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BS: tomato plant question

maire-aine 04 Jul 07 - 12:03 PM
Sooz 04 Jul 07 - 12:35 PM
maire-aine 04 Jul 07 - 12:44 PM
Bert 04 Jul 07 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,LDB 04 Jul 07 - 01:02 PM
gnu 04 Jul 07 - 01:20 PM
Janie 04 Jul 07 - 01:25 PM
Sooz 04 Jul 07 - 02:19 PM
gnu 04 Jul 07 - 02:36 PM
maire-aine 04 Jul 07 - 04:14 PM
Peace 04 Jul 07 - 04:30 PM
Wyrd Sister 04 Jul 07 - 04:34 PM
Peace 04 Jul 07 - 04:38 PM
Beer 04 Jul 07 - 05:25 PM
terrier 04 Jul 07 - 07:10 PM
bobad 04 Jul 07 - 07:20 PM
EBarnacle 04 Jul 07 - 07:26 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Jul 07 - 07:52 PM
maire-aine 04 Jul 07 - 10:07 PM
Peace 04 Jul 07 - 11:00 PM
Janie 04 Jul 07 - 11:00 PM
Janie 04 Jul 07 - 11:12 PM
Peace 04 Jul 07 - 11:15 PM
Janie 05 Jul 07 - 12:05 AM
Peace 05 Jul 07 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,dianavan 05 Jul 07 - 01:16 AM
JennyO 05 Jul 07 - 01:19 AM
Genie 05 Jul 07 - 02:28 AM
Genie 05 Jul 07 - 02:39 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 07 - 09:06 AM
gnu 05 Jul 07 - 09:17 AM
Janie 06 Jul 07 - 01:15 AM
JennyO 06 Jul 07 - 01:20 AM
open mike 06 Jul 07 - 03:23 AM
Bee 06 Jul 07 - 06:17 AM
greg stephens 06 Jul 07 - 07:13 AM
Genie 06 Jul 07 - 12:24 PM
bobad 06 Jul 07 - 01:00 PM
JennyO 06 Jul 07 - 01:26 PM
Genie 06 Jul 07 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Jul 07 - 08:28 PM
Janie 07 Jul 07 - 01:35 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 07 - 08:46 PM
Janie 07 Jul 07 - 11:31 PM
JennyO 07 Jul 07 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,dianavan 08 Jul 07 - 10:34 AM
JennyO 08 Jul 07 - 11:06 AM
Rowan 08 Jul 07 - 07:07 PM
Genie 08 Jul 07 - 08:23 PM
Janie 08 Jul 07 - 10:52 PM

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Subject: BS: tomato plant question
From: maire-aine
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 12:03 PM

I know there are some gardeners out there that can help me out here. I'm not much of a gardener myself, but I bought 4 heirloom tomato plants this spring, and I've managed to keep them alive so far. They have lots of blossoms and a few little tomatoes now.

When I was a little kid, my father used to pick off some of the leave, so that the fruit would grow bigger. I'd like to try this, but I don't know how he judged which branches to prune off. Can somebody explain this to me.

Thanks,
Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Sooz
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 12:35 PM

It won't make the fruit grow bigger - the plants need the leaves to photosynthesise to make the raw materials to build tomatoes. However, they may ripen better once they have grown if you remove some leaves (to let the sun get at the fruits perhaps). I usually take any off that are looking the worse for wear and generaly thin the leaves out. I confess that I usually find that they are sideshoots I missed earlier in the season.
We shared our first ripe tomato last week. Not exactly a glut yet!

PS What are heirloom tomatoes?


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: maire-aine
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 12:44 PM

There's an extended definition in wikipedia, but generally they are old-fashioned varieties of tomato plant that aren't commercially grown. Generally, they have better taste, but don't travel as well as the ones you get in the store.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 12:56 PM

Usually you pinch out the top of the plant after the fourth truss has set.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: GUEST,LDB
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 01:02 PM

First, are the plants you have originally from a place where growing conditions are similar to where you now live? By that I mean temperature, soil conditions, etc. These old-timers were developed in a specific location, so it is somewhat important.

Second, as Sooz says, the only reason to pick off leaves is if the plant is way too bushy - I never do that, and mine do well. In the old days, there were many gardeners that thought it wise to pick off some of the blossoms so the remaining tomatoes would get bigger and better. In those days there was some truth to it, because soil & moisture were pretty much left alone. Now in these days of fertilizer and easy watering that is not the case - I never do that, but I do keep track of the soil type and moisture.

Course, I'm a newcomer to heirloom growing - I've only been doing it about 60 years. And they are bigger, meatier, and (to me) taste better. But they don't ship or store well.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 01:20 PM

Between a main branch and a secondary branch, a third branch (known as a sucker to me) may appear. Pick these off. Of course, this also applies branches on the stalk.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 01:25 PM

What gnu said.

Suckering the plant will actually result in fewer, but larger tomatoes. (But you will still have plenty of tomatoes.)

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Sooz
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 02:19 PM

What you are describing is what we call sideshoots in this neck of the woods. Some varieties should have them removed and then "stop" the plant by pinching out the growing tip when you are satisfied with the number of trusses. Other varieties (mostly those grown outdoors) can be allowed to bush, but should be "stopped" sooner. Once a plant has been "stopped", the fruits will begin to ripen as the effort is no longer put into growing. Also at this stage, reducing the amount of water given will help. (Ripening helps with survival!)


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 02:36 PM

Oops........ "Of course, this also applies branches on the stalk." should read, "Of course, this also applies to branches on the stalk." That is, when a sucker grows between the stalk and the branch, pick it off.

BTW, my old man never trusted the bees for polination. He would use his fingers and, of course, make lewd comments. A buddy of mine gave me an excellent tip.... use a new makeup brush just for tomatoe plant polination and keep it in a plastic bag. You can also make comments, but not nearly as lewd. Oh! And, for those macho men out there, a small paint brush will work just as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: maire-aine
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:14 PM

"when a sucker grows between the stalk and the branch, pick it off"

I think that's what he was doing. Thanks folks. What a wealth of information in this forum!


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:30 PM

"Usually you pinch out the top of the plant after the fourth truss has set."

That would work well for tomatoes, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:34 PM

I read somewhere you can also remove the leaves below a truss that has ripened. Can't remember where, of course!


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:38 PM

Something that hasn't been mentioned: it isn't wise to water the whole plant in sunlight (strong sunlight) becauuse it leads to the tomato itself cracking. Tomatoes will ripen even when picked green, so if there is a freeze or snow, don't let the green ones go to waste. (Sorry to talk about snow, but one year we had a snowfall on August 8 and I was up all night hosing off the plants.) Try a spaghetti sauce using ripe fresh tomatoes. WOW!


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Beer
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 05:25 PM

You can also plant your tomato tree deep. Right up to the first set of leaves. This tends to make the plant stronger. To late for this year for most I guess.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: terrier
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 07:10 PM

If you are going to pull off the side shoots, pot them up for extra plants as they root very easily, or try growing 'Bonzai' plants from them in small pots if the side shoots have developed flowers, you'll get normal sized tomatoes from very small plants.Amaze your friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: bobad
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 07:20 PM

A good article on pruning tomato plants CLICK


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: EBarnacle
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 07:26 PM

I don't believe we need to worry about frosts here in NJ at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 07:52 PM

Don't remove any leaves. Later on, when the lowest leaves are looking a bit bedraggled and yellow, you can snap them off at the base. You should train the plants up string or canes with just one main stem, so remove sideshoots regularly. These don't look like leaves. They are leafy shoots that grow in the leaf axles (the points at which the leaf stalks meet the main stem). Just snap them off with your finger and thumb for a clean break. Pruning with secateurs is a bad idea as the cut stems will allow infection in.   If you don't remove sideshoots you'll end up with a jungle and a lot of small, unripe tomatoes. If you're growing outdoors in a cool climate (e.g. London), remove the growing tip once you see little tomatoes on the fourth truss. In a greenhouse you can let them grow to any size that's compatible with the space you have before removing the growing tip. Here in Cornwall I can still pick ripe tomatoes in my unheated greenhouse into late October.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: maire-aine
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 10:07 PM

Once again, we're divided by a common language. I've never heard the term "truss" used in the context of a plant. Would someone kindly explain what this means?

Thanks,
Maryanne


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 11:00 PM

Truss means a compact flower or fruit cluster. (That according to Merriam-Webster.)


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 11:00 PM

And I am realizing how climate makes a difference. Where I live we never top tomatoes. We have a long growing season, and aren't much concerned about the vast majority of the harvest ripening before frost. In fact, disease and old age is likely to finish off the plants well before frost, and shorter day length will slow production. Since tomato plants have trouble lasting through the season here, many people do as terrier suggests and root suckers to start a mid-season crop. By the time the first planting is finished and pulled out of the ground, the second crop is bearing.

Now I'm wondering if length of growing season influences your preferences for determinate vs. indeterminate varieties.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 11:12 PM

Peace, are you talking about the vertical splitting that happens when tomotoes take up a lot of water, like after abundant rain, and especially when subjected to cycles of dryness and then abundant water, or are talking about the tough, brown lines and 'crazing', usually around the top circumference?

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 11:15 PM

Neither, Janie. I have seen people water tomatoes at say 2:00 PM under a hot sun. Invariably the skins of the tomatoes split.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 12:05 AM

Hmm. Well, that kinda makes sense, especially if they are really thirsty plants. By 2:00 in the afternoon of a hot day, they have expired a lot of water, and I'm guessing the roots at that time of day take up new water very greedily. Tomatoes are full of water, and the fruit will literally take up more water than the skin can keep contained. The 'meat' swells from the water, and the thin skin splits from the internal pressure.

Or, if they are good and ripe and plump, and expanded by the heat of the day, the pressure of water hitting the fruit might be enough to cause it to split. I've noticed how good, ripe fruit, especially after a rain, will split just from the gentle handling involved in picking it and placing it in a basket.

You are in the north - do you know if determinate varieties are preferred where you live?

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 12:57 AM

I'm not sure, Janie. I know that people who do their own canning or sauces using fresh tomatoes tend to prefer determinates because they can plan for the harvest and know it won't go on for much longer than a few weeks--usually ONE week. But then most of the folks I've known who did plant tomatoes were farming/ranching folks, and their time was valuable during the times the plants would ripen, and being able to work a time for canning, etc, into the overall picture was a good thing.

My ex's father used to plant them and have fresh tomatoes daily for months. So, mostly, I guess it depends on what ya want 'em for.

I haven't had a garden for over eight years. So, in short, it beats me.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 01:16 AM

Everyone has their own way of gardening and their own way of growing tomatoes. There is no wrong or right way.

I used to stake my tomatoes and carefully prune the suckers. Now I just put straw around the base and let them sprawl and ripen. I actually seem to get more tomatoes that way because you can plant them closer together. Once they begin to blossom, I don't water them anymore. I think I'm a lazy gardener.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: JennyO
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 01:19 AM

Here in Oz, it's a long growing season, so our situation is similar to the one described by Janie. Disease or shorter days finish ours off in the end, but by that time, a few new plants have sprung up from some of the dropped tomatoes or out of the compost.

We don't get frost where I live, although it does get pretty cold at night in winter, so I let the feral plants do their own thing just to see what will happen. It's mid winter now, and the feral plants were doing so well at the end of May this year that I put some plastic over them for protection. One plant in particular has grown quite large and actually has fruit on it. They aren't going red though, so I think I will pick the bigger ones soon and see if they will ripen up on the window sill.

I was always told that with tomatoes you have to pinch out the laterals. That's what we call what some others called sideshoots. They spring up in the V between the main stem and a side stem. If you don't, you end up with a lot of main stems, and the plant gets big and needs a stake for each stem. But we now are able to get 'grafted tomato' seedlings. These are very robust and it's okay to have a number of main stems. They can handle it. So it's like having at least 6 plants in one. In the end I do start pinching some of them out so the plant is not spreading itself too thin. I'll take off the top shoots as well once there is a lot of fruit setting and there are signs that the plant is getting a bit straggly.

Sometimes I suspect if I did no pruning at all, they would do fine anyway. The main thing is to feed them well, keep them well mulched to stop them drying out, and here it's recommended to water them in the early morning rather than the evening, so that they don't get diseases from having their feet wet at night. It's also recommended to water them at the base rather than on the leaves for the same reason, and not to water them in the middle of a hot day. Overwatering will make the fruit split. After a period of rain, a lot of my cherry tomatoes split. I think they are more susceptible to that than the bigger tomatoes.

Having said all that, I don't know if the heritage tomatoes need more pruning than others. They wouldn't be as vigorous as the grafted tomatoes I imagine, so some pruning is probably good. Might as well remove yellowing and dead leaves at the bottom, but it's good to have plenty of foliage to shade the tomatoes from the hot sun, so don't take too much off.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Genie
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 02:28 AM

Thanks for all the tomato tweaking tips, folks.

As for tomatoes (heirlooms or otherwise) travelling well, that's seldom a concern for me, since mine often don't make it to my kitchen before being devoured.    If they do, their pre-sliced days are still quite numbered.

Especially the really sweet ones like Sweet 100 or the big juicy beefsteaks.

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Genie
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 02:39 AM

By the way, I never water my tomatoes overhead, with the spray hitting the fruit or most of the leaves.   I water around the base of the plant with a hand-held hose and sprinkler or use a soaker hose.
However, I live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and we do tend to get rain frequently in the early fall, even though tomatoes may continue to grow and ripen through October or beyond (depending on the year), and, yes, when a tomato that's been soaking up the sun for weeks gets rained on, it tends to split.   That's why there are special varieties for this region that are developed not to split in the rain.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 09:06 AM

Where I live it's difficult to get many tomatos ripe on the plant before cold weather sets in. I always used to take the green ones in to let them ripen, and some of them would and some wouldn't, until someone told me to take the whole plant up, shake the soil off the roots, and hang the plants upside down in a sunny indoor spot (I have a porch for these kinda endeavours). When I tried this, every single tomato, even tiny ones, ripened beautifully.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: gnu
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 09:17 AM

Neat tip. Thanks guest. Matter of fact, thanks to all who contributed. I have learned a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 01:15 AM

Several years ago, Organic Gardening (wich used to be a good, useful magazine, but is no more, IMO) reported a number of research studies showed that yield is not reduced by faioing to sucker plants. Fruits are smaller, but there are more of them. suckering can help to reduce some diseases, by improving air flow. As long as there is good, heavey muclchunder the plants, staking is not necessary, but you may lose more fruit to 'predators" or rot from contact with the ground.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: JennyO
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 01:20 AM

heavey muclchunder

I don't have any of that. Should I get some? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: open mike
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 03:23 AM

best not to water the leaves or to "over head water"
but to direct the water so it goes on (or in) the ground
as it is the roots not the leaves that take it in.
hooray for drip (or mist) irrigation systems!


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Bee
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 06:17 AM

Guest above was me, whose cookie apparently expired and had to be revived. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 07:13 AM

None of my plants seem to doing much in the tomato line yet, just loads and loads of leaves. I think the incessant rain must have something to do with it(Stoke, England, by the way).


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Subject: Growing Tomatoes
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 12:24 PM

FWIW, while I'm a strong advocate of drip watering and I avoid overhead watering of my vegetables, my grandmother raised the best veggies in the world, especially tomatoes, back on a farm in Kansas, and most of the "watering" they got was overhead - from heavy summer rain showers.   (It doesn't rain often in Kansas in August, but when it rains, it pours.)   I've never figured out why her tomatoes did so well with going a week or two without watering and then getting pounded by overhead drenching.

Of course, that was back in the days before ADM gobbled up the seed patents, and Grandma harvested her own seed crop for the next year.    Natural selection probably played a big part. Tomato varieties that couldn't handle Kansas summer weather didn't perpetuate their genes for long.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: bobad
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 01:00 PM

greg, if you have fertilized your tomatoes with a high nitrogen fertilizer the plants will produce a great crop of leaves but nothing much in the way of fruit.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: JennyO
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 01:26 PM

What they need for fruiting is fertilizers rich in potassium and particularly potash. There are products out there with the right balance of nutrients for tomatoes. Adding potash will make them flower earlier and improve the flavour of the tomatoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 07:37 PM

Thanks, Jenny.

Some of my tomato plants have been just sort of sitting there since their transplanting a few weeks ago, and I want to "feed" them in a way that will encourage fruiting, not just bushy plants.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 08:28 PM

I have grown tomatoes a good many years. We eat them in the summer and freeze the extras to use in cooking in the winter. The flavor is so much nicer.

It's true that tomato plants need a balanced fertilizer, not just nitrogen.

Tomatoes are also particular about nighttime temperatures. If the small hours of the night are too cold or two hot, the blossoms drop off without setting fruit. I forget the particular temperatures, but Greg's plants may be failing to set because it is still too cool at night.

Here in the Midwest, we often get a stretch of time in late summer when it is too hot for tomatoes to set fruit. I've heard that there are new varieties that don't have that problem, but I couldn't locate any this spring.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 01:35 AM

heavey muclchunder

You certainly should, Jennie. And here is how: Get insomnia for 3 weeks and counting. Drink 3 glasses of good Aussie wine and post at 1:00 in the morning. The tomatoes will love it:>)

This thread is making me sad. Personal circumstances precluded me planting a summer veggie garden this year, for the first time in more years than I care to remember. I said to my son today, "We should be eating out of the garden now, with home grown tomatoes, snap beans, assorted squash and melons, peppers, egg plant, cukes, lots of pesto, young potatos, red onions, roasted garlic....

We can get it all at the farmers market, and for less than it cost to grow myself. but there is nothing quite like getting home from the clinic, rushing in to change clothes, then going out to the garden to bring in supper.

Somebody mentioned the sweet 100 series of cherry tomatoes. Yum! Reminds me of sitting around the kitchen table with a big bowl of the sweet 100's still warm from the sun, a big plate of just cut and washed basil, and a tub of fresh mozzerella (sp) from the farmers market. We could call that breakfast, lunch, or supper!

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 08:46 PM

The best cherry tomatoes I've ever grown are Sungold. OK, they can split like mad if your watering regime isn't just so, but they always yield well and they have the huge advantage of being resistant to most soil-borne diseases, so you can plant them in the same greenhouse soil year after year. They taste superb too.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 11:31 PM

Ooo-la-la! I'm with you on that, Steve. It is hard to have any left by the time one walks from the garden to the house.

Bought a pint of the sungolds, a tub of fresh mozzerella and a bunch of basil at the local farmers market this morning. My son and I watched a movie this evening, and ate "the whole thing.'

Slurp!

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: JennyO
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 11:50 PM

My cherry tomatoes always seem to be the most vigorous of all my tomato plants, and they seem to go on producing longer than the others. They do seem to be disease resistant too. Of course if some of them split, I can graze on them straight off the bush (like I need an excuse ;-) As long as they are there, the split sorta seals and they are still lovely to eat. Talk about an explosion in the mouth! Can't wait till the warmer months!

I totally understand how you feel about the vege garden, Janie. There is something really special about being able to walk around the garden and gather dinner. I wish I could send you some of my home-grown tomatoes, but I don't think they'd travel too well from Oz :-(


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 10:34 AM

I learned a new trick this year. Plant a banana peel under the plant! Its supposed to add potassium or something like that. I belong to a multi-cultural garden club and this is a tip from India.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: JennyO
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 11:06 AM

You know I might try that Dianavan. I can see why it would work. Nothing to lose, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 07:07 PM

JennyO's long growing season is to be envied, as it doesn't apply to all parts of Oz. When I lived in Melbourne I could plant out a swag of Gross Lisse in September, when things are starting to warm up, and have the first crop off by Christmas. And yes, I tipped the leaders but never bothered about when I watered; none of them split. I'd still be harvesting them until the first of the frosts in late May and the green ones remaining would go into chutney.

When I arrived in Armidale's Northern Tablelalnds, the last frost for the season was in the first week of December; "There goes any chance of growing decent tomatoes!" I thought. Well, up here there are sweepstakes held on whether the first frost of the season will precede Anzac Day (25 April) and whether the last of the season will occur after Melbourne Cup Day (1st Tuesday in November). Effectively, this is a bit too short a season for any but the keenest gardeners, who keep seedlings under glass until they think the frosts is all over (sorry) and take a punt on warmth after Cup Day. However, the coolth of the altitude means we don't have the range of insect or fungal pests that more moderate climes must deal with.

And further north (and higher) at Guyra, they have established huge glasshouses just to grow tomatoes (they do taste rather good!) based on the realisation that it's easier and cheaper to keep tomatoes warm in a cold climate that it is to look after them in a warm one.

Oh! BTW, research in the local Botany dept demonstrated that tomato plants produce better when they're played music; I think the researchers used "classical" music but I'm sure tomato plants could appreciate the tastes of their cultivators.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Genie
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 08:23 PM

Hmmm, if you play acid rock for them, will they produce better tomatoes for canning?
;-D

Rowan, my world is upside-down from yours, but here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon (Portland, in my case), we sometimes don't get a hard frost till way into the winter.   It's not unusual for roses to continue flowering here through December, and one year I picked my last, red cherry tomato (I think it was a Sweet 100) on Jan. 1. (That's officially about 10 days into "winter" here, but climate-wise it's actually about a month to 6 weeks after our cold winter weather usually starts.) It didn't have a lot of taste -- much like a tomato that's been in the fridge a long time -- but it still had normal tomato texture and was ripe, not rotting.

G

Thanks for the banana tip, Dianavan.   My mom taught me about putting banana peels around her rose bushes to add potassium (and I think calcium too). I'll have to see what it does for tomato plants.

Of course, my native American ancestors used to put a fish in the hole under a corn plant, and maybe under tomato plants too.   That ought to work well for tomatoes too, I'd think.


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Subject: RE: BS: tomato plant question
From: Janie
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 10:52 PM

And here is my thanks for the banana peel tip!

And I guess I better try it with my roses as well.

Janie


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