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Aug 11, 2021 7:19 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
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I'm planning to plant a couple of different varieties of tomatoes in containers next year but I'm not sure which variety to plant. I intend to go with "bush" type or other plants of 4' or so. Indeterminates are preferred but it appears there is a much larger variety to choose from with determinates so determinates will be fine, too. I would like the fruit to be 3" and larger, no small fruiting plants such as cherries, plums, or Roma types.

Here are a half-dozen varieties that I'm considering (in no particular order). The descriptions are from www.totallytomato.com . (Extra comments in parenthesis and in italics are my comments.) :

New Big Dwarf: Large, deep pink, delicious fruits weigh up to 1 pound each with most weighing 8 to 12 ounces. This heirloom dates back to the early 1900's and is a cross of Ponderosa and Dwarf Champion. Compact, 2 to 4 foot tall, plants with rugose leaves, are perfect for containers and patios. High yielding. Determinate. 90 Days. (90 days? Seems like an extra long time to maturity...???)

Goliath Bush Hybrid
(VF) No wonder this remarkable tomato has gained such wide acclaim in its short history! Specially developed for patio gardeners and those with limited garden space, and unsurpassed by any other bush variety, including Better Bush and Husky Red. Its attractive, compact plants grow up to 3-1/2 ft. tall and have a "patio" look...the surprise is their huge, red, 3 to 4" fruits packed with flavorful meat and high sugar content. Bears consistently up to frost and needs little staking. Determinate. 68 Days. (This one confuses me a bit. It's stated as being a determinate tomato but the description states it bears up to frost...???? Intheswamp)

Bush Champion II Hybrid: (VFFASt) One of the best varieties for small space gardens and containers, bar none. Compact plants grow to just 24" tall, producing extra-early yields of big, 8 to 12 oz. fruits with excellent flavor. Displays similar qualities of its popular namesake Champion(00179) and exceeds our expectations with satisfying performance in virtually every climate. Good disease resistance. Determinate. 65 Days. (Kind of pricey seeds, $8 for 20, but that would be most likely four years worth of seeds for me.)

Bella Rosa: (VFFAStTSWV)-Plants produce high yields of large bright red tomatoes which are round, firm, and highly flavorful. A good balance of acid and sugar. A heat tolerant variety which does well in hot humid areas. Perfect for home gardens. Determinate. 75 Days. (I've actually grown this one in the garden but for some reason it failed to produce as well as some of my indeterminate hybrids. Reviews are good for it, though, and it was designed for the southeast heat, humidity, and has a good disease package. It is not really listed as a "bush" but it's determinate size would probably work in a container and it's taste (when it's able to produce) has been reported as very good. Intheswamp)

Husky Red Hybrid: (VFFASt) The unlimited production potential of an indeterminate and the controlled growth of a determinate combine for season-long production! Compact plants are only 4 to 4-1/2 ft., with dark green, rugose foliage and strong, thick, central stems. Attractive fruits typically weigh 5 to 7 oz., and are ideal for small spaces, patios, planters and even larger pots. Dwarf indeterminate. 68 Days (What interests me with this variety is that it is hybrid with a small disease package but also the fact that it is stated as being an indeterminate. But, I've seen some lukewarm/cold comments about this one in regards to taste. Shrug! Intheswamp)

Bush Beefsteak: This is the perfect sandwich-sized fruit produced on a square-foot, garden-sized plant. Solid-fleshed fruits of a deep, rich red, average 8 ounces on vigorous, bushy plants. Determinate. 72 Days.

Thoughts and feedback *always* welcomed!!!! Thanks!
Ed
Last edited by Intheswamp Aug 11, 2021 8:32 AM Icon for preview
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Aug 11, 2021 7:46 PM CST
Name: BetNC
Henderson County, NC (Zone 7a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Annuals Hellebores Plant and/or Seed Trader
Container Gardener
When I first startedd growing in containers, I experienced a very steep learning curve!

The crucial thing to know is that ANY tomato can be grown in containers. . . . don't fall for the hype/marketing ploy "container friendly" "patio variety" and, yes "bush"All these terms translate into more money per seed!

There's no need to buy fancy, pricey containers, either:I started with a hodge-podge of gro bags, 5-gallon shop bucckets and a 20-inch patio plantar! (The Earthboxes came later, as I got enamored with their 3.5 gallon water resevoir!))An early experiment: I grew Legend and its improved (disease-resistance added) offspring Legend in the sames season, same area, same everything: 2 plants each variety. . in both 5 gallon shop buckets and {sorry, can't remember the size, but it was the same for both!) Upshot? No difference in plant growth/mature height etc, production,/number fruit, size/look of fruit.....

a 5 gallon shop bucket is roughly 3/4 cu feet . . I even grew Big Beef in a shop bucket! True, it only produced a few fruit. . . but remember when I said ANY tomato can be grown in a container? The SIZE of the container determines which tomato varieties you can grow! (The next year, I triedd growing Big Beef in a 25 gallon gro bag. . . . BIG difference! nodding Drooling Thumbs up nodding )

Here's what I learned thru trial and error:
most short, (4' or less) varieties are novelties. . . that includes dwarfs (the early years. . I tried them and now just PASS) lacking acceptable production and/or taste
Indeterminants prefer containers at least 25 gallons (an Earthbox is only 2.5 cu feet and indeterminants SUFFER!) So go BIG for indeterminants.

I grow one determinant in an Earthbox: the ONLY specs I look for are: mature hheight (around 5 feet, because I can't harvest what I can't reach standing on the ground!) and fruit size (around 8 ounces; 10+ ounce fruit varieties require more support than can be provided in an EB).

Varieties I especially like (natural disease-resistance, good to heavy production of tasty fruit)
Cyril's Choice (you might not like the medium-sized fruit types...but "stake well" is an understatement (I grew this in shop buckets and it's the reason for my ccurrent staking/support system!
Legend (I thought it tasted just a BIT better than Defiant,)
Big Beef
Celebrity F1


And I haven't tried growing CCrimson Cushion in a container . . . BUT, as it's presently producing 1 pounders and its branches (still setting fruit) bbent over after topping my 6' Texas Tomato Cage and are still growing 3'. . . . . . You CAN grow this in a container: a very BBIIGG container (might I suggest a gro bag?? cheapest option) and LOTS ofn structural support!!!! (Yes, I'm sending you seed, I hope USPS doesn't lose it this year, too Crossing Fingers! )
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Aug 11, 2021 9:00 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
Thanks for all the information, Pat! Well received here!

<chuckle> Well, the jury is still out on the selection but what you're saying about any tomato growing in a container makes sense...and the limits that can be encountered with the container/variety matchups. I will definitely keep this in mind!

Yeah, I'm looking for *cheap* containers to grow in. I've got some big plastic flower pots that I've got peppers growing in now. And the cucumbers are in the 18-gallon "tub". You're use of EarthBoxes got me interested in them, though. I checked them out then took out looking for D-I-Y versions. My mother-in-law had several Rubbermaid totes in the trailer that I'm going to use. I just started on an 18-gallon version. This tote is six or seven inches shorter than the EB with about the same width. The tote, though, is around 5-1/2 inch deeper. From what I've figured I'll have roughly a 4-1/2 gallon water reservoir and have 11 to 12 inches of soil. The limit on capillary action is around 11-3/4 inches so this height should work pretty good. I've got enough totes to make a small garden of EBs out of but the big hangup I'm seeing is the johnbrown cost of the potting soil!!!! Thumbs down I should have bought more the other day when I caught it on sale at Wallyworld...I'm sure I could've used some of it even if I had to mix it with some Baccto or something. Anyhow, you gave me the EB bug!!! nodding

You said you liked it, but how does the Legend perform? I've got some of those seeds already.

I'm figuring tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and small cantaloupes for the containers. I'll have to go slow due to the potting mix cost...but, we'll get there!!! Thumbs up

But, you *do* know I'll have to try at least one bush/patio type tomato, don't you? It's the gardener in me! nodding

All I've got done so far is the center cut out of the top for the aeration shelf and drilling the holes in it. I've got to go into town to the shop and see if I have some 4" pvc drain pipe for shelf supports...will cut it into 4-1/2" long pieces.
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Last edited by Intheswamp Aug 11, 2021 9:20 PM Icon for preview
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Aug 12, 2021 6:49 AM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
You are on target with the cost of the potting medium. If you have the space and energy it might be best if you make your own. You can buy a bale of peat and let it soak for about a week to hydrate then mix it with a super sized bag of perlite, add a hand full of lime and some time release fertilizer. Home made compost if you have any and other amendments as indicated. There are lots of recipes online. My back no longer lets me do it that way and I wound up spending well over $100 on bags of soils alone (don't tell DH but maybe double that Whistling .) Add in the grow bags and the drip system and I really did have the pricey tomato.

I understand some of the big boxes will seriously discount broken bags of potting soils, that is another option.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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Aug 12, 2021 7:36 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
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ardesia said:You are on target with the cost of the potting medium. If you have the space and energy it might be best if you make your own. You can buy a bale of peat and let it soak for about a week to hydrate then mix it with a super sized bag of perlite, add a hand full of lime and some time release fertilizer. Home made compost if you have any and other amendments as indicated. There are lots of recipes online. My back no longer lets me do it that way and I wound up spending well over $100 on bags of soils alone (don't tell DH but maybe double that Whistling .) Add in the grow bags and the drip system and I really did have the pricey tomato.

I understand some of the big boxes will seriously discount broken bags of potting soils, that is another option.

I should have bought more bags of the clearance bags at Walmart the other day. I may ride over today and see if they still have some (doubtful D'Oh! ) but my S10 pickup truck needs a starter and would have to go on my jeep (which has a load of "essentials" piled in the back of it.<sigh> I can still throw several bags in there, though.

With the exaggerated ant population around here I can't have a compost pile...it becomes a Marriott-Hilton for them when I tried several years ago.... Grumbling I've see where some recipes call for using commercial potting soil in place of compost but this seems like this would be a more diluted form of organics...maybe some Black Cow compost or some of the mushroom compost that's offered?

Your secret of the bags of gold is safe with me!!! Thumbs up Hilarious!
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Aug 12, 2021 8:15 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
I appreciate the couple of comments that I've gotten. So, for container growing would most of you say just to stay with a small stature tomato plants, most likely determinates and not to focus on "bush/patio" types...I'm thinking for the small stature something like Bella Rosa, . The largest planter I see myself growing in is a 35-gallon tote modified to be an EarthBox-type of self-waterer...with the average container being either 5-gallon buckets or 18-gallon modified totes.
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Aug 12, 2021 9:32 AM CST
Name: BetNC
Henderson County, NC (Zone 7a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Annuals Hellebores Plant and/or Seed Trader
Container Gardener
That's spot-on about the cost of buying potting soil!


You DO realize that the potting mix/gro media. . .can be used again over and over? There's no need to use new media every year. the EB says that an EB can be over-wintered (Remove root balls - the smaller diffuse roots will decompose/disintegrate over the winter, the fertilizer/salt build up strip and cover the boxWith plastic) then in the spring "fluff up" the media (it will get compactedover the season) and set it up with fresh fertilizer and dolomite (if needed...and sincce you will start with growing tomotatoes in them, its a must)

0The cost is hat's I make my own, using a recipe from the University of (Florida?), and overwinter my EBs.

a 1:1:1:1 mix of equal parts:
spaghum peat moss
perliite
well-aged compost with NO MANURE
good quality (re particle-size) potting mix, with the FIRST/primary ingredient PEAT MOSS

Cheapest is MiraclGro Potting Mix, as most/some of the others have too large a particle size and/or are of rough sizes

Don't waste money by adding starter fertilizer to the mix, as it's usually added directly into the transplanting hole

As for the dolomite (as a calcium source, to prevent BER) and season/sustaining fertilizer that must be added @ set up before the season begins and before transplanting: each depends on the particular crop as to what aand how much to use. Typically, the fertilizer is added as a buried strip near the top, since whatever is left and the saltbuildup from its use is (this nmust be removed at the end of EVERY SEASON else next year's plants will suffer from salt toxicity)Although Dolomite is added annually and can be ANYWHER in the media, I've had the most success by mixing it in the bottom 1/2-1/3 of the media (that's when the plant roots reach it and need it).
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Aug 12, 2021 10:16 AM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Bet (why does Ed call you Pat?)
What fertilizer do you use and how often? I use unfertilized potting soil, plus I have to water my pots daily. This year's fruit is looking puny and I suspect I need to fertilize more, but since I don't use much fertilizer generally, it is hard to gauge. What do you use?
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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Aug 12, 2021 12:26 PM CST
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
I put a bag of cow manure and my own compost and then a top layer for the tomato plants in container.
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Aug 12, 2021 12:58 PM CST
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level
ED .just for reference. Bella Rosa is one of the better flavored TSWV varieties, but it while a determinate is not a small plant. Plant size is comparable to most of the commercial fresh market varieties. 4 ft range. I have currently moved to Saybrook and Dixie Red which replaced Mountain Merit which replaced Bella Rosa.
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Aug 12, 2021 1:12 PM CST
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
I planted a Bella Rosa this year but I don't recall getting any fruit from it.
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Aug 12, 2021 1:30 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
BUSH GOLIATH
I am growing right now. It for sure is a compact sturdy looking plant, dark green and good looking. It started to bear about same as all the others. . I counted 4 or 5 clusters of three each when it was starting to ripen. Now, as to flavor I am not sure as I get them all mixed up after picking. This one and Rhode Island Early both seemed prone to crack on the top. And am not sure which gave me a few tomatoes with white pithy inner flesh when looking ripe. Who's to say if that was just weather? We do keep the garden watered when rain is low. It might not have even been this plant. Right now it is growing new branches maybe it will have a second round of clusters.

But I think Bush Goliath is worth a try.

I have NewBig dwarf and will try it next year.
Plant it and they will come.
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Aug 12, 2021 8:30 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
Yeah, good potting mix/soil costs. Thankfully now I understand that I can reuse the mix. Here's a thread where I got some good information about that: The thread "Reusing potting soil" in Ask a Question forum

I ended up riding over to Wallyworld and picking up some of the "clearance " potting mixes. WOW...they only had some in front of the wall to the garden section where they sell plants...previously they had it going down one side of the parking lot. But, I ended up getting six bags (1CF) fo MG regular mix and six 1CF bags of the Beyond Peat mix. hope this Beyond Peat stuft is good. Throw some Baccto in there, a little lime and fertilizer and hopefully I'll have at least some fair potting mix. Shrug!

The fertilizer band is an interesting aspect of EB-type gardening. I'm accustomed to tilling some fertilizer in, fertilizing the planting, hole, and maybe side-dressing later in the season. Does the fertilizer band appear to work well?



BetNC said:That's spot-on about the cost of buying potting soil!


You DO realize that the potting mix/gro media. . .can be used again over and over? There's no need to use new media every year. the EB says that an EB can be over-wintered (Remove root balls - the smaller diffuse roots will decompose/disintegrate over the winter, the fertilizer/salt build up strip and cover the boxWith plastic) then in the spring "fluff up" the media (it will get compactedover the season) and set it up with fresh fertilizer and dolomite (if needed...and sincce you will start with growing tomotatoes in them, its a must)

0The cost is hat's I make my own, using a recipe from the University of (Florida?), and overwinter my EBs.

a 1:1:1:1 mix of equal parts:
spaghum peat moss
perliite
well-aged compost with NO MANURE
good quality (re particle-size) potting mix, with the FIRST/primary ingredient PEAT MOSS

Cheapest is MiraclGro Potting Mix, as most/some of the others have too large a particle size and/or are of rough sizes

Don't waste money by adding starter fertilizer to the mix, as it's usually added directly into the transplanting hole

As for the dolomite (as a calcium source, to prevent BER) and season/sustaining fertilizer that must be added @ set up before the season begins and before transplanting: each depends on the particular crop as to what aand how much to use. Typically, the fertilizer is added as a buried strip near the top, since whatever is left and the saltbuildup from its use is (this nmust be removed at the end of EVERY SEASON else next year's plants will suffer from salt toxicity)Although Dolomite is added annually and can be ANYWHER in the media, I've had the most success by mixing it in the bottom 1/2-1/3 of the media (that's when the plant roots reach it and need it).
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Aug 12, 2021 8:31 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
farmerdill said:ED .just for reference. Bella Rosa is one of the better flavored TSWV varieties, but it while a determinate is not a small plant. Plant size is comparable to most of the commercial fresh market varieties. 4 ft range. I have currently moved to Saybrook and Dixie Red which replaced Mountain Merit which replaced Bella Rosa.


Dillard, between the Bella Rosa and Dixie Red, do you recall any taste difference?
Last edited by Intheswamp Aug 12, 2021 8:55 PM Icon for preview
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Aug 12, 2021 8:39 PM CST
Name: BetNC
Henderson County, NC (Zone 7a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Annuals Hellebores Plant and/or Seed Trader
Container Gardener
NMoasis said:Bet (why does Ed call you Pat?)
What fertilizer do you use and how often? I use unfertilized potting soil, plus I have to water my pots daily. This year's fruit is looking puny and I suspect I need to fertilize more, but since I don't use much fertilizer generally, it is hard to gauge. What do you use?


Bet is a CB handle my ex-hubbyn gave me...my family and friends (and the USPS LOL) know me aas Pat

I use different fertilizers for different plants and different container types:
for tomatoes
ONCE @ set-up Tomatotone 3 cups for a 2-2.5 cubic feet Earthbox (a sipper-type of container, with a water resevoir so the plant has constant access ton water)
EVERY 4-6 WEEKKS, beginning with planting 1-2 cups whatever TOMATO fertilizer that's on sale (I choose those with N below 7) for different sizes of containers (like gro bags and patio planters without water resevoirs), I side-dress this: about 3-4 inches from the stem, dig a t==shallow trench, fill, work in/mix soil &fertilizer, cover with about 1-2 inches. . THEN watter in with the daily water
For tomatoes (in ground) I use Vigaro 5-10-10 side-dressed as above every 4-6 weeks

For peppers in patio containers, I use the tomato fertilizer choice of the year side-dressed every 4-6 weeks

For Brussels sprouts/carrots/radish/cucumbers/squash/green beans in Earthboxes, I used 10-10-10 at box set-up AND dump down the watering tube 3 Tablespoons of Jack's Classic Water-soluble fertilizer 20-20-20 whenever the plants seem to be doing poorly

To support fruiting and/or to spur a flagging fruiting...I spritz (thoroughly) a foliar feed/spray of P and K. . . or supplement Earthboxes with Jack's Classic Bloom 15-30-??? at a rate of 3 tablespoons

It all depends on the plant...if it's growing orn if it's producing fruit..or if fruit producction is lagging..whatever the nplant seems to need

I wish I could offer more exact when/how much etc

(and I REALLY wish I could either type better or leearn to use some voice recognition program that'd do the typing FOR me! Hilarious! )
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Aug 12, 2021 8:40 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
NMoasis said:Bet (why does Ed call you Pat?)
What fertilizer do you use and how often? I use unfertilized potting soil, plus I have to water my pots daily. This year's fruit is looking puny and I suspect I need to fertilize more, but since I don't use much fertilizer generally, it is hard to gauge. What do you use?


Well, I started to call Bet, George. But, something just wasn't right about that and I couldn't put my finger on it. Thinking Then I thought about calling her Tammy Sue, but I realized we already got one of those. I thought a while...came u pwith Bill, but that just kinda stuck like George did. I starting saying Bet, Rhett, Set, Det, etc., You know how you'll sound out different names or words that sound alike...??? Yeah, like that. Then suddenly I hit on PAT.... I was tired so I just said "close enough" and that's what I call her. Thanks for asking, Louise.
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Aug 12, 2021 8:47 PM CST
Name: BetNC
Henderson County, NC (Zone 7a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Annuals Hellebores Plant and/or Seed Trader
Container Gardener
I forgot to answer Ed re Legend

It's productive...VERT productive (like, STAKE WELL)
the fruit is a uniform globe, red, and tasty and juicy.

Very good taste, but not superb/out-standing.

And it's low maintenance...very-well behaved (staying within it's cage and not wandering the alleys looking forn trouble to get into Hilarious! )

It had enough foliage to shelter the fruit, but not so much to shut-off airflow and leave a greeen wet wall for disease!

I highly recomend it Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
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Aug 12, 2021 9:01 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
sallyg said:BUSH GOLIATH
I am growing right now. It for sure is a compact sturdy looking plant, dark green and good looking. It started to bear about same as all the others. . I counted 4 or 5 clusters of three each when it was starting to ripen. Now, as to flavor I am not sure as I get them all mixed up after picking. This one and Rhode Island Early both seemed prone to crack on the top. And am not sure which gave me a few tomatoes with white pithy inner flesh when looking ripe. Who's to say if that was just weather? We do keep the garden watered when rain is low. It might not have even been this plant. Right now it is growing new branches maybe it will have a second round of clusters.

But I think Bush Goliath is worth a try.

I have NewBig dwarf and will try it next year.

I had some of these in my cart at totallytomato.com and they went out of stock! I've still got time untill next year, though! Smiling
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Aug 12, 2021 10:03 PM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Bet or, well, Pat - Further specifics not necessary. You've given me the general sense of quantity and frequency that I was looking for. Thanks you!

Ed- 😆
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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Aug 13, 2021 5:00 AM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
Bet/Pat, why do you say no manure - in caps? For a brief period we rented in a neighborhood with community garden plots. The 4' x 8' raised beds were filled with Black Kow and were very productive with minimal insect or disease problems. I was there less than a year but I saw folks top dressing with more Black Kow all the time. I worked some perlite and alfalfa into my bed and everyone was curious why I did that. Is there a reason you do not like manure in your mixes?
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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