Monday, May 17, 2010

Tomato LOVE


We ordered our Texas Tomato cages today. I got a little home"town"sick just talking to the lady on the phone because of her lovely southern accent. These folks are so nice and were willing to give the garden club a group discount for a pallet. I was just too impatient to wait for 98 to be ordered from the group and honestly didn't want to deal with some club members that have attitudes about tomato cages. Maybe next year when we will obviously need more...see below :-)

We are starting with 12 knowing full well that that is plenty of tomatoes for a family of "four" but we have more plants this year so will use the tiny cages from years past OR TTC in the middle of the row and redwood stakes on the outside rows (with pruning and support with twine).

These really are the best cages as they never rust, fold flat for storage, are actually strong enough to support a healthy 6 foot tomato plant, and provide enough space for picking between the supports. They will last a lifetime.

So the question is...what twelve (or 24) plants do we year? This year we will have 30 plants or so. Yes...crazy! We need to have early, mid and late season as well as cherry, slicers and paste.

**We got some more seedlings at Roger Reynolds Friday (from female owned Upstart Seedlings) only to realize on SUnday that it is the same company that sells at out farmer's market for 2.50 HALF PRICE of nurseries 4.99.
NOTE TO SELF-buy in Santa Cruz or FM next year. They were even selling gallon tomatoes in April for 5.99. Why bother with seeds?**

So far we have planted:
Sungold - our favorite, three scraggly in the ground and another seedling today (4) - 57 days
Green Grape - small and bushy, will we like this one? (3) - 60 days
Sun Sugar - cherry and the plant is BIG with flowers and fruit already (1)  - 62 days
San Francisco Fog - the plant is BIG already (3) - 70 days
Green Zebra - (3) - 75 days
Mamma Mia paste - these are also large as we planted in april (5) - 80 days
Zapotec pleated - mexican heirloom (2) - 80 days
Black Krim - (1) plus (1) more today since a gopher stole the other. -

Below are the new seedlings from Upstart.
I went for variety instead of quantity so that we can determine what our favorites are.

Sun Gold - 57 days
Sun Cherry - 60 days
Juliet (an extended cherry) - 60 days
Sun Sugar - 62 days
Black Krim - 69 days (farmer's favorite at the market when I asked. He likes all of the darks.)
Chocolate Chery - 70 days
Caspian Pink - 80 days

And the seedlings we are still growing:

Unknown Robert's market cherry -
Chadwick's Cherry - 70 days
Matt's Wild Cherry - 70 days
Crimson Carmello - 70 days
Costoluto Genovese - 85 days

We can put these in as a second round for a late fall into winter harvest (thanks for the tip from Micah, a fellow gardener and friend in the club. We love her family and Gracie adores her daughter Sophie. We have watched her grow into a lovely little toddler at the garden.)

We planted red rubin and genovese basil between tomatoes on the four outer rows and started radishes under. They will be harvested before the melons get big (which grow under as well). We planted melons in between the tomato down the two middle aisles.

We also put in the cucumbers on the outer rows of the cuc bed. 4 Baby Persian, 4  Lemon, 8 Pickling, 4 Satsuki Madori, 4 Sweet Armenian. They will all crawl up the trellis to make shade for the lettuces  we will plant under after we harvest the garlic, yellow and red onions.

This is a great tomato website. The ultimate in fact. He links to his grower who also has great growing advice. 

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