Vanisle_BC
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Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

I'm curious about the yields people get from tomato plants in ordinary outdoor gardens or raised beds. I'm not looking for very detailed or scholarly info: just your zone/location and your usual approx yield per plant for the broad types that you grow. Extra comments welcome of course but I'm mainly interested in very basic, possibly estimated information; thanks.
Last edited by Vanisle_BC on Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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applestar
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Re: Your usual tomato yield, by variety?

Last year, I started over 100 varieties of tomatoes from seeds. I think you would get more specific information if YOU said which varieties you are interested in growing....?
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yield, by variety?

applestar wrote:Last year, I started over 100 varieties of tomatoes from seeds. I think you would get more specific information if YOU said which varieties you are interested in growing....?
I'm really interested in getting an idea what yields people typically get from different types of tomatoes. Not details of 100 varieties - more like general types. I already have records of my - embarrassingly puny so I won't reveal :) - yields from last year which was a bad one for me. (I've been growing tomatoes for very many years and this was the second-poorest.) Last year I grew Ailsa Craig, Longkeeper, Latah, Principe Borhghese, Sweetie, Camp Joy (AKA Chadwick's Cherry,) Black Krim and an unidentified donation which I think was Sungold - F1? I generally save my own seed.

This year I'm dropping Krim because of the catfacing; Adding Cherokee Purple and Paul Robeson. May buy some Sungold seed.

I don't grow any big red/pink beefsteak types.

I grow my tomats in raised beds, 6 to each 4'x4' section, and train them up strings; intend to prune to 2 stems but sometimes finish up with 3 or even 4. My beds are protected from the rain so the foliage never gets wet. Worst year was when it did, and late blight took over. Actually I lie - there was another disastrous year when deer got at the plants and devoured them.

To repeat, I'm not looking for really detailed statistics; just a rough feel for what kind of yields people get from what types of tomato. Sorry if I didn't convey that properly.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your approx usual tomato yields?

Anyone??
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applestar
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Re: Your approx usual tomato yields?

Oh dear. I was hoping folks that keep more meticulous records than I do would chime in....

OK, is it ironic that out of your list, I have only grown Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Principe Borghese and Sweetie in the past? (I grew something like 75 varieties the year before last, and probably around 50 the year before that.... :roll:) my Sweetie didn't do so well last year, but Principe Borghese was a tremendously productive variety. I'd say Black Krim was average. Cherokee Purple was more productive but I had concentric cracking/splitting problems with them. I liked Prudens Purple better, I think. You might also like Royal Hillbilly if you are looking for a productive variety.

I mostly only grow heirlooms and some new cross breeding segregates. I generally only grow them for flavor and am not as particular about productivity except as a curiosity as in multiflora varieties.

I guess that's why some people prefer hybrids when looking for productivity.

6 plants in 4 ft by 4 ft bed is a lot IMHO. I do the same In my 18" high raised bed but knowing I'm crowding them. I guess I typically space them at about 18" in raised mound wide beds just because Im trying to squeeze in as many as I can. But they are separated by about 24"-30" mulched swales/paths.

How high and far apart are the beds? How do you treat the paths in between? That may also have a bearing. All in all, larger indeterminates and tall cherries do better with at least 24" spacing.

I also grow taller dwarfs and shorter determinates that only grow to 4-5 ft tall, and shorter dwarfs and micros that only grow to about 28" max and as short as 12". And obviously those can be spaced closer apart.

But production really depends on the variety, too. To THAT I can attest. Some of the particularly late maturing indeterminate heirlooms with really big fruits have only produced maybe only 4-6 but DELICIOUS fruits. I grew some multiflora variety cherry tomatoes that produce trusses of 20-40 fruits each at every 6 inches intervals or so along the vine (Zluta Kytice, Ildi, Idyll, Stormin Norman....)

Earlier maturing ping pong to racketball sized reds like Extreme Bush, Bloody Butcher, Beaverlodge Slicer, Manö, Canabec Super, Kootenai, etc. To name a few are all very productive.

Monomakh's Hat was a super productive determinate with huge mild flavored fruits, and Kamatis Tagalog with convoluted tangy fruits that were great for making juice and cooking into sauce.

Are these the sort of information you are looking for?
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your approx usual tomato yields?

applestar wrote:.........Are these the sort of information you are looking for?
Haha, not really :lol: but all information is good - thanks Applestar! I was hoping for something more like, say....

"My Romas (P. Borghese and Romano) give me about N pounds each in a good year, half that when it's bad. But my cherries (variety unknown) only do about X lb each at their best."

Maybe my query is too general to seem useful but I thought those kind of answers could be interesting; they would to me at any rate.
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applestar
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Re: Your approx usual tomato yields?

See that's what I thought you wanted to know. I do believe some of the members weigh their harvest and keep records from year to year, but they may not have come back for this season yet especially if they tend to buy the plants.

It's still winter for many gardeners and not yet gardening season if you don't start peppers and tomatoes from seeds.

...I'll try changing the thread title and see if that helps...
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your approx usual tomato yields?

Applestar I see You asked a few questions I didn't answer. My raised beds are 18" high like yours, some a bit more. I can sit on the edge to do weeding etc. They are 3.5ft x 16ft long but the way I built them they fall into 3.5 x 4ft sections; not 4x4 as I stated. In each tomato section, there are 2 plants at each end and another 2 placed down the middle; all in a kind of "H" formation. I have 4 of these long boxes (only one is tomatoes) forming the sides of a square with 2 open-ground plots in the middle. Those grow garlic, rhubarb, coles etc. Outside all this is what used to be lawn. I'm encouraging it (by neglect) to become moss but it seems to prefer hosting buttercups. Treatment of walkways inside is also characterised by neglect and the whole thing is less neat & cared for than it probably sounds.

It's bedtime for me; thanks for your responses.
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imafan26
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

I don't really know how many pounds I get. Sometimes I get a lot sometimes not. Besides variety, there are variations from year to year and location. I don't get the poundage other people do. I also have never actually kept records of pounds, only of numbers of fruit. All that really matters to me is that I get enough for my use and some to give away. I don't sell so knowing the weight does not really matter.

I have grown Cherokee purple. It was a good producer of over 50 fruit at one time in clusters of 3-5. I lost the early ones to the birds and kept losing some all along. I don't get fruits over a pound even from varieties that can get very large fruit because of my local growing conditions

Black cherry had very good fruit but was not a good producer for the size of the plant.

I have to grow more disease and heat resistant fruit, otherwise I would have no production once the temperatures get over 85 degrees. That would be most days here.

Cherry tomatoes, hands down produce more fruit and are much more disease and heat resistant than larger tomatoes. Even if the birds help themselves to a few of them there is still plenty left for me, and I cannot say the same for the larger tomatoes. After a while the birds will even start attacking them when they are green.

Sungold, sunsugar, sugary, sweet mojo, supersweet 100 were the most productive plants. Red cherry made a little larger fruit about 1 inch but sometimes they were sweet sometimes not. Yellow pear was productive, the birds left them alone, but I agreed with the birds, I found them too tart to eat.Lizzano was pretty good for a container tomato.

Of the larger tomatoes, the 10-12 oz fruit range was the best compromise for production and disease resistance.
I liked New Big Dwarf, Big Beef, Brandywine. I do grow celebrity because it is a reliable producer, I don't mind the taste as I value a firm tomato that isn't mealy or acidic. Some people thought it was bland but if you cook it down, it doesn't matter.
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

For me my best yields seem to come from the hybrids. If you want better flavour especially with the larger tomatoes go with heirlooms. With the cherry tomatoes i've had great luck with sweet or super sweet 100. good tasting and you get can easily get hundreds of tomatoes off 1 plant if grown right. Hoping to try and get some sun sugar plants this year. I believe they are fairly productive as well.

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Haha; never a number yet! My own best yield in my - very poor - last year was a measly 4lb per Ailsa Craig plant. Other varieties were worse, even down to near-nothing. That was the first year I kept score but I know it was very very bad compared with previous years.

Don't other people have records?
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Just a guess, but I think I harvested an average of about 30 lbs per plant last year, and I would definitely say it was a great year. Sungold produced the most, but most were unusable by the end of the season due to splitting.
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imafan26
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Applestar keeps really good records. I don't weigh what I get out of the garden, I just guestimate. I do counts of the number of fruit and I think more people do that than actually weigh them unless they are going to market.
I have actually tried to journal more but even then, I was only keeping track of planting data like planting dates, actual days to harvest and environmental problems like rain days and pests. I was doing that more to try to figure out the best planting times and sometimes even if you have a good variety of plant, they don't produce because of environmental conditions and that is not necessarily a problem with the plant. I also will lose most of my large tomatoes, especially the early ones to the birds until I close all the gaps they find in my bird netting. They go after the cherry and grape tomatoes too, but since they produce more tomatoes than the beefsteaks, the birds will leave enough for me. Larger tomatoes will produce less total numbers of fruit but make up for it in weight. Good production for me for a large tomato would be anything over 50 fruit. For cherries good productions would be in the hundreds considering my growing conditions.

I have have had good production from
super sweet 100
sungold
sugary
sunsugar
napa grape
Juliet
Cherokee Purple
New Big Dwarf (for its size)
Big Beef
Brandywine
red cherry - productive and disease resistant.
Spoon
Early Girl
Celebrity- commercial variety that is productive and disease resistant but does not have a strong flavor.
Yellow pear- productive but too tangy. It did not like it, neither did the birds
Champion- productive resistant to TYCV but tasted worse than a market tomato. The birds left it alone.

Production was weak but the fruits were tasty
Black cherry
Mortgage Lifter

Failures
Momotaro
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Peter & imafan; Your guesstimates are useful to me; thank you. More specific info would be OK but not if there's so much of it that my head spins (that might not be much info at all!)

Applestar; maybe your data would be overwhelming! But if you have detailed info on the particular varieties we both grow, that would be fascinating.

I've made myself an elaborate spreadsheet which - if I keep it conscientiously updated - will record a lot of data about germination rates, times to maturity, harvest time-limits & yields. Haven't tried to include weather records. Of course the information will only have relevance to my own raw garden/climate conditions and my probably inadequate nurturing. I hope to report in future years - unless my results are too embarrassing :)

imafan, I'm curious about your problem with birds; I've never been aware of any bird damage to my tomatoes although they are accessible. We have mostly Juncoes, Towhees, Crows, Starlings, Robins and the occasional Woodpecker & Stellars Jay.

I also have had no tomato diseases that I know of. Principe Borghese does always have leaf-curl but as far as I can see it does not affect yield.
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

People starting out often want data that is very difficult to supply and wouldn't likely be meaningful anyway. I was looking around to see if there were answers to your question and didn't find any. If you look up tomato varieties, e.g. in tatiana's tomato database, https://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Cate ... riety_List or other places, you find information like "good yield of 8-12 oz purple-black fruits" (or whatever). Other than saying average yields of tomatoes generally can range between five and twenty pounds per plant, I didn't see anyone being more specific. Different varieties are described as being very productive or not very productive.

But what that would mean in actual pounds for you can't really be specified since it varies extremely with soil type/conditions/fertility, weather, water, sun exposure, etc. etc. When I was trying to grow tomatoes in my too-shady backyard, yields were terrible. The same variety planted in the sunny front yard would produce three times as much. Even if I could tell you my Mortgage Lifter tomato plants produced 10 - 15 pounds per plant (which I can't because it would never occur to me to weigh and track all my tomatoes), that in no way implies that if you planted them you would get even remotely similar results.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Thanks, peter1142, for your estimate of 30lb/plant in a very good year.
And Rainbow, thanks for pointing out the statement on Tatiana's site about a 5 to 20lb range. I'd missed that one.

These are two useful pieces of information to me; helping to give a general idea of what others experience. In future I'll try to record & report my yields in some detail. Wish I'd been doing that for the past ~15 years, but better late than never?
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

ummm.... why? what difference would having that information make, vs a general sense of which varieties have been more productive for you. It sounds very OCD to me, to be weighing and recording all your tomatoes. I am retired and I still don't have time for that.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

rainbowgardener wrote:ummm.... why? what difference would having that information make, vs a general sense of which varieties have been more productive for you. It sounds very OCD to me, to be weighing and recording all your tomatoes. I am retired and I still don't have time for that.
I know what you mean. We're very-long-retired ourselves :D - but still have to decide what to make time for :( . I guess we all have our own peculiarly individual curiousness.
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imafan26
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

I have a lot of fruit eating birds. Bulbuls came as pets from Fiji and were released. Now, they are the bane of everybody. They attack orchid buds, papaya fruit, lettuce, strawberries, lychee, mango, pear, chili pepper, fig, and go after almost every large tomato and small ones too. I can usually tell if my fruit is good. Birds only go after the best fruit and will leave the junk ones alone. If a few papayas are planted next to each other, the birds will go after the sweetest fruit. If a tree does not have good fruit, the papaya will fully ripen and be untouched. For the better fruit trees papaya needs to picked as soon as the yellow streak appears. It is the same with tomatoes. The ones I tried that were really bad, needed no netting, the birds left them alone. Mejiro or white eye is a small bird but very aggressive. I saw one attack a cat that was just passing by. They will eat a papaya from the back side and leave only the skin. Mynahs also like fruit but aren't as aggressive about it as the bulbuls and they are more omniverous and they will go after insects, lizards, and worms as well. All of these birds are not native to Hawaii.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Your usual tomato yields? -- How many pounds per plant?

Imafan, I neglected to acknowledge the information you provided; 50 or more fruits on your Cherokee Purple. Glad you kept count; thanks.
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