Outdoor Tomatoes 2016

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Still inside, of course, but the elder tomatoes are now 3 weeks old, and the younger ones just planted.

I'm trying tomato grafting for the first time!

Learning 1:  grafting rootstock grows faster than anything I want to graft to it! Should have planted scions 5 days before rootstock...

In fact, yesterday was The Appointed Day for me to try grafting, and I had to throw out one of my two rootstock plants. At 21 days from seed it was too fat for my grafting clips. sad And the scions I planted in Dixie cups all failed. What I wanted was a grafted Buck's County tomato. But I decided to keep the only nice Buck's County tomato plant I had going, and just graft an artisan tiger stripe instead, because I had two nice plants of that... Wish me luck!

Harvests:

275 - artisan tiger stripe (blush), first 6/29
111 - sweet baby girl, first 7/6 (done by 9/25)
436 - juliet, first 7/11
10 - black krim, first 7/22 (done by 9/25)
10 - supertasty, serious BER losses, first 7/27 (done by 9/19)
34 - bucks, first 7/27

Frost 10/26 - last picking, probably. (Only juliet still alive at that point.)
 

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Ginger
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Picked 56 more tomatoes in

Picked 56 more tomatoes in October before frost last night. (The juliet plant is still alive...) Grand total, 841 tomatoes, most small. :) Not counting the bag-ripening tomatoes - picked unripe. Who knows how many of those will be worth eating.

It really paid off to start the artisan tomato way early, and put it in a pot by itself with lots of sun. Most tomatoes prefer life in my growboxes, but not that one. It was still producing this weekend. They're really slow to ripen, though.

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785 tomatoes this year - more

785 tomatoes this year - more than enough. A few plants still have a few stragglers to ripen - juliet, artisan blush, and bucks.

Black Krim was interesting, but not productive enough to grow again. The supertasty didn't compete at all well with the juliet, which was unfortunate. I'd counted on supertasty for a tomato sauce making harvest, and only 10 undersized fruit survived BER.  Other people like the sweet and fruity artisan blush more than I do, but they're fun. If I grow artisan again, I'll start them early like this again, but put them back with the juliets.

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And now harvesting first

And now harvesting first tomatoes! 8 artisan tiger stripes so far (variety blush), very fruity tasting. That plant was essentially an indoor/outdoor tomato, planted 3 weeks earlier than last year, because it was so slow last year. The first sweet baby girl cherries outside are also turning red now.

I'm surprised that no juliet tomatoes are turning red yet. They're happy and healthy, though. The beefsteaks downstairs seem to be dawdling along fine - might harvest some by end of July. The super-tasty is the only one with blossom end rot so far. Which may take all of its early fruit if this keeps up. sad Super-tasty is odd. It usually gives a clutch of early tomatoes, ripened along the way, and then sets a bazillion to ripen all at once, later. Semi-determinate.

Lots and lots of aphids. We haven't had much rain to wash them off, and an early abundance of lacewings to eat them seems to have disappeared.

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Happy tomatoes in mid-June.

Happy tomatoes in mid-June.

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The older tomatoes, and the

The older tomatoes, and the topsy-turvy, were transplanted out May 11th, though it was still awfully cold for them. These 4 plants desperately needed transplanting, and tomatoes can take some cool nights... They seem to be thriving, especially the artisan tiger stripe, which has loads of fruit already set, and flowering like mad. The two beefsteak-ish plants, Black Krim and Bucks County, have set fruit. I don't want those to grow like crazy, because if they grow too fast, the fruit get blossom end rot. The topsy-turvy sweet baby girl is much younger, same as the ones upstairs (supertasty and juliet). But you can't thread a large transplant through a topsy-turvy hole. It's blooming.

The other two younger tomatoes transplanted out a week later. They're happy, and the juliet has started flowering. Super-tasty is odd, a semi-determinate. From past experience, it will set ~6 early tomatoes, followed by a hundred or so later to ripen together.

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The 6- and 7-week tomato

The 6- and 7-week tomato plants are even more huge, and it's still not planting day... The artisan tiger stripe has already set its first fruit, which is very cool, since that plant was slow last year. (Hence it getting planted early this year.) Even though it isn't reliably above 50 degrees at night, I may need to transplant some of these out this week.

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Grafting was a bust, but I

Grafting was a bust, but I learned a lot for next time...  Could have tried harder to save the graft. But its same-variety ungrafted sibling is such a nice plant. No way I was going to plant the graft instead of keeping that one.

The 4- and 5-week tomato plants are getting huge, and planned transplant day is still 2 weeks away. The 2-week plants look great. The big guys are bucks county, artisan stripe, and 1 week younger black krim. The 2-week plants are juliet, sweet baby girl, and super tasty. Just buried their stems today. From past experience, I expect first harvest will be from one of those younger ones. They're just faster.

There are a couple eggplant in the last picture, too, gretel and fairy tale. Simple. But, my fairy tale seeds were too old, so needed new ones. That plant's a couple weeks younger.

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