Saturday, October 10, 2009

2009 Tomato Season History

OK, so here are the promised 2009 tomato pictures. Here they are in the new tomato cages we built on June 6th, a few weeks after I first planted them. In the front, on the left is a yellow grape variety, and a red grape on the right. In the back on the left is Roma, and Rutgers on the right.

The grape tomatoes finally started getting ripe on July 17th. I think these two were the 1st ones we picked this year. Ever since then, we've had a constant supply of grape tomatoes, around 1 - 3 bowls per week.

Below you can see the first four good Romas I harvested on July 30th, but there certainly wasn't a constant supply all season. Maybe a few batches of 8 or so each during August.

Unfortunately they appeared to have a mild case of blossom end rot. Many of them ended up a little rotted on one end, with black on the inside. So I'd say maybe as much as half of the Romas ended up in the compost. I figure it was probably caused by a combination of the poor weather and that my soil needs more compost/organic matter added to it. The good news is, as the season progressed it got better. I also think my compost pile will be ready by next spring, and I am going to mulch all the beds with straw over the winter. That should add a decent amount of nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.

Then on the above right, the first, and one of the only Rutgers we got this year, picked on July 25th. We picked a couple more in August, but hardly any at all, maybe a dozen.

This plant did terrible this year, which is so strange because the same variety did fantastic last year in a spot just a few feet behind where it is now. You can see on the left on August 29th, very small and not looking so good.

I'm sure at least part of it was from the terrible weather we had - I think it just got off to a very slow start and never really fully recuperated. I think it also may have been shaded a bit too much from the grape tomato in front of it. We actually picked our biggest haul from it that same day, pictured below. I guess I should just be happy it didn't die from this year's plague of blight!
Only now are we getting some from this plant - just picked 6 nice ripe red ones today. However, all that's left is maybe 5 green ones, so I don't think we'll get much more. I am going to make a separate post for the tomatoes today, since there are already so many pictures in this one.

You can see many of the things I made with all these tomatoes back in this older post.


Chris and his Tomatoes said...

Hi! I'm kinda trying to figure out how long it takes before I can harvest tomatoes. How long did it take you from seed to harvest?

Aubade said...

Hi Chris
I didn't grow my tomatoes from seed, I just bought plants from the nursery.

Also, I recently learned that there are 3 types of tomatoes - early, mid and late season. When they'll mature depends on the type.

The grape tomatoes I grew were early type, so they were first to ripen. That took about 60 days from planting. So you'd have to add 6 - 8 weeks to that if you're starting them from seed.

The other types I grew last year were mid season, so that's why they matured a few weeks later.

I'm not going to bother with late season varities in my area. Although I'd probably get some, since the 1st frost isn't until October, since my garden is small I'd rather grow plants that mature earlier to get a bigger harvest.

Hope that helps! I got a lot of great info on all the varities from where I'm buying my plants this year:

Chris and his Tomatoes said...

Oh dear. That means at least 12 weeks! that time summer will be over. I wonder if tomatoes grow well during the rainy season.

I just bought seeds, but I have no idea what variety. It was just labeled hybrid.

Have you tried propagating tomatoes by stem cutting?

Aubade said...

I haven't done stem cuttings - actually, this is only my 3rd summer growing tomatoes (and I always just bought plants from the nursery) so I'm still new at this.

Have you tried the tomato forum over at gardenweb?

There is so much info there - I'm amazed at how many tomatoes the people there grow!

Chris and his Tomatoes said...

Hey thanks! I'll go check it out.

If my tomatoes grow big enough, I'll try cuttings.

Creative Commons License
Grow Peace Dance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at