gardenvt
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Tomatoe plant productivity

I'm curious how folks determine the "productivity" or "yield" of their tomato plants.

How many tomatoes makes a plant high, moderate or low yielding?

TZ -OH6
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I know of some people that actually weigh each tomato and keep track of total pounds per plant. I do a single count of all fruit at the time the first fruits ripen. That gives me a basic idea among the varieties I grew that year.

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rainbowgardener
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Different varieties produce differently. Brandywine, though I have never grown it, has a reputation for producing low yields of delicious tomatoes.

I saw a study once (can't find it right now) that said average yield per plant over a season was anywhere from 5 -25 pounds of tomatoes. 5 sounds very low to me... If they were just medium sized 1/2 # tomatoes, that would be only 10 tomatoes over the whole season. I would not grow one again that did that to me.

I don't keep records, but I'm sure I have picked over 100 tomatoes from my 5 tomato plants since they started ripening up in late June. (Now that I think of it, that's probably an underestimate, since I know I have picked 25 in just the last few days.) I eat tomatoes every day and have made salsa and spaghetti sauce. I have no idea how that compares to what others would get or if some one else would say it is high or average. Mine are basic hybrid Early Girl, Ultimate Opener, and Big Beef. The Early Girls are pretty small, it would probably take 4 of them to make a pound.

Don't know if this helps any....
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gardenvt
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Thank you for your replies.

While looking at catalogs and reading Dr. Carolyn Male's book, I wondered what in the heck quantifies "yield."

It is indeed subjective - based on our own experiences in our gardens. I just wondered if other people had experiences that met with catalog descriptions - high yielding, very productive. And I wondered what "very productive" and "high yielding" meant to other people.

I have a rough count of what I harvested and weighed only the largest of the tomatoes. It was when a friend said his plants (that I gave him) were very productive that I wondered what he meant. He was thoughtful and slow to answer but he thought that 20 was about the right number for the heirloom beefsteaks that I gave him. I also thought it was a good number for this zone and especially for his area which is cooler than mine.

Still and all, it is interesting to know what other people experience with their gardens and perhaps with a particular type of tomato. My beefsteaks did well enought that my freezer is full of roasted tomatoes. The cherry types have been overwhelming - I call them "over achievers" because they are so prolific. I've used them in everyway I can think of and shared them with others - and I have about 5 lbs still sitting on the counter.

Still, it is interesting to know what others think is a high yield or a very productive plant. Not to compare, but to learn more about different types of tomatoes and how they produce in different environments.

KWGardener
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I'm a fairly new gardener (2nd year) so my experience is limited. This year I grew Amish Paste which I heard is very productive. I grew 4 plants in two different locations, two in a community garden in full sun and the other two at the side of my house with afternoon sun only. The community garden plants were OK production wise (20-25 tomatoes each) but the ones at the house are doing outstanding. They are currently about 12 ft tall and by the end of the season I will probably get about 70 tomatoes between the two plants.

I also grew Roma and a hybrid called Cluster Grande. Both were very productive (I didn't count them but easily 60 tomatoes on each Roma and 30+ on the Cluster Grande). Roma tomatoes are tiny though so in terms of lbs it's not as much as the Amish Paste. The Cluster Grande tomatoes were bland so even though production was good, I probably won't grow them again.

TZ -OH6
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I went out to the garden and looked for "productive plants" and these two were the most photogenic.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/51251503@N03/4910416789/


https://www.flickr.com/photos/51251503@N03/4910423183/


I looked at my paste varieties and even though they might be loaded with fruit the fruit are relatively small compared to the beefsteaks and oxhearts. A single truss of five Opalka fruit would equal the weight of one big oxheart, which is something to consider when trying to fill the freezer with sauce.

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gixxerific
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I haven't read the thread all the way.

But I don't think one can really put a "number" on what is and what isn't productive. There are way too many factors involved. Such as soil structure and fertility, type of plant (beefsteak, plum, cherry etc) variety, how it is taken care of, any amendments added during the life-cycle, and most importantly weather and lets not forget any pest problems or disease.

I can tell you one thing though this year was a bust for me. :( I have had a ton of tomatoes but a lot of them were destined for the compost. But yeilds all around are way down from previous years. Last year I probably doubled my harvest at this point with good fruit. :x

hit or miss
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Funny, I was just thinking of starting a post like this! :shock: I'm sitting at 106 pounds of tomatoes off of 7 plants. I have a mix of Early Girl and Celebrities planted this year. As I was picking today, there are still plenty of green maters on the vine at this time and as long as I can stave off disease we'll have what I consider a very good crop this year. This is the first year I have kept a garden diary too.

I'm gardening "au natural" this year and can't really say I'm seeing any less production even without records from past years.

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rainbowgardener
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hit or miss - Good work! Tell as a little more about what gardening "au natural" means to you and how it is different from what you did before and did you have any problems with the transition.....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

hit or miss
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I'll start another thread so as not to hijack this one! Let's hear some more yield reports people!

garden5
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I think to accurately say if a plant is high or low yield, you'd have to break down the tomato plants into categories (roma, cherry, beefsteak, etc) and then do a fruit-count for the plants in that category. This way, you could have an average and a median to give some basis for judging productivity. I think I'll post some harvest info once all the plants have called it quits.
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