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2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?!

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Post  dizzygardener 2/8/2011, 10:34 pm

I think I'm probably nuts for doing this, but I'm seriously considering growing at least 10 varietals of 'maters.

I love 'maters and I'm having a seriously difficult time choosing just two or three types to grow.

Here's what I'm interested in trying (this year at least): Early Girl, Jelly Bean, Roma (for sauce), Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Big Rainbow, Money Maker, Mountain Pride, Siberian (to plant in March!), Empire, and Jaune Flamme.

There are others I'm interested in such as Sungold, Amish paste, Goose creek, Black cherry, Kellog's Breakfast, Black Krim, and Opalka. Those will probably have to wait for next year though. I've already spent enough on seeds. Shocked

What are you all planning to grow this year? What are your favorites? What didn't work for you?

As an aside, has anyone grown their tomatoes up a string? Is this a decent method of support for the maters? I'm trying to figure out a cost effective way to trellis these babies. The strings would be attached to a wooden "A" frame.

I'm so excited!
bounce chicken dance hyper :dancingpepper: alrighta yahoo weeee boogie woogie afro
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Post  CarolynPhillips 2/8/2011, 11:25 pm

you really don't want me to get started on tomatoes.

Growing this year


Tomato Brandywine--one of my favorites
Tomato Brandymaster Red
Tomato Brandymaster Yellow
Tomato Brandymaster Pink
Tomato Pineapple
Tomato Giant Tree
Tomato Italian Tree
Tomato Delicious
Tomato Mortgage Lifter
Tomato Big Beef Hybrid-great tomato
Tomato Big Beef Open Pollinated
Tomato Better Boy---to me this is the best flavor---so far
Tomato Super Sioux
Tomato Cherokee Purple
Tomato Indian Stripe
Tomato Large Red
Tomato Mexico
Tomato Black Prince
Tomato Beefsteak
Tomato Arkansas Traveler
Tomato Better Bush =the prettiest plant-5ft tree=stalkie
Tomato Caspian Pink
Tomato Beefmaster- huge fruits -early on
Tomato Sweet Million Cherry
Tomato Tommy Toe
Tomato Currant Sweet Pea
Tomato Rutgers
Tomato Marglobe
Tomato Homestead
Tomato Celebrity

obsessive tomato gardener.


Yes, you can train vines up twine by wraping the vine around the twine as it grows. Best done in the evening and not early morning cause vines are more crisp in the morning. As the day heats up the vines become more limber and less breaks. Also best if wrapped around twine before you water. Watering makes vines crisp.

some tomatoes trained up twine---and other photos--
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t4026-tomato-produce-greenhouse-sfg



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Post  The Cat's Other Mother 2/9/2011, 12:01 am

I've just started some seeds, and may buy plants later. I adore tomatoes, but hubby has recently been diagnosed with acid reflux and tomatoes and sauce are on his 'foods to avoid list'. So far I have started

Roma
Pink Ponderosa
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Cherry tomatoes
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Post  kimbertangleknot 2/9/2011, 12:13 am

The Cat's Other Mother wrote:I've just started some seeds, and may buy plants later. I adore tomatoes, but hubby has recently been diagnosed with acid reflux and tomatoes and sauce are on his 'foods to avoid list'. So far I have started

Roma
Pink Ponderosa
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Cherry tomatoes

My hubby has the same thing as well, has had it for 15+ years now. He cut out the caffeine completely and the smoking. He also doesn't have anything tomato based more than 1 day in a row and I use the elephant garlic because it's milder. I love tomatoes too, but I don't grow em' for him, they're all for me.

I've started:
Big Rainbow
Long Keeper
4th of July
Plum Lemon
Garden Peach
Marglobe
Golden Sunrise
Thessanloniki
Red Currant
Tolstoi
Tomande
Black Pear
Green Grape
Chocolate Cherry
Sweet Cherry 100 (I'm buying this as a plant)

They're all started in their trays and hoping they'll starting sprouting soon.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/9/2011, 12:32 am

Spring here in the hills above St. Helens, OR, comes a little later than you'd think considering the anticipated last frost date is around third week in April, but the coast fog/mist coming up the Columbia River keeps the ground temperature low. Therefore, we installed a small greenhouse some years ago, and by the end of February, I will have sown: Austin's Red Pear OG (said to be the tastiest pear tomato), Pink Brandywine (Sudduth's Strain), Federle (a paste tomato), Black Early (new to me, but said to be tolerant of cool soil); and Gregori's Altai (Siberian/Russian strain, plants to share with son/daughter-in-law who live at Seabrook, Washington overlooking the ocean). At the Farmers' Market in Scappoose (don'cha just love the name of that town?), I'll pick up a few more ordinary plants: Sun Gold (a hands down favorite with the grandkids), and whatever catches my eye. BTW, I grew Pineapple one year--it was so good! Unfortunately, it does need a bit more heat than Western Oregon can provide to get a big harvest. The few we did get.....mmmmm! We always grow a mess of peppers, too, but in pots on the deck where it's warmest. This year we'll put some in the raised beds in the newly fenced garden. Can't wait! Nonna and PapaVino
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Post  LaFee 2/9/2011, 2:11 am

I'm sticking to just 3 -- oxhearts, the awesome Moneymakers I grew last year (probably 2-3 of those) and a cherry tomato called Chicco Rosso that gets good remarks on a couple of UK forums.

We'll see if I manage to cave when there are more seeds and starts available. (I LOVE tomatoes, and would love to have room to have more)
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Post  Old Hippie 2/9/2011, 2:14 am

I have always grown Early Girl here. It performs so well for me. Last year I bought a package of mixed heirloom tomato seeds because I couldn't make up my mind and I like the surprises of a pack of mixed seeds. I got them all started and had some lovely tomato seedlings that I carefully babied and then put out in the cold frame. One morning when I went to work, I forgot to prop open the lid of the cold frame and when I came home that afternoon they were completely crisp. Sad so I had to go buy some. I plan to try again this year, but since our last frost is around June 12, I have to wait another few weeks before starting my tomatoes.

I have grown Lemon Boy and Sweet 100's. I have some heirloom yellow pear I am going to grow this year as well as a couple of hanging baskets of Tumbler tomatoes. We like our tomatoes too and I want to try sundrying some this year. Does anyone have any suggestions as to which varieties are best for that?

Gwynn

2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?! 90640
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Post  CarolynPhillips 2/9/2011, 8:04 am

I don't know a lot about the choice of tomatoes for sun drying but I do know the most popular are plum tomatoes, tomatoes with low water content and that Roma is often used for drying because it is low in water. Hope you get to make some sun dried tomatoes. I also read that it takes about 10 pounds of toms to make one pound of dry toms.
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Post  Lavender Debs 2/9/2011, 8:50 am

Golly that is a whole lot of tomatoes!

Last year was a wash out for tomatoes in Western Washington. We have a long season but not enough heat to really grow good tomatoes. I got a taste of Persimmons (orange, 80 days of heat) and they were oh so good. So in spite of the sparse harvest I'll be starting a couple of those again this year.

Unless someone just gives me a plant I will skip Oregon Spring. The fruit was too small and too prone to BER in a cold summer. Siltz (a cousin of the popular Stupice) was the surprise winner in my cold garden last year. She made loads of nice salad size fruit that actually ripened up in our wet chill. She will be my "main crop" tomato this year.

Brandywine was a total flop for me last year as well as Black Prince. Cherokee Purple almost made ripe fruit for me. Black Plum Paste was loaded with green and almost ripe fruit. BPP was said to only need 65 (hot) days to make ripe fruit. I am guessing we came just short of that last year. I have seed so I'll give it another try this year but not as much garden space.

This year, in addition to Siltz, Black Plum Paste and Persimmon, I have seed for:
Momotaro (F1) a large, Japanese, dark pink, huge gamble of a tomato needing 70 days of heat to ripen.
Manitoba a large Canadian red slicer needing 66 days of heat to ripen.
Legend another large red slicer needing 68 days to ripen.
Silver Fur Tree that only wants 58 hot days. This one is said to have pretty foliage and small fruit. It is advertised as doing better in a hanging basket than Patio (grew last year) We shall see.

From TSC I have a few, cherry tomato plants, coming. My starting space is maxed (if not overflowing). Gold Nugget, Chocolate Cherry, Zebra Cherry, and Oregon Cherry. A serious long shot, Tiffen Mennonite (I should move to southern California it needs so many heat units to ripen) should also be coming.

Deborah...who doesn't start tomato plants until March 1, but is idgey for Lincoln's Birthday for starting peas!
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Post  ander217 2/9/2011, 8:58 am

I grew my tomatoes on strings last summer and they did fine. My trellis was against a hog panel fence, and I tied the plants to the fence to give them extra stability until they grew above the top of the panels where the strings began. I don't recall breaking a single tomato branch, although I did break one butternut squash limb.

My varieties for this year include:
Mountain Fresh
Yellow Pear
Champagne Cherry
Rutgers
Royal Chico
Missouri Pink Lady
Arkansas Traveler
Tropic
Monomakh's Hat
Hillbilly or Flame
Chocolate Stripe
Jersey Giant
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Green Grape
Djena Lee's Golden Girl
Thessaloniki
Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio
Fox Cherry
Great White
Henderson's Pink Ponderosa
Henderson's Crimson Cushion
Sweet 100

This is an experimental year for me, trying to find the best varieties in an array of colors for our hot, humid summers.
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Post  Blackrose 2/9/2011, 9:08 am

Wow! There are so many varieties of tomatoes! I had no idea until I started gardening last year that there were different colours and I'd never heard of heirloom before.

Last year I had one lonely Early Girl tomato that I bought as a start. I was NOT impressed. I've bought better tomatoes at the grocery store. They were much smaller than I thought they would be and not much taste. I don't know if this is normal for Early Girls or if I just had a bad tomato year.

Hopefully, this year will be better! Here's my list (not as long as some of you, but long for me!):

Black Brandywine (Int, 75-85 days)
Brandywine (Int, 75-85 days)
Beefsteak (Int, 90 days)
Black Sea Man (Det, 75 days)
Green Zebra (Int, 77 days)
Nips (Int, 77 days)

All of the above are from an Heirloom Seedhouse called The Cottage Gardener based here in Ontario. I hope they all turn out well!

I'll also be growing Matt's Wild Cherry and Black Cherry that quiltbea is sending me from a seed exchange. thanks I'm especially looking forward to the Matt's Wild Cherry. They look so small and yummy!
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Post  donnainzone5 2/9/2011, 10:28 am

I plan to start some from seed this year for the first time. Does anyone have any advice?

The Tomato Plan so far includes the following:

1. Champion;
2. Big Rainbow (still surviving from last season);
3. Beefmaster;
4. Better Boy;
5. Black Krim or Cherokee Purple;
6. TBD (I'm open to suggestions).
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Post  quiltbea 2/9/2011, 11:13 am

I see we are all 'tomato happy' here on this forum.

I like to grow some for seed saving so I need to keep those varieties at least 6 feet away from any other variety so they don't cross. I pollinate them by tapping the branches so the pollen can do its thing on the same plant. Then I can save seed for next year.
Those will be:
Sophie's Choice, Moskvich, Rutger's Space Select, Green Zebra, Millefleur (grows in tresses), Yellow Millefleur, Dixie's Sweet Heirloom (from Dixie herself last year).
In pots I'll try Orange Currant, Harvest Luck, and Early Cherry, again spacing them in my flower garden so they don't cross pollinate.

I also want to try others not tried before so I will put them side-by-side in the garden and not worry about cross-pollination.
I have New Girl, Taxi, San Marzano Gigante 3, Amish Paste, Great White, Julie, Olivade and Delicious.

I plan to have lots of toms to roast and freeze like I did last year.

Personal note: Monday nite my son came down to my apt (I have an apt in his daylight basement) to tell me the tomato sauce I made with my meatballs and spaghetti on Sunday was marvelous. What did I do different? I told him I added a baggy of my roasted garlic tomatoes from the freezer. They add such good flavor to sauces and chilis. So I plan on freezing lots more this year and so easy to prepare. No skinning needed.
2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?! 10-02-11

I, too, like to grow mine on strings but this year I'm going to double the strings for extra strength. The rain pretty much wore out a few of my strings tied to my vining poles and I'll stake toms in the other places since I rotate my crops for toms and peas and can't have stringing for all of them this year.

As for Oregon Spring, I found I could plant it a month before last frost, but when it stayed cold the plant didn't grow and when I got to harvest them, the flavor wasn't the best. The only good thing I can say about it was they were home-grown fresh from the garden and it was nice getting some early toms.
They also re-blossomed in early fall and if I had them in an A-frame I might have got a 2nd crop but they were out in the open and very cold nites got the blossoms.
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Post  FarmerValerie 2/9/2011, 11:29 am

Quiltbea, you must share your recipe for those maters.

I've got these started
Yellow Pear
Egg Yolk
Arkansas Traveler
Kentucky Beefteak
Millionare
White Queen
Pantano Romanesco
True Black Brandywine

Starting soon
White Currant
Omar's Lebanese
Al-Kuffa
Nineveh
Azoychka
Rouge D' Irak

Looking for
Rio Grand Roma
Amish Paste (lost my seeds, if you can plant these at all DO SO!!!!)
Red Pear (grandson)
German Red Strawberry
Purple Russian
Riesantraube

Yes, I spend far too much time in the Baker Creek Seed Catalog.

Again about the Amish Paste, these are absolutely the best tomatoes I have ever seen or used, no need to seed these, just skin and chop, or run through processor, very meaty, and very tasty, even from garden to table.
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Post  acara 2/9/2011, 11:41 am

CarolynPhillips wrote:you really don't want me to get started on tomatoes.

Growing this year


Tomato Brandywine--one of my favorites
Tomato Brandymaster Red
Tomato Brandymaster Yellow
Tomato Brandymaster Pink
Tomato Pineapple
Tomato Giant Tree
Tomato Italian Tree
Tomato Delicious
Tomato Mortgage Lifter
Tomato Big Beef Hybrid-great tomato
Tomato Big Beef Open Pollinated
Tomato Better Boy---to me this is the best flavor---so far
Tomato Super Sioux
Tomato Cherokee Purple
Tomato Indian Stripe
Tomato Large Red
Tomato Mexico
Tomato Black Prince
Tomato Beefsteak
Tomato Arkansas Traveler
Tomato Better Bush =the prettiest plant-5ft tree=stalkie
Tomato Caspian Pink
Tomato Beefmaster- huge fruits -early on
Tomato Sweet Million Cherry
Tomato Tommy Toe
Tomato Currant Sweet Pea
Tomato Rutgers
Tomato Marglobe
Tomato Homestead
Tomato Celebrity

obsessive tomato gardener.


I've not had much success convincing my family that your garden is of historical significance and a national tomato treasure that would merit us taking our family vacation to this year ....

but I'm still trying Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  quiltbea 2/9/2011, 12:20 pm

Here's the Roasted Tomato recipe.
It's also on the Food Preservation forum.
Look for the Frozen Tomatoes thread for others as well.
2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?! 08-15-10

Roasted Tomatoes:
by Melissa D'Arabian, Food Network

In a large bowl:
Add sliced half tomatoes (any variety). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chopped garlic, olive oil, dried thyme.
Toss gently til covered with oil and seasonings.
Place halves on cookie sheet, skin-side down.
Place in preheated 275* oven for two hours.
After One hour, turn the tomatoes over.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Place into freezer bags.
Mark and date bags. Freeze.
These can be used in sauces, chili, soups, later.

You can also use these right away as a hot side dish.
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Post  jerzyjen 2/9/2011, 1:15 pm

YUM! I want to try that recipe this year (praying that i have a good harvest).

Tomatos are my favs so I increased the quantity and variety (for me anyway)

Rutgers Ramapo (heirloom variety)
Rutgers Moreton (heirloom variety)
Cherokee Purple
Virgina Sweets (i ordered lemon boy seeds but they were out and sent these instead)
Opalka
Super San Marzano
Black Cherry

I think I might try to save some of those Rutgers seeds this year (they cost me 4.00 each packet from the university and I'm getting low!). I have never done that but thanks for the info on cross polination Quiltbea. I'll have to see if I can find a spot somewhere away from all the others...
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Post  elliephant 2/9/2011, 1:29 pm

Last year I barely looked at the names of the plants I picked up at the big box stores. I had just found out the difference between determinate and indeterminate!

This year I have every available windowsill filled with plants that I hope to start putting out in the garden as soon as this next cold front passes. As much as I loved the pictures in the Baker Creek catalog, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange got most of my business with their glowing descriptions of tomatoes that would do well in the heat. And I was thrilled to find some of the tomatoes on my list for much cheaper at The Sample Seed Shop...although that led to ordering "just a couple" more varieties...and then getting a free packet of yet another variety!

What's filling up my windowsills:

The Sample Seed Shop
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
Cherokee Purple
Grub's Mystery Green (bonus)
Rio Grande
Green Zebra
Amish Paste
KBX

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Matt's Wild Cherry
Riesentraube
Mini Orange
Mortgage Lifter VFN
Tropic VFN
Brandywine OTW
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Post  GloriaG 2/9/2011, 1:31 pm

jerzyjen, I'm glad to see someone is growing Ramapo - the original "Jersey tomato." They grow well here in TX also, although they burn out in the summer. Great spring and fall crops.
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2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?! Empty Re: 2011 Tomatoes! Wha'cha growin'?!

Post  jerzyjen 2/9/2011, 2:08 pm

GloriaG wrote:jerzyjen, I'm glad to see someone is growing Ramapo - the original "Jersey tomato." They grow well here in TX also, although they burn out in the summer. Great spring and fall crops.

I just had to. The first year I had horrible tomatos and thought "whats wrong with this picture".... I needed REAL Jersey toms, especially here in NJ!! So I searched through my extension (RUTGERS, which also is my alma mater) and found they were selling the seeds. I can also get Ramapo starts at the local nursery here (but not the moretons, which are an earlier variety of the REAL jersey tomato)
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Post  GloriaG 2/9/2011, 2:18 pm

jerzyjen,
We're transplants from NJ and I remember my father and grandfather always growing Ramapo's. It took a long time for Rutger's to bring them back after the blight that nearly wiped them out - but I'm soooo..... happy they did. You might want to check the packet though, I think that the new ones are hybrids and you can't save seeds.
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Post  jerzyjen 2/9/2011, 2:48 pm

GloriaG wrote:jerzyjen,
We're transplants from NJ and I remember my father and grandfather always growing Ramapo's. It took a long time for Rutger's to bring them back after the blight that nearly wiped them out - but I'm soooo..... happy they did. You might want to check the packet though, I think that the new ones are hybrids and you can't save seeds.

Oh no! I didnt think about that. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the heads up!
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Post  florenceq 2/9/2011, 3:45 pm

This is my first year with SFG so I started out small.

Burpee - Yellow Pear Tomatoes (indet)
Burpee - Big Boy Bush Tomatoes (det)

I didn't even know there was a difference until I read Mel's book and joined this forum!

Then I saw all the wonderful stuff people were willing to share on the seed exchange.

I now have Moonglow and Snowberries in my little seed starter box compliments of Selandra - Thank you!

I have to say that the generosity of the people on this forum is refreshing. Everyone has been very kind and helpful. I wish I had seen the Baker Creek Catalog before I bought my seed to the big box store but there is always next year.
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Post  Squat_Johnson 2/9/2011, 4:29 pm

I have my list as well...

Jet Star
Hillbilly
Dixie's Sweet
Porterhouse
Brandywine
Juliet
Husky Cherry
Black Krim


I am thinking of building something like this trellis frame... There is a .pdf file that gives plans and a good list of supplies, etc.
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3367/build-an-a-frame-tomato-trellis
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Post  walshevak 2/9/2011, 4:55 pm

I ordered the hot climate tomatos with herbs companion garden from here

http://www.gardenofcures.com/page/page/4621296.htm


Kay
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