mtgarden gal wrote:
You sound like you know a lot about the different types of tomatoes. I'm still learning. All I know is I've got 4 different varieties, 2 of them are grape types. I would have to go dig out my seed packets to remember what they are called. I wanted to do something different than just the typical grocery store variety. I hope they turn out good.
Thanks so much for your offer of tomato seeds! That sounds great. Some day after I figure out the ins and outs of gardening, I may try saving seeds. You'll have to let me know how you did at it.
What else do you grow? How many years have you been gardening?
I grew up in Conrad, which is about 30-35 miles south of Sunburst. But still close!
(I wish I truly did live in a REAL banana growing climate, as fast as my 3 kids eat bananas!!
I'm not familiar with Conrad, but I was just a kid way back then. I remember my parents shopped in Shelby or Cutbank and my father worked in Sweetgrass. There was a town across the border we went to on occasion; I think its name started with a "C."
The four states in the upper or high Great Plains generally have a "belt" of warmer zones that get missed by the jet streams originating in Alaska or the Sierra Nevadas or the Pacific Northwest. We call those warmer zones "banana belts." I think only North Dakota, my place of origin, is missing one. It gets everything nature can throw at it
I am really just learning about tomatoes. I've been gardening for a long time, over twenty years, off and on, but before I got involved in this forum, I grew the old standby short-season varieties: Better Boy, Early Girl, Fourth of July, and so on.
Last year, I tried heirlooms for the first time. I was stupid, though, and didn't research the variety I chose (Delicious variety). I bought it because it had one of the shortest growing seasons. It turned out to be a diva. It wouldn't set fruit if the temps at night dropped below 55 or the temps during the day rose above 85.
I fought those plants all summer long, too. They got early blight, which is very rare in dry country like mine.
However, the fruit was incredibly delicious, seriously. I had never tasted a tomato like those before. I am now hooked on heirlooms, but I need to find ones that work in this country. I am pretty excited about these Early Wonders. They are supposed to be very early, like 50 or 60 days.
Visit the tomato forum to see some truly lovely varieties. Many of the members grow dozens of different varieties each year. Others experiment with deliberately crossing certain heirloom varieties to get the tomato that is perfect for them. I just grow my one or two varieties a year, looking for the perfect slicer. Once I've done that, I will seek the perfect canner
My favorite plants to grow are hot peppers. If you can extend your season long enough by covering plants, they do very well in this country. They are a drop-dead gorgeous plant, and they let you know straightaway if they are unhappy. You give 'em what they want, and they will produce their ever-loving hearts out!
I've reached the stage where I really, really want to make watermelons work for me. I'm on my second year of trying, and so far, I'm having no luck at all. They want warm soil, and that's something we don't really have until mid-June. I'm thinking about it, though, and I have an idea I will probably run by the members later this season: Plumbing heat tapes. Next year, I will have watermelons, if I have to invest in electric blankets!