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A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant...

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A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant... Empty A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant...

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/6/2015, 10:40 pm

RIP my faithful friend.  You were one of my very first plants purchased and planted in my very first bed.  You produced untold hundreds of pounds of marvelous toms over three winters in my greenhouse!  So sad to remove your remains today  Sad

She got her start as one of four "Roma" tomatoes, only she wasn't.  We never figured out what kind of a tomato she was, but it was nothing short of amazing.

I'm cleaning up my greenhouse and getting ready to plant for the fall and winter in a couple of weeks.  The secret to winter harvesting is that you have things growing well into their growth cycle and they will slowly ripen in the less daylight of the winter.  

I also pulled a cherry tomato that we had for 3 winters.  I had to do it to clean up spider mites that had gotten into the greenhouse.  Time to try some of the new varieties I have.  I also have two plants that grew through last winter in pots, they're "Snow Fairy" tomatoes and are cold hardy down to 28 degrees if they don't have frost touch them.  

The tomato was the plant to the right of the lemon cucumbers at the back of the bed.  It was already 18 mos. old in this picture! 
A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant... 8-21-13-GARDEN-1_zps63d01955

What's the longest you've ever had a plant in your veggie garden that was and "annual?"
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Post  walshevak on 7/6/2015, 11:17 pm

Three summer, two winters for swiss chard.  Started in one of my table tops that I put a plastic cover over the first winter, dug it up and was going to discard it but my neighbor put it in a 5 gal bucket and kept in in her garage the second winter and in the yard the third summer.  

My son kept some super hot peppers over 1 winter in a plastic green house with a space heater inside, but peppers are only annuals in areas that have freezes so that may not count.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/7/2015, 1:01 am

That's cool!  I have swiss chard that's a couple years old and several peppers that are older than that.  I'm just now replacing those plants that have survived but are less productive now that new ones would be.  Striking that balance is hard some times.
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Post  Marc Iverson on 7/7/2015, 1:42 am

That's where I'm at with some incredibly tough kale I have -- survived a careless transplant wonderfully well -- that was very productive last year but now is producing far smaller leaves and concentrating on making seed pods. It seems beyond durable and produced so much the first year, but I'm not sure how long I want to keep it now that its leaves are so much smaller.
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Post  sanderson on 7/7/2015, 3:34 am

2 1/2 year old peppers in pots that I started from seed Feb 2013. Audrey, the Snow Fairy from your seeds is a steady producer. Nice red 2" tomatoes.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/7/2015, 5:19 pm

Sanderson, I'm glad to hear that with the problems you had with the last batch(es) of tomatoes!  Mine are really healthy and taking a bit of a break from producing as the heat has been so high + the greenhouse temp is higher even though the ends are open.  

I'm planting these four varieties in my greenhouse:
Mountain Gold (got from someone here in a seed exchange, can't remember who, Mark maybe?!)
A' Grappioli which is a cherry type tomato and keeps extra long when picked before a frost and will ripen as brought into the sun.
Juliet Plum tomatoes
Rutgers

We don't make sandwiches so small, salad type tomatoes are what we lean toward.
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Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 2:19 am

Audrey, Did you get the seeds for Snow Fairy from Baker? I will also grow Rutgers, Atkinson and Cherokee Purple again.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/8/2015, 11:14 am

I got them from Caleb Warnock's Rennaisance Seeds:  http://www.mcssl.com/store/calebwarnock/tomatoes

My cherokee purple last year were a dismal failure.  They rotted, every single last tomato and they were planted in 3 or 4 different locations in my garden.
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Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/8/2015, 11:24 am

Thanks for sharing that link, audrey.jeane!  I've been looking for a seed source to start an "apothecary square", and your link is perfect for some of the herbs I've had difficulty finding. 
A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant... 3170584802
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Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 11:45 am

Baker Creek (rareseeds.com) also has medicinal herbs. Their catalog is a must have for reading and drooling.

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Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/8/2015, 11:47 am

Thanks, sanderson!  2016 catalog ordered!   A 3 1/2 year old tomato plant... 3170584802
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Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 12:56 pm

Do they still have any 2015 catalogs? You can start browsing now if they would send you one. It is addicting so use restraint. Very Happy

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/8/2015, 12:57 pm

Beckie;
What I love about Caleb Warnock is he is an heirloom seed saver warrior!  He researches plants that were cultivated hundreds of years ago through books.  Then he tracks down those heirloom plants if possible.  If located he then grows them to preserve their lineage and for storing in seed banks around the world including for a few governments.  He's a one man operation and buying seed from him helps him continue his work.  

His book "Winter gardening" has been a great handbook for my growing all year around.  We're easy-peasy winter growing compared to where he is in Utah!
Audrey
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