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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Tomato - Snow Fairy

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Post  sanderson 9/3/2021, 3:32 am

I'm sorry the plant bit the dust this season. There's always next year. Very Happy

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Post  markqz 9/6/2021, 6:23 pm

I went out and did some hand-pollinating with a toothpick a couple days ago. It seems to have helped:

Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 DEh0wwT

Now I have an Equate electric toothbrush to try, whenever things cool off.
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Post  markqz 10/9/2021, 3:26 pm

One by one, I've learned the hard way that these plants need staking. Although they're stout and short (just like teapots), their roots are fairly shallow. When the tomatoes get bigger, the weight is too much.

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Post  sanderson 10/10/2021, 12:40 am

I see lots of babies! It looks like you pruned the lower stems or there would be more.

I use 1' diameter small tomato cages ($2-4). I snip off a potion of the legs to where the lowest rung sits on the MM. I don't prune them until the first huge prolonged flush has passed and the lower leaf and fruit stems are ugly. Sometime in July (if set out on April 1). That's about 4+ months.

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Post  markqz 10/10/2021, 10:17 am

The only branches pruned were dead or dying. Some brown wilt attacks all the tomatoes I try to grow. The indeterminates escape by growing more and more branches. Not sure how the snows will do. I did a bit of hand pollination to encourage more fruit setting. Some of the larger plants still have flowers.

Four months? I was hoping for 3 months. Our weather is becoming more like that of Nova Scotia (Novia Scotia's summer, that is). But our days are becoming shorter by two minutes a day. Four months will mean mid November, and it will be dark at 5.

Edit:

This smartgardener site says Snow Fairies are from Russia. It also gives a timeline for growth that ends in October. It lists them as indeterminate, which I don't think is true. It mentions blight which occurs in humid areas. We check that box. Sometimes we get Santa Ana winds in November. That should bring down the humidity temporarily.

This site, seedstrust, also says they are Russian. It also promises 55 days! Those suggested times seem to be  for plants grown under lab conditions.  55 days would have ended two weeks ago!
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Post  markqz 10/11/2021, 12:05 pm

Some are finally turning color:

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Post  sanderson 10/12/2021, 4:19 am

They're blushing!! I'm jealous, as right now I am pulling out 14 other tomato plants and may even pull out the SF if husband wants to elevate the SF bed off the ground this fall. Your SF should grow all winter unless you get near freezing. They are from Russia, you know. Razz

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Post  markqz 10/16/2021, 4:46 pm

First one "harvested". It was getting cracks so had to come down. Haven't tried it yet.

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Post  sanderson 10/16/2021, 9:30 pm

Very Happy

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Post  markqz 10/18/2021, 12:44 pm

Disaster! An opossum (or maybe skunk) rampaged through the beds. It took out mostly freshly planted lettuce, but also one of the SF:


Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 Vv8pS6D

I've restaked it and moved MM back into place. I just can't figure out where all the MM has gone.
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Post  sanderson 10/19/2021, 12:53 am

Dastardly creature!

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Post  markqz 10/22/2021, 1:22 pm

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Post  sanderson 10/24/2021, 11:40 pm

The first batch of the season (May-July) seem to be perfect. Some of the ones that are late ripening here, in October, are cracked like some of yours.

How do they taste? I know they are not luscious like Cherokee Purple, but I find them quite good for patio-sized tomatoes.

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Post  markqz 10/29/2021, 3:56 pm

sanderson wrote:How do they taste?  I know they are not luscious like Cherokee Purple, but I find them quite good for patio-sized tomatoes.

They're ... tomatoey. Definitely tomatoey. Sorry I can't be more exuberant than that.  But tomatoey is good, right? I like that fact that in only 3 months I actually had tomatoes, rather than tomato foliage, which is what a lot of the tomatoes I've tried have yielded. 

So far only two of the plants look like contenders for over-wintering.

Now the question is, how many tomatoes should I retain for seeds?
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Post  sanderson 10/29/2021, 5:55 pm

Tomatoey is a decent description.  Not super like Cherokee Purple, but definitely with some decent flavor and acidity.

They don't have a lot of seeds so 2 - 10 should be enough.  When I had more than I could eat or can, I would sacrifice the whole tomatoes.  At the end of the season, I started cutting them across at the "waist" to remove the jelly and floating seeds, and eat the rest.  If picked too early, the seeds are still attached to the "womb".  I like this photo of a ripe tomato being squeezed for the jelly and seeds.
Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 Seeds_11

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Post  markqz 12/31/2021, 4:09 pm

A few more stragglers. There's probably a half dozen green one's on the vine, but don't know if they'll become full tomatoes or not. Overnight temperatures usually above 42F.

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Post  sanderson 12/31/2021, 5:15 pm

Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 3170584802 Do you think you will grow them again? Yours may ripen down in the far SW corner of the US. More sunlight. And, even continue growing larger in the spring. I know peppers are or can be perennial down there.

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Post  markqz 2/15/2022, 12:20 am

I have 7 squares currently occupied by snow fairies. I'm going to need  to pull most of them because they're languishing and I need the space. But I might keep this one after trimming off the dead wood. Very late last year I had this epiphany (and you know how painful they can be) that the brown wilt might be a form of mildew. So I've been spraying the plants with milk to help egg them along.

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Post  yolos 2/25/2022, 12:48 pm

I am trying Snow Fairies again this year.  I have three plants that I seeded on 2/10.  I have an area in my SFG that is 2' by 4' where I want to plant them.  About how far apart do you plant them.  
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Post  markqz 2/25/2022, 4:25 pm

yolos wrote:I am trying Snow Fairies again this year.  I have three plants that I seeded on 2/10.  I have an area in my SFG that is 2' by 4' where I want to plant them.  About how far apart do you plant them.  
Wow! I was thinking it was too early to start, but yours are doing great with only two weeks growth.

Most of mine I planted 1 per square foot. One or two squares had two plants. They didn't grow real tall and they didn't have a tons of foliage. So I'm thinking that they would probably do alright 2 per square kitty-corner.

I guess I should see if any of my saved seeds will germinate.
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Post  sanderson 2/25/2022, 4:42 pm

Yolos, I plant mine 1/square with small tomato cages that are 1' diameter at the top ring.  Real SFG gardening.   Razz   At some point I tie the the top rings together for stability. Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 Tomato44

Mark, yes it's time to start the seeds. Mine sprouted 3 days ago, and I am late this year. Mother Nature cooperating, summer plants will go into the beds around April 1.

Now that the bed is back up in the air, I will be able to harvest and trim spent lower branches sitting on my purple throne (gardening stool.. Tomato - Snow Fairy - Page 2 Table_78

Photo showing the stool in purple. https://www.gardeners.com/buy/kneeler-tool-pouch/34-315.html

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Post  markqz 3/12/2022, 9:31 pm

I want to call them "Star Fairies" so I can say "SF: TNG"

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Hopefully they didn't cross breed with the perennial pear tomatoes.


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Post  sanderson 3/13/2022, 4:21 am

Razz

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Post  markqz 3/17/2022, 10:22 pm

The last Snow Fairy of 2021, or maybe the first of 2022.  Depends on how you look at it. Although I nursed this particular plant through the harsh, bitter winter, the plant itself is not thriving. So I'll probably use it's square for something else.

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Post  sanderson 3/18/2022, 5:14 pm

Or plant a new SF seedling. It may just be tired. I have 12 little SF starts planted with another 3 in reserve in case I want more.

PS: The Cherokee Purple seeds you sent me have germinated! Thank you

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