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Mar 28, 2014 10:20 AM

Tomatoes 2014

A slice of juicy freshly picked heirloom beefsteak tomato... I can almost taste it thinking about.

Who grows tomatoes? Which ones do you like best? Predictions for 2014 growing season.

This year against my better judgment I am planning on starting from seed - with saved seeds from last year I will buy a few plants too just to make sure I have some tasty tomatoes come late summer

What's your plan? Did you start already? How's is coming along?

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  1. Seeds are getting started indoors this weekend. Nyagous and Paul Robeson which have done well for us in the past. Also adding black prince which is new and for us. We prefer the black heirloom varieties. Can't wait for the first sandwich of the season!

    11 Replies
    1. re: gourmanda

      The Black Prince wasn't very prolific for me but they were delicious!

      1. re: weezieduzzit

        I will be interested to see how they do for us. It's been such a long winter (cleveland area) that it's going to a loooong time for the ground to warm up. Curious as to where you garden?

        1. re: gourmanda

          I'm in Southern California where we had no winter at all, really. We're all a little concerned about what kind of summer we might get and are figuring out ways to save/ divert/ hoard water for our gardens if we need to.

          1. re: weezieduzzit

            I'm in Southern California as well. All the tomatoes I planted last spring didn't die off (since we had no winter) but kept growing and producing all winter! The plants are all huge and overgrown now, so we are taking them all out and starting with new plants.

            1. re: Michelle

              since I'm here too Michelle, why would you need to get rid of those plants from last year if they're still healthy and able to produce?

      2. re: gourmanda

        Well, after all of time growing our plants from seeds I think we rushed the hardening-off process and now they are sunburned :( Not sure if the tomatoes can grow through it; several of the jalapenos likely won't. Arrrrghhh!

        1. re: gourmanda

          Don't feel too bad, because me too. Luckily I did buy a couple of back up plants at a few local places, and they're doing fine.

          1. re: coll

            That's what we get for rushing things! Luckily it looks like there is some new growth on the tomatoes and a couple of peppers so I'm hopeful they will make it. I hope the same for you!! Here's to tomato sandwiches :)

            1. re: gourmanda

              Oh yeah, if I have to go to the farm stand, there will be tomato sandwiches!

          2. re: gourmanda

            Peppers are very resilient so don't give up on them yet! If there is any growth on the tomatoes not severely burned I would cut off the badly effected areas (but leave anything that looked half decent,) rebury the plant up to the good growth and baby the heck out of it for a while.

            1. re: weezieduzzit

              Good to know about the peppers, thanks weezie! I will look closely tonight. The tomatoes do have a bit of new growth since they were planted, so I am hoping they start to take off. DH was at the greenhouse to get some sweet pepper plants and also so picked up one heirloom tomato plant for 99 cents each. We should be okay, but can always buy a bushel of tomato seconds if needed for sauce and paste. I'm with you coll...will not be denied tomato sandwiches ;)

        2. So far I have San Diego, Black from Tula, Cherokee Purple, Momotaro (my favorite!) Sweet Millions, Roma (I grabbed the wrong one- didn't mean to buy Roma but by the time I realized it I was home so I planted it,) and 2 Black Cherry in the ground. A neighbor of mine has her annual plant sale coming up and I will pick up Arkansas Traveler and hopefully Indian Stripe there. I don't have a Paul Robeson yet and they're supposed to do well here. I have seeds for Paul Robeson and some other heirlooms I really want to try but it's really much to late to start from seed for this season here, I'll have to do them for the fall planting.

          3 Replies
          1. re: weezieduzzit

            A neighbor bought me a black cherry plant this weekend as a thank you for taking care of her bunnies while they were away so now I have THREE and they are insanely prolific! They do dehydrate into excellent "sundried" tomatoes, though. Looks like I'll have a nice big stash for next fall and winter. :)

              1. re: gourmanda

                I lao love the black cherry or "chocolate cherry" as they are called but they are so sensitive and split very easy esp if over watered or when picked. They are frusstrating!

          2. I had gret success last year with the La Roma 3. I like them bigger so I don't have to core and peel so many little ones.

            1. I started seeds 3 weeks ago, which was probably too soon for my tomatoes, and too late for some of my peppers. My raised geds are full of roots from the nearby redwoods, so I'm growing determinates in earth boxes. I have tried to fight the redwood's roots, but when I see the trees towering above me, I realize it is futile. I will look for my list and post it, but they are mostly for sauce/cooking.

              When I grew in the ground, I had a lot of success with Paul Robeson.

              1. While I like to try new varieties every year, there are some (mostly heirloom) that I always find a place for:

                Dark: Cherokee Purple or Black Krim or Black from Tula
                Cherry: Riesentraube or Sungold or Pink Ping Pong (ok a little larger than cherry!)
                Oxheart: Anna Russian or Kosovo
                Early: Matina or Stupice
                Red: Neves Azorean Red or Andrew Rahart Jumbo Red

                Seedlings are up and 1+ inch high.
                Experimenting with Momotaro, Berkeley Tie Dye and a couple of Dwarf varieties this year.

                7 Replies
                1. re: DonShirer

                  We grew Kosovo a couple of years ago. Okay flavor but huge fruit prone to cracking. Hope you have better luck!

                  1. re: DonShirer

                    I loved the Black Krim I grew a couple years ago.

                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                      I love it too. Have trouble telling when it's ripe, though!

                      1. re: gimlis1mum

                        The specific Green Zebras I got turn a little pink on their white stripes, if not for that I'd be lost.

                        1. re: gimlis1mum

                          Update: the Black Krim I planted is going gangbusters. I finally remembered to throw a few shovefuls of compost around before planting, and it seems to have done the trick. The plant is lush and happy with a decent number of green tomatoes hanging on. bonus was a number of volunteer tomatoes that sprung up from the compost...I edited out the weakest/adjusted for spacing, and it looks like I've got a cherry tomato, one or two of the multi-lobed kind (probably yellows, if memory of last year's tomatoes serves me well) and a couple of still-a-mystery.

                          I tried a variety called Italian Tree tomato and it's living up to its reputation, height-wise, almost as tall as I am. About 6 good-sized tomatoes hanging on and many more little ones behind that.

                          Bad news is, late blight has been spotted in our area and a woodchuck moved in behind the garage. Can the tomatoes survive? (Sounds like a reality show, lol).

                      2. re: DonShirer

                        We grew sungolds last year (in the Pacific Northwest). They were like candy! Hard not to eat them all straight from the vine.