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Tomatoes
Old 08-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Tomatoes

Every year I plant a few tomato plants in my back yard. For some reason mine usually grow to be huge (27 years of mulch mowing? very heavy watering?), sometimes with monster crops. This year I planted a Big Beef and a Big Boy.

The resulting plants were so big they broke my stakes and took down my cross-bars. The Big Boy was 8' tall with a 9'x9' footprint, the Big Beef a more normal 6' cube. My crop was a personal record, 363 tomatoes weighing over 183 pounds, with a few dozen more on the way.

I am going to have to come up with a stronger support system next year.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:42 PM   #2
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Wow. How many plants were a 'few'?
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'll be right over to help you with those!

It would be an amazing picture.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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What kind of stakes do you use? I generally use metal fence posts, and they've never broken. I once tried one of those round green plastic-covered hollow metal poles, and it broke. They're simply not strong enough for a vigorous tomato plant.

Glad to hear that Big Beef does well for you, too. I find it to be a consistently good producer of delicious tomatoes on disease-resistant plants.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #5
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Nice record!
I use the heavy duty tomato cages. I picked them up one fall, on clearance. I also place extra cages around the main one, to support the longer, heavy stems.

If case you or anyone is looking for a recipe, we can salsa every year (over 80 jars last year). We have many friends that like it so much, they buy tomatoes and come over to make their own. We grow Roma's, but I assume the recipe would be fine with other varieties.

This is a slight variation of Annie's Salsa recipe:
Annies Salsa

9 Lb's of raw Roma tomatos (8 cups de-seeded, chopped, then drained)
2 Med. Raw White Onions (2.5 cups chopped)
1 Lg. Raw Green pepper (1.5 cups chopped)
2 Cups Frozen Whole Kernal Corn (optional)
6 Chopped Jalapenos
4-5 Minced Serrano Pepper (or 1 habanero)
6 Cloves minced Garlic
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Pepper
1/8 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Bunch Fresh chopped Cilantro
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Vinegar (add more if adding corn)
475 ml Tomato Sauce (16 oz)
475 ml Tomato Paste (16 oz) (3 small)

Mix all ingredients, bring to boil, boil for 10 minutes.
Pour into sanitized, hot jars & process for 30 min (In Calgary).
Makes aprox. Seven to eight, 500ml Jars

** 1.1 lb's of raw roma tomatos per cup of chopped, drained tomatos
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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I use 5' concrete re-enforcing wire cages 22-24" across with 2 5' 1/4" rebar stakes 2 1/2' into the ground. Mine don't fall down even if there's a hurricane.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #7
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Planted 3 tomato plants at my camp. Left for four days, and came back. The deer ate all of the branches down to about 4 inches. Plants made a valiant attempt at a comeback, and look to have about a dozen, but that's all. The (!@(&*$#@*+ deer also ate the branches off the crabapple tree I planted last fall. But I still love them.

Maybe it's age that has turned my taste buds to "bland", but we no longer buy tomatoes at the market. They all taste the same... Same with apples. Can't tell the difference between Macs, Granny Smith and Red Delicious... everything tastes like the tomatoes...
Even the "vine ripened" tomatoes taste the same. They look great but taste like plastic.

Yeah... it must be age.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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but we no longer buy tomatoes at the market. They all taste the same... They look great but taste like plastic.

Yeah... it must be age.
Or maybe it's that fish gene they spliced in.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:06 PM   #9
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Even the "vine ripened" tomatoes taste the same. They look great but taste like plastic.

Yeah... it must be age.
If you grow your own from seed you can select the varieties. I assure you mine don't taste like tomatoes you buy anywhere including farm stands unless they grow tomato varieties like mine and some do but most don't.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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I use concrete reinforcing wire also but I bought the sheets that are 4" x 7: and wired it into a cage 4 feet tall. I split a second sheet and spliced it on top so my cages are 6 feet tall. T-stakes as reinforcement zip tied to the cages.

I start my seeds in early February and usually grow 8 different varieties. That's all I have room for in my garden so I can grow zucchini, beans, peppers and cucumbers too.

I just spent an hour planting seeds for my winter garden. Leafy greens all winter. Garlic will be planted in October and potatoes in February.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:37 PM   #11
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Planted 3 tomato plants at my camp. Left for four days, and came back. The deer ate all of the branches down to about 4 inches. Plants made a valiant attempt at a comeback, and look to have about a dozen, but that's all. The (!@(&*$#@*+ deer also ate the branches off the crabapple tree I planted last fall. But I still love them.
+1
Can't seem to get any tomatoes to grow before the deer get at them! Argh! Cucumbers are having a pretty good year though... so I have that going for me.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #12
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Been eating store-bought tomatoes all my life, but I didn't know what a real tomato tasted like until I grew my own a couple years ago.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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We grow SunGolds, Romas and Ramapos. This year has been a good crop.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:29 PM   #14
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Planted 3 tomato plants at my camp. Left for four days, and came back. The deer ate all of the branches down to about 4 inches. Plants made a valiant attempt at a comeback, and look to have about a dozen, but that's all. The (!@(&*$#@*+ deer also ate the branches off the crabapple tree I planted last fall.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:19 PM   #15
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2 plants, "heavy duty" cages. Here is a picture from before the Big Boy reached full size. The wall is 5' high.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140702_125047.jpg (838.3 KB, 19 views)
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:23 PM   #16
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I use 5' concrete re-enforcing wire cages 22-24" across with 2 5' 1/4" rebar stakes 2 1/2' into the ground. Mine don't fall down even if there's a hurricane.
+1. Exactly what I use. But I use a 'T' post for support. You can't beat them and they are cheap and easy to make. Cut the 6x6 wire with a bolt cutter to make it fast.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #17
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We used to grow terrific tomatoes from small $1.00 plants from the garden store. When the deer ravaged them, I put up chicken wire. A few years ago, the stink bugs arrived from Korea, and sucked the life out of every single tomato (and peach and apple on our trees) before it even started to turn red. I gave up at that point. Have been depressed about it ever since, because as others have observed, there is no such thing as a tasty store-bought tomato. And those farmers' market tomatoes are expensive ($1.00 apiece for medium-sized).

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Old 08-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #18
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Home Depot and Lowe's didn't have the cheap small plants this year. Cheapest was a big one at $3.49 each. Found some cheapo plants 75 cents each, called "Supersonic" at a farmers market. Disappointing. Small plants and not many tomatoes. Last year I got BetterBoys or something like that on sale for a good price at Home Depot. They were great. Lots of big tasty tomatoes.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:42 PM   #19
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Oh, if only. There's a fellow at work from Idaho and one from Montana who have offered to cure our deer problems via firearm or bow, but unfortunately hunting is not allowed where we live

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Old 08-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #20
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Oh, if only. There's a fellow at work from Idaho and one from Montana who have offered to cure our deer problems via firearm or bow, but unfortunately hunting is not allowed where we live

Amethyst
That's sad. If the folks that set these rules in place ever witnessed what happens to overgrown deer population they would change their minds quickly. Hemorrhagic fever is not pretty. It will take care of the deer population, potentially speading to other ruminates.

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