Vegetables and Fruit forum: 2018 Tomato Chat

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Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
Mar 15, 2018 6:18 PM CST
     We have a new 2018 Veggie Gardening discussion, so why not a new Tomato thread? I'll start this off with an offer.
     While sorting my Tomato seeds to get ready for sowing, I had to face facts: I have more varieties than I have room to plant! So reluctantly I had to pick the ones to discard. Some are "free samples", some I thought were ok, just not great, and some (the patio types) I just didn't want to fuss with any more. I don't want to just trash them. Most are no more than 2 yrs old and still have good percentage germination, and quantities of 5-25 seeds.
     So, if you would like to try some or all of these, let me know (send your address in a tree mail) and I'll mail them to you. No guarantees. No returns! Please ask for at least three (or more!) to save me postage.

LARGE/MEDIUM VARIETIES
Nepal      2016
Russian 117      2016
Seattle Best      2017
Polish C              2016
Segler      2017
Pineapple      2017
Opalka      2016

CHERRY/SALADETTE
Pink Ping Pong       2014
Riesentraube      2014
Russian Currant      2018

PATIO
House      2016
Fantastico           2017
Hahms Gelbe     2017
Whippersnapper      2017
Red Robin      2017
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
Mar 15, 2018 7:05 PM CST
Don, that's a very generous offer -- I already have more than I need too, so I won't be requesting any seeds from you, but I'm sure there are others out there that will be happy to have them!

Thumbs up
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Mar 16, 2018 6:18 AM CST
Yes, some of us do accumulate an excess of seeds.
Tomorrow is Seedy Saturday in Calgary, and they always have a table where you can drop off extra seeds. Other attendees can go through those seeds, and take what they want.

Good of you to offer yours ! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Mar 16, 2018 1:05 PM CST
My 35 varieties for 2018 are all poking up out of the soilless mix and will need to be transplanted in a week or so. Off we go for another season.
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
Mar 19, 2018 5:31 AM CST
       The tomato offer mentioned above is now closed. The ones that nobody wanted I donated to our local garden club. Maybe I'll have more next year.

Don S.
The TODD6 Tomato Datasheet (and instructions) can be downloaded from:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fnl...
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Mar 19, 2018 8:29 AM CST
My old computer does not want to down load your spread sheet. So I will continue to ask questions here on tomatoes.
Last year someone grew Solar Flare, and I am going to start seeds this year. What did anyone find with Solar Flare ?
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
Mar 19, 2018 4:10 PM CST
      Solar Flare: Medium-large, OP oblate red with gold (some green) stripes. Early-mid season. "Early fruit has better flavor". Meaty. Pick early, don't leave on vine. Don't confuse with Solar Fire. There is also a larger 'Solar Flare XL' 10-20oz. Most commenters on web liked it, and said taste was on the sweet side of balanced and somewhat intense.

      Caroline, if you can't download TODD from the Dropbox folder below, send me your email address on a tree-mail and I can send it directly to you.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fnl...
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
Mar 21, 2018 8:21 AM CST
     As a retired scientist, I'm obliged to report on failed experiments as well as successful ones, and this one was a massive failure!
     In November, I decided to grow five varieties of mini-sized patio or dwarf tomato plants under a 4ft LED shoplight to see if I could get some better tasting cherry tomatoes for winter salads than the ones the grocery stores offer. Everything started off fine, I transplanted the seedlings into 4" square pots and started raising the shoplight to keep up with the growth and using Miracle-Gro to fertilize. After fighting off some fruit flies that must have hatched from eggs in the planting mix, most of the varieties topped off at a little over a foot, and the others I gently bent over and supported so I would not have to raise the lights anymore.
     Unfortunately, all of the varieties produced many fewer fruit than the samples I had tried the summer before, so after all the time (and electricity) I spent, I only harvested enough for two or three salads this winter. I don't know if it was the LED light (or not enough of it), a wrong choice in fertilizer, or the insect spray for the flies (or all of them) that contributed to the poor showing, but I don't feel that it is worth repeating the experiment. I will say that the variety that did the best under these conditions was Utyonok, a dwarf yellow-orange saladette tomato with a cute point on the end.
     I am wondering, though, if anyone else ever tried a similar experiment?
[Last edited by DonShirer - Mar 21, 2018 8:22 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1664568 (8)
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
Mar 21, 2018 1:26 PM CST
That's interesting, Don -- my guess would be insufficient light, but ? I wonder if it would work better to start the plants earlier so they could start setting fruit with natural light, then bring them indoors to grow under the lights. Not sure I'm curious enough to try it, though...
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Mar 21, 2018 2:26 PM CST
While I will enjoy reading about your seed-starting adventures, I continue to just let my local nursery do that part and will buy potted plants later in the spring. Hoping to find ones I've ear-marked, here's my short list in no particular order:

Rose de Berne, Kellogg's Breakfast, Russian Queen, Amazon Chocolate, Bloody Butcher, Lemon Drop, Old German, Pineapple, Sun Sugar, Sweet Baby Girl, Sweet Mojo, Sweed Million, Trucker's Favorite

My goal is to have one red cherry, one orange cherry, one yellow cherry, one red salad, and one of those weird dark ones (I keep trying, but haven't yet found one that appeals to me either visually or tastefully). I mostly just eat them out of hand or in salads and sandwiches.

I'll have to wait and see what my nursery has to offer. Meanwhile, have fun with your seedlings!

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
May 5, 2018 7:32 PM CST
Last year I did not have any Country Taste, year before that I did.

So this year again I have the Country Taste. I started a seed tray of 6 but only 5 came up so today I planted my 5 County Taste plants.
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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
May 14, 2018 12:29 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Thank the sun and moon and stars. I am at last finished with my tomato planting. I finished up today. Started on May 2nd and finished today May 14th.

So all in all not that bad as it only took two weeks. Just seems like such a big deal this year because April was so cold and I could not start my planting in April as I have been doing these past few years.

And I am sure it would have gone faster without rainy day rain delays. And plant other veggies instead of tomato delays.

Oh well. happy day it is done, done, done.

Plants look good. Of course some of them have been in for a spell and already dot a good chance to start growing.
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
May 14, 2018 8:19 PM CST
     Congrats on finishing your planting, Rita. Now take a break before you have to start tying them up.
     Rain keeps interrupting my tomato activities, but I began hardening mine off. Hopefully they will finally go out later this week.

Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Saltflower
May 15, 2018 12:29 AM CST
Rita, I looked up Country Taste. Does it ever sound good!
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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
May 15, 2018 10:18 AM CST
Saltflower said:Rita, I looked up Country Taste. Does it ever sound good!


It is good. Never cracks or splits either and a nice steady supply of tomatoes. Thumbs up
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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
May 15, 2018 10:20 AM CST
DonShirer said:     Congrats on finishing your planting, Rita. Now take a break before you have to start tying them up.
     Rain keeps interrupting my tomato activities, but I began hardening mine off. Hopefully they will finally go out later this week.



My plants are all in cages so no tying will be necessary. I have done the Florida weave method when I didn't have enough cages.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 15, 2018 11:27 AM CST
Well best laid plans are best ignored.
I lost two tomatoes in a black four-pack.
I searched for two days every place I would normally put them, not found.
Today I looked over on top of the air-condtioning unit and poof, there they were.
Never put things where you think they wlll be obvious because obviously that is the one place you will not look.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Moon Gardener Herbs Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Birds Dragonflies
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wildflowers
May 15, 2018 12:58 PM CST
Hi tomato growers, thought I'd catch the wave on this new thread and maybe chat along. Smiling

Typically I start and grow all my tomatoes from seed, mostly heirlooms but a few OP hybrids every now and then.

This year I'm "Trying" to grow a tomato in a pot (usually they're all in the ground), it's a dwarf variety called Rosella Crimson. I say "Trying" because it started out pretty rough since something kept eating the leaves! At one point the plant was a little skeleton! I dug all around in the soil thinking there must be a cut worm in there somewhere but never could find one!!!

But I didn't give up! Put some of the chicken's oyster shell grit all over the top of the soil about an inch thick and now my little plant has new leaves. Green Grin! It's a slow start but we'll see what happens!!

Pictures

Thumb of 2018-05-15/wildflowers/e2dca9 Thumb of 2018-05-15/wildflowers/2632b9

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
May 15, 2018 1:03 PM CST
wildflowers said:Hi tomato growers, thought I'd catch the wave on this new thread and maybe chat along. Smiling

Typically I start and grow all my tomatoes from seed, mostly heirlooms but a few OP hybrids every now and then.

This year I'm "Trying" to grow a tomato in a pot (usually they're all in the ground), it's a dwarf variety called Rosella Crimson. I say "Trying" because it started out pretty rough since something kept eating the leaves! At one point the plant was a little skeleton! I dug all around in the soil thinking there must be a cut worm in there somewhere but never could find one!!!

But I didn't give up! Put some of the chicken's oyster shell grit all over the top of the soil about an inch thick and now my little plant has new leaves. Green Grin! It's a slow start but we'll see what happens!!

Pictures

Thumb of 2018-05-15/wildflowers/e2dca9 Thumb of 2018-05-15/wildflowers/2632b9



Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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DonShirer
May 16, 2018 9:57 AM CST
@Wildflowers
     Welcome to the Tomato Chat thread, Christine. Good save on your Rosella Crimson. That's a Dwarf Tomato Project variety well suited to containers. Lots of us also have trouble with critters eating our tomato plants. My betes noire are mostly chipmunks, but birds and rabbits get their bites in as well. I've taken to placing a paper cup with the bottom cut out over the newly planted seedlings and putting bags over the fruit just before it turns ripe.

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