Outdoor Tomatoes 2015

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Wasn't sure until today that I was going to complete transplanting this week, but it is done. All 6 tomatoes are out.

I grew all these from seed, baby pictures on this topic. The two beefsteak transplants are 6 weeks old today, the rest 4 weeks old and look stunted for their age. Lineup:

driveway growbox: bucks county and early girl, both returning favorites

balcony growbox: returning heavy-yielder juliet, and new tiger stripe mix grape tomato

topsy-turvy: sweet baby girl, worked well in the topsy-turvy last year

very large pot: new berkeley tie-dye

All of these were transplanted with organic tomato fertilizer, though the growboxes will get growbox patches eventually. Upstairs as soon as the spinach is harvested. Downstairs only after the bucks county has some fruit aboard. That system worked well last year to reduce blossom end rot.

7/25: applied more growbox standard fertilizer, 1/2 patch upstairs, 1/2 patch downstairs growbox, 1/4 patch tie-dye pot. Also added  Espoma tomato tone to the topsy-turvy pot. Tomato leaves had started yellowing.

Harvests:

537 - juliet grape, first 7/18
242 - sweet baby girl cherry, first 7/18
41 - pink berkeley tie-dye, first 7/18
177 - artisan tiger stripe grape/cherry, first 7/19
34 - bucks county, first 7/26
23 - early girl, first 7/27

 

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Ginger
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The End.

The End.

Generally, it's still gorgeous Indian Summer here. Except, tonight the forecast calls for 27°.  So took down all the summer plants yesterday. That's OK. I harvested more than enough tomatoes for the year. smiley Sadly, the buck's county (my absolute favorite) were pretty diseased toward the end, and the early girl never got healthy. The two new varieties - pink berkeley tie-dye, and artisan tiger stripe - didn't earn a "must-grow" slot for the future, though I might try the tigers again. That's fine.

I threw away hundreds of green Juliets, and some of the others. Bag-ripened tomatoes generally aren't very good, so I tried to keep it down to fruit with some blush on them.

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Another 2 weeks, another 55

Another 2 weeks, another 55 tomatoes. Temperatures are running 60-70 for a daytime high, usually ~55 at night, but sun is pretty limited, especially for the back driveway tomatoes, and the diseases are bad. Especially bad on the buck's county tomatoes - only about half of each fruit is usable. But those taste so good... Lopping off sections of the plants when they're done. I thought I'd retire them all yesterday, but nah - I'll let 'em ripen some more for another week or two.

It's late, but all 6 tomatoes this year are still bearing.

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Another 3 weeks, another 221

Another 3 weeks, another 221 tomatoes. Getting to the end now. Almost all the larger tomatoes are diseased, but  I can cut out the bad parts and make good sauce out of them. Juliet are the only tomatoes that still look flawless - it doesn't matter how sick the vine is on that fruit. The most sickly vines - bucks county and early girl - I cut way back today.

The pretty little tiger stripes just aren't very productive. They're indeterminate, yes, but they're slow, and they set fruit in a wave, ripen them all, rest, then start over. The Berkeley tie-dye was the same way. That's not a good pattern for this climate.

Tomato ripening is slowing way down. We're almost at the Persephone Period, when there's less than 10 hours of daylight. They'll just hang around on a vine forever without ripening, after that. Hopefully I'll get a few more vine-ripened before that.

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Another 3 weeks, another 301

Another 3 weeks, another 301 tomatoes. That's actually pretty light for late August/early September - it got hot in July, and they had trouble setting fruit. But harvests are picking up again now. As of today, started removing flowers from the mid-size tomatoes. Will probably start doing that to the small tomatoes next week.

They're all very rusty looking. But still respond well and put out lots of new greenery when I feed them. Blight? Maybe. But not fatal. Haven't bothered with any anti-fungals. It's been a very dry summer, hardly even a thunderstorm in passing.

The tiger stripe appears to be a hornworm magnet - caught two on that plant, and none on any others. The pink berkeley tie-dye has another full load of fruit. Definitely not determinate, but doesn't like heat. The stripes were cool, but I don't think I'll grow either of these varieties again.

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The tomatoes came in heavily,

The tomatoes came in heavily, with 406 harvested in 3 weeks, of assorted sizes.... The first picture below shows one of each type. smiley Lots of time on tomato processing, sauces, drying, giving away... All plants still fairly healthy, though that early girl never really succeeded.

The Berkeley tie-dye is not determinate. It woke up, grew more, and set more fruit during a lull between heat waves.

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Had a strong heat wave, and a

Had a strong heat wave, and a three-way tie for first tomato of the year - juliet, sweet baby girl, and that monster berkeley tie-dye tomato, all on 7/18, with my first tiger stripe the day after. Just picked the first bucks county today, and still waiting for the first early girl, maybe Tuesday. So, tomato deluge has begun.

These tomatoes are sweet. Most years, the first tomatoes taste kinda eh. Not this year - they taste sweet as fruit, especially the pointy tiger stripes. Which are very pretty. For whatever reason, the juliet fruit are extra-big this year, too, more like plum tomatoes than grape. Sweet baby girl are always uber-sweet, but these are super sweet even when picked orangish instead of crimson.

I have no idea if I'm picking the berkeley tie-dye ripe or not. The plant acts determinate, despite being advertised as a compact indeterminate. It tastes good. I don't think I'll grow it again though. The other newb, tiger stripe, is fun, and has multiple color combos in the seed packet, so I'd like to grow that again.

Did the mid-season fertilizer refresh on all tomatoes (and peppers and eggplant) yesterday. Leaves were starting to yellow.

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First blush on the tomatoes

First blush on the tomatoes yesterday. smiley Pink Berkeley tie-dye and sweet baby girl tied. Today one of the Juliets just started orange, too. That particular tie-dye came from a huge compound flower, and is a huge compound tomato (most of the photo is that one tomato), so it's unlikely to harvest first.

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8 weeks from transplant (age

8 weeks from transplant (age 14 and 12 weeks). Lots of fruit, still all green. I'm pretty sure the smaller-fruited 3 plants have terminal-sized fruit, they just haven't started turning colors yet. With the bigger fruit - who knows.

You can see the moire pattern on the pink tie-dye now. smiley Can sort of see it on the small tiger-stripe, too, but the biggest of those is at the back of a mass of plant - hard to get at.

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6 weeks from transplant (age

6 weeks from transplant (age 12 and 10 weeks).

All tomato plants now have fruit, and setting more. Side-dressed more organic fertilizer on the four plants in the driveway. Early Girl plant continues lackluster - that seedling wasn't well. The pink Berkeley tie-dye has over 10 fruit of golf ball size and above, and keeps setting more. Bucks county isn't as prolific, but has big fruit, too. Those were the two plants I started a couple weeks early.

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Oh, that's too bad, Beth. I

Oh, that's too bad, Beth. I think you're right on the temps. I was reading a bunch of reviews on this tomato today (was just checking how many days to maturity on it). Seemed like half the people got great yields and half really poor yields, and the happier half were north. Hope you get a cool snap and set some more soon.

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