whgille

Are you growing tomatoes in your garden?

whgille
May 6, 2019

One of the best and most flavorful crops in my garden are the very welcome tomatoes. Came back from a vacation in Costa Rica to find a nice tomato harvest!

Comments (38)

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Tomatoes are by far the most popular vegetable grown by home gardeners. Even those that have no "real" inground garden to play with, as they are easily grown in containers.

    However, it is far too early in at least 75% of the country to be realizing anything close to a harvest. Heck, it's not even safe to plant them out yet in many areas!!

    That's a very nice crop, btw :-)

    whgille thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
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  • Patty Bee Port St. Lucie Zone 10A

    I grow them in big fabric pots. Had a winter crop and am now awaiting my early summer crop. It's just my husband and myself, so my neighbors benefit from my planting a half-dozen varieties at the same time!

    whgille thanked Patty Bee Port St. Lucie Zone 10A
  • theforgottenone1013 (SE MI zone 5b/6a)

    I will be growing tomatoes this year because I need to save fresh seed but tomatoes are not a crop I grow every year. I hate the flavor of raw tomatoes and so I prefer to not waste valuable garden space growing them.

    Rodney

    whgille thanked theforgottenone1013 (SE MI zone 5b/6a)
  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Nice looking harvest! If I give you my address can you send me some?

    My 25 tomatoes just went in the ground Saturday so I'll have to wait until late June for cherries and around July 10 for slicers. Here in about a month I'll be able to get some local tomatoes at the farmers market to satisfy my need for a few BLTs until mine are ripe.

    whgille thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Rodney - not even on BLTs? Have you ever made Annie's Salsa recipe? It's to die for! I'm down to 8 pints left to last until my harvest comes in. Whgille should try it too...he/she probably has enough in the picture to make 2 batches. I'm growing twice as many tomatoes as I ever have this year so I can hopefully harvest enough at one time to make at least 2 and maybe 3 batches in one canning session. I'm hoping to can about 50 pints this year to satisfy the demand.


    [Annie's Salsa Recipe[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/annies-salsa-recipe-and-notes-2012-dsvw-vd~1948662?n=78)

    whgille thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • theforgottenone1013 (SE MI zone 5b/6a)

    Lonejack- No to BLT's. I'm not much of a fan of mayo either. :) I do make Annie's salsa. Cooked tomatoes are okay and I do can a bunch. It's just that I find it easier to buy a bushel at a time for canning. I've grown 30 tomatoes before and found that I'd rather grow 30 peppers and still have room for other things. haha

    Rodney

    whgille thanked theforgottenone1013 (SE MI zone 5b/6a)
  • vgkg Z-7 Va

    That was a sweet welcome home present, nice! The heirlooms I started indoors are just now starting to bloom outside. But I cheated and bought 2 developed plants in late March, those will have the first ripe tomatoes, they are only golf ball size now. It's been a warmer than normal Apr/May here so far. Happy harvest

    whgille thanked vgkg Z-7 Va
  • whgille

    Gardengal48 - I agree with you as the tomatoes being the most popular crop in the garden. I do prefer growing them in the ground but here with the nematodes, I have no other choice but containers.

    Patty Bee - I am glad to hear that you grow tomatoes, like you we are small family and like to share tomatoes with friends.

    Rodney - Some people don't like raw tomatoes. My favorite are oven roasted tomatoes.

    Lone Jack - Sure! I can send you tomatoes and soon mangoes and avocados and throw some figs too. It is a lot of harvest for us and happy to share.

    I have tried many salsas in my life but I prefer tomato salads with just the best olive oil, salt , aleppo pepper and either feta or mozarella and I am happy.:)

    You will be busy canning salsa for me. I can figs because I get a big harvest in a short period of time.

    Vgkg - I have been very busy in the garden, harvesting before the rains and the heat.

    I am almost done harvesting the onions, the tomatoes will keep coming for a while and soon will be mangoes, avocados and figs. Peaches are done.

    Happy tomato harvest to all of you growing tomatoes in all stages of growth!

    Silvia

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    Lovely harvest!

    I got my tomatoes in a bit late and I'm hoping I can get a decent harvest before the nighttime temp.s get too high to set fruit. I have 6 Tomande plants and they're just starting to fruit.

    Fingers crossed...

    whgille thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • whgille

    Hi Carol

    This season has been weird for the tomato plants in my garden, especially the cherries that are my big giveaway baskets for friends.

    The ones that are very productive were slow, the Green Zebra cherry are bigger than normal, the ones that are the same are the Sungold.

    Hope that you get a nice harvest from your Tomande tomatoes!

  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    Tomatoes are done for me for till the fall, alas. I had a lot of tomatoes, more than 60 ripening on my Sioux, but the $##%# agama lizard finished that for me. They use roundup in the common area here, but they use an applicator rather than. a sprayer, so I've never had a problem in my courtyard, but the dratted lizard ran through the wet glyphosate and then up my tomato plant and he's big enough that he carried enough on his feet to kill everything in my hydro system. :(

    Thinking of trying a micro tom inside this summer. What would be the best medium for it, do you think? I have coir discs for microgreens, but I would imagine that even a teeeeny tomato plant would need more than that.

    whgille thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Your tomatoes are lovely. I always look forward to seeing what kinds of tomatoes you harvest every year. I have been getting big holes in some of mine. I think it might be from birds because I dont see any caterpillars grrr.

    Writersblock, how annoying! Amazing all the crazy problems critters can cause. One would never have thought of lizards ruining plants by tracking poison around. One more thing to worry about!

    whgille thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • Labradors

    Writersblock, ugh! about the roundup-bearing lizard.

    I have tried several of the micro-toms and my favourite was Red Robin as everything else was just too acidic for me. RR can grow in a 1 gallon sized container and grows to 18" max. I have grown them on windowsills in the winter. I like Pro-mix (with some nutrients) potting mix.

    Linda

    whgille thanked Labradors
  • whgille

    Writersblock, When I was at the resort in Costa Rica, I remember you and the trouble with the iguanas. I saw some really big ones and colorful ones, they acted like pets over there and the workers were feeding them leftover fruit, they seem innocent but I would not wanted them in my garden for sure!

    Like Linda said Pro Mix is a good soil, I use it for almost everything, seed starting , small pots, microgreens. When I tried the micro-toms some were better than others, they were also different sizes. My favorite was an orange one with a difficult name.

    If you have space on the windows and extra lighting, you might do well with the dwarf tomatoes, there are so many now.

    Thank you Sultry, I tried a new to me tomato this season and Tony was right the Bolseno hybrid from Johnny's seeds is really productive and tasty, I will grow it again.

    Busy with the harvesting, I am drying all the onions, oven dry the tomatoes, make baskets to give away the cherry tomatoes and with the very productive Green Zebra cherry I made a fresh salsa. I don't like to roast the green when ripe because they get some funky color, not appetizing .:)


  • sharon2079

    The tomatoes I planted in late fall for winter did NOT do well... I had tons of White Flies.... I think it also rained too much and was to cool for them. I did plant a 4 bushes about a month ago and they have some huge green ones on it right now..... I hope they get ripe. before the summer insect show up. I plant some in the ground and some in containers because not all varieties can handle our nematodes. I do find Big Beef is one that is nematode resistant .... I think it is either big boy or better boy is another that is resistant as well.


    whgille thanked sharon2079
  • whgille

    Hi Sharon, I hope that you get the tomatoes before the heat, bugs and rains show up in our gardens. When the tomatoes are nematode resistant it shows on the letters in the label. I just plant them in containers this way it is easy for me.

    I gave one of my neighbors some tomato plants that I had extras, one of them was the Bolseno and he said he was planting them in an amended ground, I have to check how is he doing.

    My tomato recent history,

    In January I was still harvesting from the older plants

    In February the tomato plants went to the garden but covered

    In March still covered due to some cold or hot weather, very unstable weather this time

    I started some tomato production in April and good harvest in May...

  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    Thanks, everyone, for the sympathy and suggestions. The only place I have that gets enough sun in the summer is the kitchen window sill so that really limits me to truly micro tomatoes.

    whgille thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • sharon2079

    Writersblock -Have you looked into getting a Farm from AeroGarden.... it has lights and it is hydropondics you could grow something a little larger than the micro tomatoes..... they are kind of expensive, but if you look at it, you might be able how to figure out how to make one of your own.


    Whgile - your tomatoes look delicious... and you garden is beautiful..... are you covering your tomatoes for temperature or bugs..... The garden looks nice :)


    whgille thanked sharon2079
  • noki33

    Tomatoes were the only vegetable my family knew how to grow, and they went on and on and on about tomatoes endlessly... so I have refused to ever grow a tomato because it reminds me of my father, and I learned to grow many other vegetables to spite him. Maybe one day I will get over that issue, but there are dozens of other veggies to grow.

    whgille thanked noki33
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    I can highly recommend Tomande, which I mentioned above. I have root knot nematodes and it does really well in the ground despite them. It's a hybrid indeterminate VFFNTA, I believe. The red fruits are large to medium sizes and slightly flattened and lobed, with a super delicious flavor. The only drawback is they can have a tough core.

    whgille thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • whgille

    Writersblock, I think micro tomatoes and microgreens will do well for you, it is good to try something new to see if you like it. You just need small pots for the tomatoes and some lasagna foil trays for the microgreens. Since you are starting small, a big pro mix bag is too much for you. A small bag of quality soil will do well, usually some nurseries sell their own potting soil that is good.

    Sharon, the cloth that I use is insect barrier cloth but I mainly use for a thin covering against too cold or too hot, when the plants reach their size of the trellis, I take the cloth out and I still have to do an organic preventive spray during the season.

    When I was in Costa Rica last week, it was the dry season, no bugs. But after I came back home, I had to encounter the bugs again.:)

    Noki, while tomatoes are very popular in my house, it is not the only veggie or fruit that I grow, life would be very boring with only one kind of food.:)

    Carol, I am glad to hear that Tomande grows well for you, we all have to find our favorites.

    Silvia

  • HU-55264995

    I've got 4 early girl tomato plants in the garden right now. They're off to a slow start, unfortunately because it hasn't gone over 70 in the past 2 months!

    whgille thanked HU-55264995
  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    I'm always jealous of people who can grow tomatoes in FL. I never have perfected it. I still have my one Everglades and I did plant a few old seeds of Ace 55 I found. One survived, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything much. We'll see how it goes.

    whgille thanked dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida
  • 14tomatoes_md_7a

    Silvia, spectacular tomatoes and garden as always! Glad you like our favorite Bolseno

    Tony

    whgille thanked 14tomatoes_md_7a
  • whgille

    HU, Early Girl tomatoes are reliable producers, if the conditions are met you will probably get a good harvest.

    D, Happy Mothers Day!

    I was out having lunch with my family and daughter, what a nice day we had.

    As for the tomatoes, I know it is one of the difficult crops to grow in Florida, just too many problems but still somehow I managed to get a decent crop and cannot complain.:)

    Thank you Tony, as I was trying out the Bolseno I thought of you and your good recommendation. It did very well in my garden, good flavor and production, very versatile to use it for fresh eating or cooking. I will grow it again.

    Silvia

  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    Thanks, Silvia. I had a lovely Mother's Day. My son sent me new walking shoes, better ones than I could afford for sure, and called me 3 times Sunday! That made it the best Mother's Day I could have had.


    Can't wait to see pics of your Costa Rica trip. Are you putting up a video on YT? If you do, please post a link for us.

    whgille thanked dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida
  • ibarbidahl

    Silvia -

    Your garden, and your harvests are always so very lovely. No tomatoes for me this year. My gardens are all gone. Passed down to the next owners. So far they seem to be trying their hand. They've asked a few questions and had me by a handful of times. It's great knowing I helped someone else start gardening, but bittersweet as now I must start again.


    My new home is VERY shady, so I'm not positive I'll have any luck with tomatoes at all. Of course a challenge would never stop me. Hoping the renovations will be done by late summer so I can work on a small area for a fall garden. :-)

    whgille thanked ibarbidahl
  • whgille

    D, I am happy for you that you had a nice day.

    Since we came back from the trip, we have been so busy that did not think of any video yet. I will let you know...

    Barbie, thank you for the kind words.

    I know how it feels to leave a garden, I have done it many times and will always miss them.

    With shade maybe you can grow some cherry tomatoes, I have my cherries behing the fruit trees and they don't get much light.

    I made for lunch a farro dish with Sungold tomatoes, onions,herbs, spices, almonds and raisins.

  • engard_keoni

    I believe I read on another post that you should trim your tomato plant. Mine is quite large (heirloom Cherokee tomato) should I have already trimmed and It’s too late now that it is starting to flower?

    whgille thanked engard_keoni
  • HighColdDesert

    Really tomato plants will do fine and produce a lot whether you prune them or not. Pruning might be important if you have a special trellis or string or stake to attach them to, and is less important if you are not so worried about a little sprawl.

  • whgille

    Engard, pruning the plants or not is different from garden to garden, from given a lot of space or not, on your style of supporting the tomato plants.

    In my case growing in Central Florida in small garden I do a minimal pruning from the bottom leaves in case I see a problem. Too much pruning in my area would result on not having enough shade from the leaves for the fruit, we have a lot of sun here.

    You have to find what works best for you, the time that you put in your garden, your style of growing, the seasons and weather in your area, a lot of variables in growing tomatoes even in the same garden, same seeds. In my garden every season is somewhat a little different.

    I have been growing tomatoes for a long time , in many places and it is always different, some gardens are easier than others due to soil, weather, diseases, bugs, But the end result is very worth it for me, I love homegrown tomatoes!

    Silvia


  • engard_keoni

    Thanks for the quick reply Sylvia. I am also in central Florida. I have a heavy duty support system for my tomato plant and have done zero pruning. I used Mel’s mix for soil (compost vermiculite and peet moss) and have just been adding compost as I see fit. I also mulched it with grass clippings recently due to all this heat. I was in Costa Rica last week so I was afraid all my plants would die while I was gone. When I got back it was only my coffee tree and one of my avocado trees that really suffered. I trimmed the wilted leaves and hope they survive. This is my first year trying to garden so I am hoping it goes well. Looking forward to growing in knowledge and having a successful home garden for years to come.

    whgille thanked engard_keoni
  • whgille

    You are welcome Engard and I hope that you learn and will be successful with gardening in Central Florida. As the time goes by and through trials and errors you will learn what works best for you and most important what do you like.

    We are going through a lot of early heat and no rain, plants are suffering without the extra water. My tomato season is winding down and soon will be time for harvest of lychees, mangoes, avocados and figs

    In the fall I will be harvesting persimmons and tomato growing season will start again....

    Silvia

  • whgille

    It is so hot to garden right now in my area that I cannot think of a better place to be than were I was in Costa Rica.:)

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    FWIW, here in hot and humid (and right now extremely dry) FL, I do not trim/prune, which allows my tomato plants to grow more foliage and protect from the sun and also outgrow pests and disease.

    I usually grow indeterminates for that reason as well.

    P.S. My 6 Tomande plants have some green fruits and appear to have set several more, but I fear I planted them too late to get the usual big harvest.

    whgille thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • engard_keoni

    I only planted one big one and it is only
    Just now flowering so I guess I planted mine late too. #rookiemistake.

    I am excited about my mangos starting to fruit though. My summer fruiting avocados are too small right now of a tree to fruit this season. My bigger avocado tree one will fruit later this year.

    whgille thanked engard_keoni

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