Vegetables and Fruit forum: 2017 tomato year end review

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Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Oct 27, 2017 7:14 PM CST
For the umpteenth year, maybe fifteen, this is the year-end wrap-up of the tomato season, this one for 2017. Several categories will be discussed to give an idea of the growing season as compared to past years. Most of this is for my own benefit so this whole thread can be skipped. I still will publish.

Most productive variety by weight:
Marianna’s Peace 51lbs 2 ounces
2. Russian Bogytar 47lbs 12 ounces
3. Kellogg’s Breakfast 43 lbs 13 ounces
4. Big Cheef 43 lbs 10 ounces

Most tomatoes by number:

1. Big Cheef 133
2. Russian Bogytar 128
3. Marianna’s Peace 115

largest average size:

Heatherington Pink, Cowlick’s Brandywine, Kellogg’s Breakfast all about 11 ounces

Yearly production of all varieties: 565 pounds by 26 plants=21.7 lbs per plant. This is about the same as last year and in the top 5 years in the past 15 years.

Now the most important…flavor ratings. This year’s winner as judged by my wife and me is Daniel Burson, scoring 9.5 of 10.

These varieties all were in the 9/10 range, the most considered nines in many years in no particular order:
Rebel Yell, Heatherington Pink, Ernesto, Cowlick’s Brandywine and Ludmilla’s Pink.

To indicate the flavor quality of this year these were considered 8/10:
Big Cheef, Brad’s Black Heart, Orange Russian 117, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Blue Ridge Mountain, Earl’s Faux, Joe’s Portuguese and Wes.

To recap, this was a fun year with no real catastrophes but with a fairly average production year. September production was off the scale high with almost 50% of the ripe fruit happening after September and well into October. All plants were pulled before the first hard freeze (tonight, 10-27 will be 27 degrees) because the plants just wore out.

Next year will be all blacks with a heart or two and a yellow or orange tossed in.

Paul
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Nov 2, 2017 8:54 AM CST
Now that is good record keeping !
Thanks for the detailed information on those varieties.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Nov 2, 2017 1:21 PM CST
I agree Great report. I could never do that. I have no idea the count or weight of any of my tomato plant fruits. I simply do know if they are producti9ve or not, general things like that. And of course taste.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Nov 2, 2017 9:54 PM CST
Ditto...

I could only wish that I was that organized, Paul!
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Nov 3, 2017 12:06 PM CST
I only grow 5 plants each year, so it is always a task to pick and choose which varieties make the cut. This year was a disappointment, not sure why. I had good weather, the plants got watered, but for some reason none were real stand-outs flavor wise. Even my tried and true were disappointing. Here's my report, and I've also added comments to the tomato database:

Trucker's Favorite: round red salad, smooth unblemished skin, rich flavor, heirloom, not real productive
Black Krim: purple beefsteak, didn't climb well, really late, bland, scant yield
Pineapple: yellow salad, rich fruity flavor, tended to crack, heirloom, OK yield
Sun Sugar: orange cherry, big disappointment this year, not nearly as sweet, acidic to the point of tartness, didn't produce as well as usual
Sweet Million: red cherry, sweet, average yield

Better luck next season is about all I can say. I do a fair amount of reviewing during the winter months, slogging through the various tomato threads and reading up. Big on my list for next year is Kellogg's Breakfast, although it may need a longer season that I have.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Nov 3, 2017 2:45 PM CST
Big on my list for next year is Kellogg's Breakfast, although it may need a longer season that I have. [/quote]

Kellogg's Breakfast in zone 5B-6A, my area, has been 80-90 days from planting to ripe fruit. I can't see why zone 8 would have a problem with time on that one. Is it because the heat will end your tomato season? When do you plant and when does your tomato season end?
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Nov 3, 2017 3:30 PM CST
I usually plant tomatoes within a 65-75 day maturity rating. I buy pre-started plants (quart size) and put them in the ground in early June. Occasionally I will get some fruit in July, but usually not until August. Tomatoes end for me in September. They are still healthy looking but rarely ripen much past mid month, and even if they do the flavor seems to be gone. This year I tried Black Krim, which has an 80 day maturity. I only got 2-3 vine-ripened fruit before they lost what little flavor they had (I found them pretty bland). Lemon Drop was a success a few years ago, with an 85 day maturity, but I believe it was touted as ripening in cooler weather. We rarely get temps much above 85, although that has been slowly increasing.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2017 5:57 PM CST
Deb, I might have you confused with someone else, but aren't you in the PNW? Everyone there seems to have difficulty ripening long-season tomatoes, even more so than I do. Just shows that the zone number doesn't tell the whole story by a long shot.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Nov 3, 2017 8:36 PM CST
Aw, I should have realized. Having grown up in the PNW I remember how difficult it was for my Dad to grow the tomatoes he did in Iowa. I mowed lawns beginning in February in-between rains and the dry season hit in June. I never experienced a 90 degree day until we moved back to the mid-west.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Nov 3, 2017 8:42 PM CST
Sorry, I try to remember to note my geographic area when it might affect a comment. Yes, I'm in the Pacific NW quite close to Puget Sound. Tomatoes have always been a challenge for me, we just don't get a long enough hot stretch. Often June is rainy and rather cool; July and August are reliably warm and pretty dry; but September can dip back down pretty quickly. So I need a short season tomato, and often anything over 75 days to maturity is just not going to cut it for me.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Nov 3, 2017 10:25 PM CST
PaulF said:I never experienced a 90 degree day until we moved back to the mid-west.


If I got more than my random few over-85 degree days, I'd have to move. I melt down at about 85. A few summers ago we had a heat wave that was in the high 90s for a very short spell, and I was ever so thankful that we have a boat and could get out on the salt water to cool off. At the time, I commented to my husband that everyone in the Pacific NW should own a boat, no matter how basic! That may actually be true no matter where one lives.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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