Sue, what was the color of your Fish Lake Oxheart fruits and did you check the epidermis to confirm the color?

Or are they not yet colored up?

Thanks,

Carolyn


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RE: Crossing my fingers

They have not shown any color at all yet, Carolyn. Why do you ask? Are you suspicious they may not be correct? The two shown above are the Linnies Oxheart and the German Red Strawberry. Not sure I took a pic of the FLO unripened fruit. I keep thinking those light green LO will show SOME color any day but so far I have been disappointed.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I'm asking b'c if the seeds were from me from my 2012 seed offer elsewhere, some got pink fruits and some got the correct red fruits.

And I've been the major person distributing seeds for this wonderful variety

I did not list them in myJan 2013 seed offer b/c of the mix up. Even the person Igot seeds from, and he's the original source, sent out seeds to a few and some got pink fruits as well. So right now we don't know if it's an epidermis mutation that filp flops, or what

In addition, I always send seeds for trial to seed sites where I've known the owner for along time and seeds were sent to them as well.

Maybe you could share with me the source of your seeds, if you're comfortable with that,either puchased or from traded seed.

Several of us are trying to prevent someone renaming the variety to Pink Fish Lake Oxheart, or similar

Carolyn


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Yeah, at this time everything that ripens is a bonus for me at Chicago area. I have been looking at German Strawberry ones they sound great. Are they really that late or it was late planting?


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I am going to have to do a little research to find out, Carolyn. I don't have the seed packet in with most of my others, but I should be able to look up my orders for seeds online when I get a chance. There are several places I have ordered from in the last 2-3 years. I will let you know when I find it.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Sue, perhaps the link below will help.

Seeds only became available commercially in 2013 and if you click on seed availability at the site, only two sites are offering it.

Tania got her seeds from Neil, as I did, and she got pink hearts as well. When I grew it here at home I got the correct red fruits, but when I saved seeds and had three different seed sources for my 2012 seed offer, my seeds gave some reds and some pinks as well, as Tania also notes.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Fish Lake Oxheart


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I got them from Victory seeds. I was able to look up my order online.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Sue, I was pretty sure I had sent seeds to Mike at Victory seeds but just looked to be sure, and yes I did.

But Mike describes it as scarlet in color and I know he knows about checking epidermis colors.

I'll ask him about feedback for it but it looks like this is yet another example of flip flop with epidermis colors since you say you got pink from what he desctibes as scarlet.

He does his own seed production.

Carolyn


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I didn't mention that I got pink I don't think, because I have not had one show any color at all yet. I am still waiting for the first ripe fruit from both Fish Lake and Linnies oxheart. I have nice big lovely fruit but not a single ripe one yet. Driving me crazy, lol! But I will be sure to take a photo for you when and IF I do get a nice ripe one!


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Just thought I would follow up on this post. I was looking back on the few pitiful entries in my garden journal last summer (how many time can you write "nothing ripening", lol). Although I never got enough to can, we had a late season, and most of those tomatoes ripened. I had as many as I could eat fresh and was picking fruit until October 25. So I guess the morale is, patience is a virtue, and never give up as long as the plants are still alive. But boy it was the worst weather season I have ever experienced and the longest I have ever waited for a garden tomato. I never did find any available fresh at local veggies stands except one who purchased locally grown, greenhouse tomatoes. So I guess I was in good company. Here is hoping for a banner year. :)

Putting together my list of seeds to start for this year's garden,

Sue


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I never get such great production low on my plants like that. So while it is too late for last year, I would suggest covering them next year with 2 layers of clear plastic on the odd cold nights and hoping they will ripen even better on the last few weeks.

Glad you got some ripened though. I had some that stayed up against the Southern house foundation I picked in December (here in MD). They weren't the best, but they weren't the worst either.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

As I recall, I had tomatoes ripening in late August, though I didn't sell any until I brought them to market on 9/4 (skipped last market day of August due to death in the family). It was a short season though due to late blight and also picking green tomatoes due to (false alarm) frost advisories a couple of times. I did have some ripen in the basement until mid-November, but most rotted (a lot infected with LB and others bacterial or fungal diseases that didn't show when they were green). I did manage to can quite a few, and frozen a couple gallon bags of slicers (mostly hybrids) and a gallon of cherry toms.

I didn't see many tomatoes at market this summer - the guy up the road from me had Juliettes in late July or early Aug, and organic farm in Simsbury had Mountain Fresh at market starting in mid-Aug I think. The Juliettes were selling b/c they were early (relatively speaking), but the vendor who had Mountain Fresh and I weren't selling many in Sept, I don't know if people were just continuing to buy tomatoes at the grocery store, or if they'd found a local greenhouse source but nobody seemed to be excited about local field-grown tomatoes after Labor Day.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I was in similar situation past season. And I have been thinking about HOW to deal with it I have come up with few methods:

1) plant a lot more short season and/or DET vrieties. So far I have picked the following:

SILETZ, LEGEND, MATINA, BLOODY BUTCHER and EARLY TREAT.

2) I am going to extend my season from the FRONT end by:
== cold frame , == low hoop, == plastic mulch (to get the soil warmer early).

3) I am going to start growing my own seedling early and get them out as soon as possible.

4) Forget about all the LATE varieties. Anything with approx DTM of greater than 85 is scratched out.

JMO


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RE: Crossing my fingers

The ones ripening in August -early Sept *were* early-mid season (Cosmonaut Volkov, Latah, Rose de Berne, Grandma Mary's, SS100 and other cherries, plus the supposed "Independence Day" from Burpee). The problem last year was the foot of rain we got in June, followed by 9-10 days in a row over 95 degrees (and no rain) in July, and more torrential rain in August. I had to replant about half my tomatoes in late June, and the ones I didn't replace b/c I thought they might make it never produced much of anything, and not any earlier than the replacements did. Then the septoria, etc. hit...


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RE: Crossing my fingers

No, planting earlier would not have helped me at all last year, either. But planting later in pots did help a bit. Those planted after the rain ended produced a little earlier than the ones in garden. But planting earlier would help in many years so I am going to try to have plants ready by mid May instead of the end of the month, which is traditional around here. I am also doing the pots again. Even if we get a foot of rain, I can cover them if I have to and control it more. I did find the large tomato grow bags too heavy to move easily, but that is also possible if a little difficult. The biggest issue with them is the cost of the potting soil to do very many of them.

I would like to use plastic to cover the garden and warm the soil earlier. I will have to look into that.


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RE: Crossing my fingers

If rain was a big problem fo you, then I can assume that your garden does not have a good drainage. Perhaps you may consider planting on continuous hills rather than flat beds. Also, combining it with plastic cover can be effective in TWO ways: ONE, direct the rain water away, TWO: keep the soil warmer.

Another problem with too much rain is that it will wash down the nutrients beyond the reach of young plants. So you have to keep fertilizing even in the rain.
JMO


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Last year was unusual - 2ft of sandy loam raised bed didn't help. Although the soil didn't look saturated, most of my tomatoes just sat there turning purple for the whole month of June. There was plenty of P in the soil, but the N was getting so washed out (and no good fertilizing with it raining almost every day - I tried) that the roots couldn't take up the other nutrients and so the plants couldn't grow. Practically no root development all month, from what I saw when I pulled them.

The plants left in 4" pots until end of June didn't produce any earlier than the ones that had been in the ground, though they all did grow over the following 6 weeks or so. The healthiest-looking plants were the ones I had in 1 gal pots until July and then threw in at the end of the bean row - but I didn't prune them or string them up, just let them sprawl, they were all late-season (BW, CP) and before they started ripening I had a lot rot and/or sunscald.

Let's hope the weather will be a little more cooperative this year - much as I hated hauling water in 2012, it's better than the excess rain we had in 2013!


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I also have sandy loam, in a raised bed, with pure sand below that. I would have to look up the amounts I saw in my rain gauge but we are talking about 1-2 feet of rain per month. The soil never dried out. No growth at all for weeks. I finally did get the fruit in the photos above after many weeks of recovery. Thank goodness for late frosts last year that let me pick until late Oct. Confronted with the same weather again, I might try the plastic between rows so that a lot of the rain might run off. Don't know if that might help, but it was the closest I have been to no tomatoes at all. Without the good drainage I had I think the plants would have drowned, just rotted and died.

This post was edited by sue_ct on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 23:34


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RE: Crossing my fingers

Think about UMBRELLA , but for the plants feet instead of head.
plastic is cheap. If you have raised beds you can cope with too much rain by simply covering the beds such that the rain water runs off of it. Short hoops, when plants are short, is another option.
Rain in cool spring days, in addition to making the soil soggy, also cools down the soil and washes down the nutrient. In my experience, although tomatoes in general are tough and can stand the cold but will not grow and actually might become stressed. In this respect, soil temperature is more crucial than the air temperature.

JMO


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RE: Crossing my fingers

I forget what soil temp was and when I planted my beans last year, I don't think soil temp was the issue last year, after the scorching heat we had in late May and the first few days of June (that delayed planting). The soil might have cooled off some with all the rain in June, but really I think in my case it was just that the roots could not take up any nutrients, either b/c the N washed out even though P,K, Mg, etc. were still there, or b/c they were just wet enough that they didn't spread (though if you dug a hole in the bed on the rare day it wasn't raining, it wouldn't fill up with water, so I know the drainage was good). And then had lots of blossom drop with the heat wave in July. It was just a bad tomato year here - and worse for peppers.

Plastic might have helped if I had had it, and I'm going to be using low or high tunnel this year to get an earlier start (typically plant out May 23-27 but delayed last year b/c of heat and drought). But I'm still hoping for "perfect weather" this year - haven't seen any in the past 3 years (2 wet years with a drought in between does NOT count LOL)!


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