Dirt
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This year's experience and next year's plan

I got back into gardening this season full-bore, or at least as full bore as one can be with limited space. With regard to tomatoes, I planted 2 cherry, 2 beefsteak, and 4 Fourth of July in my front bed, and a Fourth of July as an experiment in a shady area. The Beefsteak were for old time sake, I hadn't planted any in years. They did well but other than being large enough to cover a burger they don't do much that other varieties can't do. The Cherry are for my wife. The problem is we end up like everyone else, thousands of tiny tomatoes and nothing to do with them. This year I decided we'd learn to can. Right now I have 6 lbs. of Cherry Tomatoes thawing on the counter, today is Tomato Jam day.

At first I was disappointed in the size of the FoJ's. They average about 1.5-2 oz. I was looking for an Early Girl but didn't see any, so I grabbed these. They are as advertised though. Very early, very prolific, and fairly tasty. Though smaller in size it occurred to me that they are ideal size for canning whole. We've picked hundreds and hundreds of the little guys, are still picking and canning. I am currently saving them in batches by straining and pureeing, then freezing. When I have enough I'll try my hand at some canned spaghetti sauce.

I've decided to swap things up for next year. More tomatoes are on tap and a better use of space in my Sq. Ft. garden. I have room for 12 indeterminate plants, trellised. Cherry will be limited to one plant just so we have them. I am going to plant 3 of the FoJ's because we like them, they're very early, and can be used for just about anything. The next four spots will be set aside for Early Detroit. I am interested to grow this tomato for it's local history, and in reading up it appears to be a medium sized tomato with excellent flavor and a good choice for most uses, including canning leftovers at the end of the season. The next three plants will be an Amish Paste. These will be dedicated to sauces and preserving while we're enjoying the other varieties. Lastly, I am considering one plant of the Super Sauce Hybrid to round out the paste row. It gets good reviews and looks like it'd be fun to grow.

So from you tomato experts, please give me your thoughts on my selections for next year. I suppose I'm no different than most of you in that I grow tomatoes for just about every reason there is. Do my choices appear to be a good mix for the goals? Does anyone have experience with the Super Sauce?

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lakngulf
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

Glad you had and continue to have good luck with this year's tomatoes. You sound like me, though, looking for each and every spot that another tomato can be planted. I grow a lot of tomatoes, but primarily for sandwich/salad eating, freezing for soup, and giving away to friends and neighbors. So I really cannot comment on the varieties you have selected for various purposes.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

xtgold
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

I just took cuttings of 4th of july hybrids to clone for next year.
They were in a different section of the garden and escaped the various diseases that killed the others.
I also have seedlings from the 1st one that got ripe,I planted it the same day I picked it (july 12)
I had red defender plants that were supposed to be determinate type but are still producing.
I have a clone of that.I also cloned stupice,to get a second crop and to have more clone material.
I took cuttings of omar's lebanese which love hot dry weather like we had this year.

Dirt
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

We have a frost advisory for tonight so the vines have been stripped. I took a few good suckers a couple days ago and am rooting them in water. The plan is to grow one in the house and use suckers from it for spring plantings.

I have about 25 lbs of green tomatoes on the counter. I see some green tomato Salsa Verde in my future.

xtgold
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

I stick the cuttings in wet potting soil and spray them with a liquid fertilizer.

imafan26
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

I don't grow or need so many tomatoes and I grow mine in containers so I can make better use of the garden space (16ft x 8 ft oval).
I did grow Fourth of July, It is a reliable tomato, but it a small tomato. at about 3-4 oz.

I do like the cherries for their productivity: Sunsugar, Sungold, and supersweet100, as well as sweet mojo.
For the larger tomatoes, I haven't found any that meet the requirements of heat tolerance, disease resistance and good flavor. Brandywine has the best tomato flavor but it is not disease resistant or productive. Celebrity has the disease resistance, heat tolerance and is not a big plant but it tastes like a store tomato....wait a minute.... it is the most common market tomato here. Heatwave II provided tomatoes when the others stopped, it was an o.k. tomato. The florida heat tolerant tomatoes never made it, they don't have disease tolerance. The local tomato Kewalo tastes ok, it is not very big about 8 ounces, but as is typical of most locally bred tomatoes, it has tough skin. Red current was very productive and sweet, but the tiny tomato is a little hard to harvest, it cracks easily. I have had luck with Big Beef, it is not a brandywine but it does taste pretty good and it is fairly heat tolerant although my temperatures usually peak around 91 degrees. It is more prolific than brandywine; the fruit are smaller.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

I really didn't have any keepers as far as heat resistant tomatoes this season, and many I got in trades, when I stated that this was all I was looking for, for the most part. Some were OK in the early summer, but when it got into the high 90s, some simply died, and the rest stopped producing. I had a few varieties that did great the last two mild summers, but were done in by this hot summer (hottest July, and second hottest Aug. on record in the area). Big Beef was the only large tomato that kept producing, though not a lot, and sunsugar wasn't bothered. The artisans - Bumblebees and Tigers - were some of those that did great, but died from the heat. I'll still grow them, given the incredible production the last two summers, and even in the beginning of this year.

Peppers weren't bothered by the heat, as usual (though I lost some in the early cold snaps in May. Chocolate Habanero produced incredible amounts, from just one plant; no other new keepers. Hari was the Eggplant that kept producing all summer, though I kept getting a few Neons, as well. Ma Zu and Ichiban stopped completely, but started again, toward the end of August.

Okra also loved the heat, and I found that Emerald did better than LA Green Velvet in tow ways. One, it was far less fibrous when it got to about 6", and the second plus was that it was self branching. LA Green, and most okras, produce only on the tip of the stalk, and keep growing until you snip it, then it gets too high to pick. Eventually, they will send branches out, and start producing on those, but it takes a while. Emerald had several (7 on one!) producing stalks, and they just came out on their own, w/o slowing the growth. Definitely the one I will grow most of, though I'll still try other varieties next to it.

Canada crookneck butternut did not produce nearly as well this season as the regular crookneck did last season. I grew it, figuring that I wanted smaller squash (one crookneck was 18 lbs last season!), and that this should produce more in number, but it produced less in number, as well! Definitely not a keeper. The Polaris produced as well as last season, so the heat didn't slow it. Maybe the Canada CN likes it cooler?

The Shanghai Bitter Melon started producing in less than 50 days, and was incredibly productive, until that heat hit! So next season I'll try another variety, that says it's a heat resistant one. The West Indian Gherkins were good, but a pain to process, with those spiny skins, so I probably won't grow those, since they also stopped in the heat.

I have a couple of new varieties in the fall garden, but too early for those.
Dave

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Dirt Man
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Re: This year's experience and next year's plan

I always plant about 6 different kinds of tomatoes no matter what the weather does 2 or 3 types will do better than all the others. This year Big Beef and Beef master was the top producers. Big Beef produces tomatoes 1 week before Early Girl. Cherry tomatoes were for first plants to produce tomatoes 2 weeks before any others. Beef Steak was very late producing tomatoes and produced very few tomatoes unlike Beef Steak i grew in the past so this makes me thing they were labeled wrong and were not really Beef Steak. Big Beef and Beef master a total of 8 plants were producing 30 lbs of tomatoes every day from about June 20 to July 15. We had 102 degrees weather 1 day in June then it was about 95 to 97 every day from July 4 to late Oct the tomatoes suffered and many died in the heat. The tomatoes i planted in the shade did best in 97 degrees heat the plants got full sun early morning 8 am to 12 noon then the big tree gave them shade the hottest part of the day until dark. At its peak 24 tomato plants were producing 40 lbs of tomatoes every day for about 3 weeks. For 2 month 97 degree temperatures and no rain tomato plants made just enough to have for dinner every day we had Canned 140 lbs of tomatoes in Mason Jars by July 14. Now 10/11/16 the weather is cooling down 78 to 80 degrees every day and still no rain but we still get tomatoes to eat every day I have been watering the plants every day also and 9 plants are still alive but look almost dead. The cooler temperatures has causes the plants to have new green growth that sticks out like a sort toe on these dead looking plants. Things are picking up I harvested 10 tomatoes yesterday evening for dinner.

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