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applestar
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Here's yesterday's harvest:
1st Casey's Pure Yellow -- I've been watching the fruits get bigger and bigger with amazement and this first one's no slouch, 1st Vorlon (2), 1st KBX, 1st Orange Misk, 1st White Tomesol....
1st Casey's Pure Yellow, 1st Vorlon, 1st Orange Minsk, 1st KBX, 1st White Tomesol, etc.
1st Casey's Pure Yellow, 1st Vorlon, 1st Orange Minsk, 1st KBX, 1st White Tomesol, etc.
The skies suddenly got dark and it looks like it was going to rain. (It was SUPPOSED to rain all day ... NOT)
I looked out over the Spiral Garden and it looked like there was another Grandma Viney's ready to pick -- There was anther plant in the foreground blocking it but I could see bright yellow and flash of orange. So I said to myself, I'll just rescue that and two or three others that look ready....

Well, I almost overflowed the 2 gal collection bucket :roll:
4efcd6ebe474b1d1e3f12fdc1d142c22.jpg
Today's surprise was a HUGE Wes tomato. It is a triple fused fruit and 1-1/4 Lbs. :-()

-- oh yeah, no Grandma Viney's. I can't figure out what those two large yellow ones are -- I'm losing track of where one plant ends and another one begins. But there was a big double fused Pineapple Pig. A couple of large Indigo Apple, etc.
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applestar
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Here's the Wes on a scale:
1-1/4 Lbs
1-1/4 Lbs
I have two other big ones waiting their turns --

Casey's Pure Yellow which is larger than the 1st Casey's Pure Yellow that was harvested above (that one is weighing in at just shy of 15 oz):
Casey's Pure Yellow
Casey's Pure Yellow
...and Leadbeatter's Lunker which is even larger:
Leadbeatter's Lunker
Leadbeatter's Lunker
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Wow that's a lot of tomatoes. How are you going to manage to eat them all?! :D

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Oh this is so frustrating. You are all talking about the Spiral garden, and I can't view the pictures. :(

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Yeah, that exceeded bandwidth block again. :x
The blocked pictures should become viewable again on 27th or 28th of the Month.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Yesterday's Harvest including several 1st Cherokee Green:
1st Cherokee Green and more Grubb's Mystery green, another Casey's Pure Yellow, (not?) Jaune Flammeé -- yellow beefsteak shape....
1st Cherokee Green and more Grubb's Mystery green, another Casey's Pure Yellow, (not?) Jaune Flammeé -- yellow beefsteak shape....
The not Sinister Minister is turning out to be not strictly Jaune Flammeé either -- it is clear yellow beefsteak shape -- it started off being more round, then the color of subsequent fruits faded to butter yellow, and now this, so it is very confusing :?
Not Sinister Minister and Not Jaune Flammeé either
Not Sinister Minister and Not Jaune Flammeé either
The two round yellow fruits below the small Howling Mob corn from the Front Yard Fence Row and above the Indigo Apple tomatoes are Pristine summer apples from the Espalier Orchard.

The earlier flooding in the swales benefitted the tomatoes with plenty of water (except where the slope of the land drained down and left the soil constantly soggy) but the humidity took its toll as disease. I'm not treating them at all this year to see how well they resist, so there is quite a bit of yellowing going on now:
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-- but maybe you can see the huge Leadbeatter's Lunker in the front blushing and 2nd largest Casey's Pure Yellow to the left, also ready to pick and keep safe in the house until they ripen. You can sort of see a Pineapple Pig to the right, too. Too bad the Wes and two Red Barn fruits which are also probably close to one pound size each are too far in the back to show up.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

ed40866fd0afb0880143e224f967d878.jpg
Leadbeatter's Lunker
Leadbeatter's Lunker
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

I love your tomato spiral!

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Thanks! It's crazy productive. :o
I must say, this is the *second* time a brand new bed, dug in this way turned out to be great first tomato bed 8)

Here is today's harvest:
1 lb 5 oz Casey's Pure Yellow, 1st Nature's Riddle, 1st Soldacki from VGC, etc....
1 lb 5 oz Casey's Pure Yellow, 1st Nature's Riddle, 1st Soldacki from VGC, etc....
b6e729149b6c4d5cf5570c72f72b4496.jpg
...other big ones are Wes, Stump Of the World, 1st (VGC), 2 Vorlon fruits that I think split skin when I dunked them in the bucket of water to wash, 1st Nature's Riddle, and a double Jackss Yellow.

These tomatoes filled a 2 gal bucket.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

So what ARE you doing with the mad influx of tomatoes?
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

So far I haven't had time to do any more than give away and freeze ripe ones that can't be immediately eaten fresh, and that seemed sufficient until about 5 days ago.... Now though?

I did look into getting a table space at a local Farmer's Market but, again, it didn't seem like I had enough to sell last week.

It's (hopefully) supposed to rain today. I'll be processing tomatoes. :roll: nutz:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

If it does look like you are going to have enough fruit to do a farmers market you definitely should. I think it would be a good way to pay for some of the garden. And I think it would be fun to talk to people and stuff. Next year you could even think about planting a few extra and plan on going to the farmers market.

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

The allergies are hitting me pretty hard right now and I'm dragging. I REALLY didn't want to go outside today, but looking out the window, I saw that the biggest Casey's Pure Yellow was ready to pick. Even though I sawit in the dawn light, it took me until nearly noon to pull on my boots and step out the back door.

What drove me was the incessant cicadas announcing how hot it was and knowing that hot days often draws the groundHOG to the garden when I'm not out there. I would have been devastated if something had happened to the anticipated fruit.

So, I went out wi the intention of picking that one and maybe a couple of others I could see out the window... But by the time I finished.... :roll:
f8c56a7a3de0c3b21c1ad45aa38bbf99.jpg
...and, as I told my DD, it was worth every mosquito bite! :-()
1 Lb. 13 oz Casey's Pure Yellow
1 Lb. 13 oz Casey's Pure Yellow
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

8/2 harvest
1st Beauty King, etc.
1st Beauty King, etc.
Today's harvest
1 Lb. 7 oz mystery tomato mis-labeled Dwarf Emerald Giant -- Grandma Viney's Yellow and Pink?
1 Lb. 7 oz mystery tomato mis-labeled Dwarf Emerald Giant -- Grandma Viney's Yellow and Pink?
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

I've been harvesting every couple of days but I got tired of posting :lol:

My garden's getting tired. too. My tomatoes were early sprinters but are getting overtaken by septoria, and late maturing varieties and plants that were started later and/or were planted out late are either struggling to eke out a handful of fruits or never really got the chance.

I hope you can see the last effort they are putting on. I think under the circumstances the sweet potatoes I planted between them are working out as succession crop. I'll have to figure out what to plant to replace the tomatoes in the far half of the spiral which is shaded all morning so I thought was unsuited for the sweet potatoes... Maybe I can plant peas or fall spinach.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

I realized that during the gap in posting, I harvested 1st fruits of Anna Banana Russian, White Zebra, and Malachite Box. Hm... Chocolate Stripes and Punta Banda too if it hasn't been mentioned already. More Blondekopfchen from the struggling vine keeping just ahead of septoria, and two 4" fruits from Faelan's First Snow (variegated Cherokee Purple) in containers before they went down.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Last night I totally panicked that I hadn't taken pictures of the harvested Anna Banana Russian fruits at all.
This morning, I took them out in the rain for a photo-shoot. Aren't they adorable? :()
Anna Banana Russian (larger one is 3" in diameter)
Anna Banana Russian (larger one is 3" in diameter)
...I was surprised because I was expecting sausage shaped fruits like the Orange Banana's. :D

8/15 -- tasted the Anna Banana Russian
Anna Banana Russia cut open
Anna Banana Russia cut open
Unfortunately, even though it was lovely clear light yellow, the flesh was so mild it had no real flavor and would have been bland without the gel. ...but I wanted to save the seeds -- what a dilemma! :? Ended up putting the seed/gel less pieces in a colorful mixed tomato salad with yogurt/mayo basil dressing. To be fair, it was the first fruit (usually a dud) and the plant was in a wet spot, struggling to produce the two fruits.
Last edited by applestar on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added cut fruit photo and flavor comments.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Guess I'll post today's harvest photo since I did take one... Even though it's a bit blurry (I think I jumped when there was a flash-and-boom overhead -- I was already drenched :eek:) Biggest fruit in the photo is the 2nd Leadbeatter's Lunker -- "only" 1 Lb. 5 oz. -- and those are the only two fruits this plant produced.
1st Liz Birt Purple in the front.  There are White Zebras in the saladette size pile (blurry though)
1st Liz Birt Purple in the front. There are White Zebras in the saladette size pile (blurry though)
The dark red/purple fruits in the cherry tomato pile are the muscadine grapes I mentioned elsewhere.

I want to also mention that my NOT White Queen fruits are producing piriform (pear-like) saladette size fruits. They start out white, then clear pink, and ripen to red flesh.
NOT White Queen
NOT White Queen
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Great pics Apple, so how is that NOT White Queen? Will you bring it back?

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

So I know it would be a ton of work to do much individually to your tomato plants when you have so many, but I was wondering if you do any pruning on them? My tomato plants are in cages with a row of stakes on the outside down each side of the row of cages, so that long branches escaping from the cages can be tied to the stakes. Anyway this year for the first time, I pruned out a bunch of leaves/branches that were growing in to the center of the cage as well as pinching out all the suckers as I usually do. This kept the plants a lot more opened up for air circulation. They are still lush and full and green and covered in tomatoes. They have had little bits of septoria, but I just trim off any leaves that start showing spots and they have stayed well ahead of it.

They are in the same beds that I always grow tomatoes in, since I have so little sunny area. We have had tons of rain this year, but slowed down lately, and a cool dampish summer. I can't say for sure it is the pruning, but I would have expected to have more problems with septoria by now.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Well, I started out with good intentions... Even had the idea that I'll try pruning to single vine, no suckers, or at least no more than 2-3 vines per plant. But somewhere along the middle, I lost to the vigorous growths and the sheer numbers -- it was all I could do to harvest every two days, take photos, and write up progresss reports. :roll: :lol:

I have mixed feelings about what is happening. I honestly have harvested plenty of tomatoes. My kitchen and garage freezers are full and I still have three web trays and two large (salad spinner size) colanders of fruits. One of the web trays have 8 pint baskets full of cherry and saladette size tomatoes, not just single layer.

Even though the largest beefsteak/slicers are dwindling now, it was plenty fun while they were coming in by bucket loads. Actually, yesterday, I noticed that Red Barn which I thought was done for has sprouted three new shoots midway up the vines despite the mostly dead tips. If they manage to fend off the fungi attack (or if I were to help out with appropriate spray regimen) I would guess that this is how the fall-winter season tomatoes can be grown in the longer season areas in the south.

I kind of liked that some of the tomatoes were done by early August and would have allowed me to plant a full fall season crop in their place. In fact, I had planned on cutting the Red Barn at the base and planting something else there. With 60 days left until first average frost, I doubt that the Red Barn has time to produce ripe fruits for me here, but it was an interesting observation.

Also, in some cases, plants that perhaps had been suppressed by their more vigorous neighbors are on the upswing, diseased or not. There are good many plants sporting green fruits and I will probably still end up harvesting tomatoes until frost. For me, it's a question of making up my mind to pull/execute the strugglers and get the fall/winter harvest planting done at this point.
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Don't get me wrong -- I think pruning diligently is an essential technique and if you can do it, you should... Especially if you are working with limited number of plants or particularly valuable varieties. Having ID'd my family's "favorites" to grow again next year, I could see myself trying to keep them producing as long as possible. This year, I just have too many :lol:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Sweet potatoes (and marigolds) trying to take over the inner swale/path of the spiral garden .... :wink:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Don't get me wrong -- I think pruning diligently is an essential technique and if you can do it, you should... Especially if you are working with limited number of plants

I certainly agree with that and I have very limited number of plants. I have 3 in the sunny front lawn bed that are doing great. I have 2 in the back yard shade bed that are lanky/leggy and not very productive and 2 in the community garden bed that I only make it to look at once a month or so ( :( bad me!) that are hanging in there, but not very productive. Next year better on all the non front lawn spaces!
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Update photo of the Spiral Garden -- you can sort of see some larger green fruits in the upper right 2 o'clock ... Possibly Stump of the World or Grandma Viney's. Snow White is still producing a couple of fruits every couple of days. A few more green fruits at left maybe 9 to 10 o'clock, and last of the Tasmanian Chocolate and Not White Queen in the center.

Near half of the spiral garden is matted with sweet potatoes and you can sort of see their mauve flowers to the left. The Yellow, Orange, and Red blobs are marigolds, and peanut plants are in there somewhere nearby... and there are also some basil, bush beans as well as a toothache plant and a couple of Mexican Mint Marigold in the outer spiral.

In the far half of the garden, I cleared some spots under failing tomato plants and sowed cucumber a while ago (they are starting to vine), as well as peas, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, red orach, and radish recently (they are starting to sprout).:D Spring planted Celery and Celeriac are growing back there too.

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Way Cool, Way to much work and do a potato one next. :) :>

I'd like to hear about the peanuts, sweet potato and toothache plant.


Eric

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applestar
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

What do you want to know?

Peanuts are pretty much buried -- I only see two out of I think 8 that I planted still standing, and I can't tell if they blooming or if they are managing to touch down and burrow to mature peanuts.

Toothache plant is loving this location and struggling in the shadier other locations ( I had three)

GroundHOG got in and trimmed the sweet potatoes a little but I've fortified and am hoping no more damage. It's getting into my other garden areas and beds -- I lost my tiny bean patch in the last week :evil:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

What do you want to know?
The usuals. Can I grow it here reasonably. Space to yeild. Etc.

The older I get, 50 in March, I'm leaning toward no-nosense gardening. I need / want to just grow food. I'm weeding out and hopefully adding varieties that thrive here.

Eric

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

DoubleDogFarm wrote:
What do you want to know?
The usuals. Can I grow it here reasonably. Space to yeild. Etc.

The older I get, 50 in March, I'm leaning toward no-nosense gardening. I need / want to just grow food. I'm weeding out and hopefully adding varieties that thrive here.

Eric
Good to know Eric as you probably already know you are automatically on the seed list. I will pack accordingly.

Dono :D

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applestar
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Etkeze Paprika hot pepper
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Big tomatoes are winding down, but still a few left
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GroundHOG got one of the biggest apples :evil:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Awesome Apple, I can't believe you are still doing something. I only have a handful of plants left and they should have been taken down weeks ago, the last of my fresh fruit (until the winter dwarfs produce that is) are on the counter and they are pushing the limit.

Keep it up Apple, only thing going for me are peppers and lettuce and a few other things. Been a crazy year, 85 degrees on OCT 2????

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Yeah, us too. One more hot Sunday, then lots of rain, then back to fall weather.
... It might be time to dig the sweet potatoes, but test dig only yielded skinny 5-6" tubers :?
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A salad spinner full of stuff harvested:
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Harvested some more sweet potatoes today as well as the two grey striped sunflower heads and a nice zucchini :D
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Harvested the rest of the sweet potatoes :()
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Nothing huge, but this is about all I get every year, so I would say sharing the bed with tomatoes made no significant difference, and I'm satisfied with the result.

I would probably get better results with earlier maturing varieties, but I don't like the kind that has moist flesh and prefer the Japanese/Asian dry nutty sweet fleshed kinds, and they all seem to require full 120 days or more of the HOT weather which we don't really get. I wish there was an alternative to using black plastic mulch. For reference, I came across a Japanese blogsite where the sweet potato farmer experimented and had great success after combining --INSIDE A HIGH TUNNEL-- a soaker hose managed manured hot bed AND a low tunnel for earlier accelerated initial slip development, then planting them in slits cut in black plastic mulch out in the fields.

...in my garden, just one more late planted tiny patch left, but the vines are entangled with a Rocky Ford melon vine that is trying to ripen a single small fruit ahead of the chilly weather.... :bouncey: so I'll won't dig them up until frost threatens.
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Tomato spiral = complete awesomeness! My son thought it was one of the coolest things he's ever seen. :) So see it's even kid approved- haha! Seriously, your whole garden area was so beautiful to look at- inspiring. Maybe one day mine will look half as great!

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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

Thank you both! (Kids give honest opinions -- I appreciate that) :()

I really liked the way it turned out, too. 8)
I plan to rotate (crops) and plant something else here this year, but it should look interesting again. :wink:

Have fun with your garden! :D
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Re: Spiral Tomato Garden

A spiral is natures greatest from. They happen to be everywhere if you look.

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