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Old July 26, 2018   #16
IronPete
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It always surprises me how differently the seasons go depending on your zone! I used to live in Ontario (Canada) and the common time to plant out was the May 24th weekend although I often planted out before that with few negative consequences. You, by contrast, were in full harvest mode by then. Now I live in PEI Canada and the common plant out date is not till June 11th although this year there was a frost on June 15th! It amazes me how even in our short season out here how we can still get plants to grow and to ripen! I did start everything indoors. My peas and beans grew so fast (and cukes) that I put them out early. The frost killed the cukes and the beans suffered but the peas (sugar snap, tall telephone and little marvel) grew like gangbusters! I have been happily eanjoying the peas and beans for a couple of weeks now.

Bill, I am glad that your year has gone so well. Very interesting to hear how very different the seasons are north to south. Lots of the problems are similar though. Best of luck! Pete
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Old July 26, 2018   #17
PaulF
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We are just getting started here on the Missouri River basin of Southeast Nebraska. The tomato plants are all shorter and less full than in previous years, mostly due to the high temperatures of July. This week will be highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s and almost every plant is showing signs of ripening fruit.

The plants are smaller than normal and the tomatoes are smaller also. Still, the flavor is outstanding so far.

Green beans did very well as were the cucumbers, beets and onions. Peppers were hurt by the heat and the plants are still small.

It is fun to hear from other parts of the county how the seasons progress. Bill, I hope the rest of your year gives you an overabundance of quality produce.
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Old July 26, 2018   #18
bjbebs
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Bill, it sounds as though a few of your first plantings are still producing as the second season plants are growing up. Do any of the spring maters extend into your second season picking? Your heat, humidity and disease issues are generally not a big deal for us in the midwest.
We had a very early ripening crop but with many 90 plus degree days in June the second flush of fruit never formed. Moderating temps have now brought on better fruit set. I'm usually picking 20 lbs. every other day, this year only 8-10. Cuttings have gone into open garden areas and replacing poor performers.
So my season goes from May-October, sometimes into November. Your double season starts late March and extends into December, which is 4-5 months of good picking. Is that about right?
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Old July 26, 2018   #19
b54red
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Originally Posted by bjbebs View Post
Bill, it sounds as though a few of your first plantings are still producing as the second season plants are growing up. Do any of the spring maters extend into your second season picking? Your heat, humidity and disease issues are generally not a big deal for us in the midwest.
We had a very early ripening crop but with many 90 plus degree days in June the second flush of fruit never formed. Moderating temps have now brought on better fruit set. I'm usually picking 20 lbs. every other day, this year only 8-10. Cuttings have gone into open garden areas and replacing poor performers.
So my season goes from May-October, sometimes into November. Your double season starts late March and extends into December, which is 4-5 months of good picking. Is that about right?
I usually set my first plants out the first or second week of March and start picking in mid to late May with heavy production starting in early June and continuing well into July. Then things get tough with the extreme heat, spider mites and diseases galore. Because I plant out several times during the season staggering my planting dates allows for a bit better production through the worst summer heat than if I planted everything the first planting date. New plants just set fruit better than old plants. I am usually picking ripe tomatoes off plants for about 6 months but sometimes we get a real cold snap in October or a sudden disease influx like last year with whiteflies bringing in TYLCV which ended my season in early August. I have had the season last until mid December several years but that is rare. Usually it ends sometime in November with a sudden freeze.

Bill
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Old July 27, 2018   #20
oakley
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Always interesting to read your seasons. The ups and downs we all have. And how
it influences next years plans.
I also stagger my seed starting. First tray in January. Micros and this year Terenzo F1 (hybrid).
I was harvesting in mid may well ahead of even planting my indeterminates.

I do learn from all growing conditions....so thank you for sharing yours.

One thing I've learned from battling leaf mold this year is the dwarf and micros were
much easier to control. Compact seedlings with thicker stems did not suffer as much as
my somewhat leggy indies. When time permits I shall post that observation...

First BLTAvocado this weekend with two ripening Metallicas on the counter. My first
slicers.
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Old July 28, 2018   #21
b54red
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It is all but over for my two earliest beds of tomatoes due to spider mites and they have moved into my third bed that was planted in May. After removing all the damaged leaves there isn't much foliage left on that bed either. I just hope they won't hit my latest bed that was planted about 10 days ago. That one is my only hope for some fall tomatoes. I'm not complaining because it has been an extraordinary season and if it ended tomorrow I wouldn't be too sad; but I do like to have a few fresh tomatoes for BLTs, hamburgers, sandwiches and salads as long as possible.

Bill
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Old July 30, 2018   #22
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East central Iowa on the Mississippi here. We had a great early season with tasty fruit by July 6th or 7th. But a heat wave over Memorial day and twice more by early July, left us with very few fruits ripening over the last week or so. I have a couple of nice little plants that set small fruit through the heat so we have been chowing our way through salads and sandwiches- but missing the large waves of fruit for gallons of sauce or salsa. Tonight am cooking down about 20 lbs into sauce. I think I will have some increased production here in a couple of weeks since it has been cool for a week now and pleasant.
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Old July 30, 2018   #23
b54red
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Originally Posted by pjhootch View Post
East central Iowa on the Mississippi here. We had a great early season with tasty fruit by July 6th or 7th. But a heat wave over Memorial day and twice more by early July, left us with very few fruits ripening over the last week or so. I have a couple of nice little plants that set small fruit through the heat so we have been chowing our way through salads and sandwiches- but missing the large waves of fruit for gallons of sauce or salsa. Tonight am cooking down about 20 lbs into sauce. I think I will have some increased production here in a couple of weeks since it has been cool for a week now and pleasant.
Part of the problem could be the varieties you are growing. Not all large varieties will produce large fruit once the real heat of summer arrives. The varieties that have continued to produce large fruits consistently in the extreme heat of summer this year are Couilles de Tareau, Red Barn, Gary O' Sena, and 1884. Other varieties that have been producing decent sized fruits through the heat are Pruden's Purple, Indian Stripe both PL and Reg, Limbaugh's Legacy, Giant Belgium, Spudakee, Arkansas Traveler, Donskoi, and Red Brandywine (from TGS).

Other things that help with fruit set and keeping good productive plants during the heat are a good heavy mulch on the ground to keep it moist and cooler and regular feedings of tomatoes with TTF. It is also imperative to control summer pests like stink bugs, aphiids, and worst of all spider mites and regular use of fungicides to reduce diseases. Keeping the number of stems limited is a big factor in larger fruit so pruning is a must both for improved fruit size and keeping the plant more open to reduce disease pressure.

Bill
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Old August 3, 2018   #24
PaulTandberg
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North Dakota reporting in.

I have never had such a nice crop of tomatoes as this year. Never. Ever. I started picking some Polbigs on July 14, and on July 20th, I picked my first fat Whopper. And by the last week of July, I was picking Big Beefs, Whoppers, Jet Star, Marenro, Legacy, Chef's Orange and one Cherokee Purple. The first week of August brought two big clusters of Chef's Red.

July tomatoes are usually a blessing, this year they were a bounty.
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Old August 4, 2018   #25
pjhootch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Part of the problem could be the varieties you are growing. Not all large varieties will produce large fruit once the real heat of summer arrives. The varieties that have continued to produce large fruits consistently in the extreme heat of summer this year are Couilles de Tareau, Red Barn, Gary O' Sena, and 1884. Other varieties that have been producing decent sized fruits through the heat are Pruden's Purple, Indian Stripe both PL and Reg, Limbaugh's Legacy, Giant Belgium, Spudakee, Arkansas Traveler, Donskoi, and Red Brandywine (from TGS).

Other things that help with fruit set and keeping good productive plants during the heat are a good heavy mulch on the ground to keep it moist and cooler and regular feedings of tomatoes with TTF. It is also imperative to control summer pests like stink bugs, aphiids, and worst of all spider mites and regular use of fungicides to reduce diseases. Keeping the number of stems limited is a big factor in larger fruit so pruning is a must both for improved fruit size and keeping the plant more open to reduce disease pressure.

Bill
Bill, I am almost superstitious enough to not even write this, but I have managed all summer so far with no pest, fungus or disease that requires more than removing some foilage. If I had wood on my ipad I would knock on it.

Some of my favorites set fruit in the heat but between some early heavy rain followed by 98 degrees - I lost some early cherokee purple to BER. I still had tons of good sized fruit for the last month- just not the overwhelming deluge we frequently see the second part of July. The last week we have been between flushes of Black Krim, and Dixie Golden has been trickling in, and is starting to rev up. My only three plants in the ground are Big Rainbow. One was producing stunted, cracked and strange fruit that looked bug damaged. The tomatoes on that plant should not have been ripe that early so I do not know what the deal was. The two next to it are acting like Big Rainbow should, and are just now producing a bunch of beautiful large fruit for me. If I haven’t jinxed myself by talking about it.
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Old August 10, 2018   #26
mensplace
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B54red,
IT did my heart good to read about your wonderful success this year! You have always been a great help to me... as have many others here over the years.

Thus far I have proven the doctors wrong as I am still around even if with some effort.

This year I discovered my favorite tomato ever; it was fairly large and slight oblong, delicious, sweet flavor, and a very deep, almost translucent, emerald green with occasional thin underlying slightly orange vertical stripes that sparkled beneath the deep emerald.....both gorgeous and delicious! Sorry, but don't recall the name...some days I can't recall my own name. After so many years, and never a green, this was a real blessing.

But, after many months of gardening on my knees and falling virtually every time I tried to pick something I received something of a message after enduring the incredible heat, constant rain, humidity, and code orange air. The other night a huge storm came through and the entire garden was leveled as though a scythe had gone through it all. One great loss was the bloody butcher corn I wanted to use for meal. Then my wife was making coffee and the pot shattered, thoroughly soaking all of my carefully selected and processed seed for next year. A couple days later I went to get it out of the kitchen and it was all gone. She dug into the trash and found it all carefully layered on paper towels, but soaked in coffee and sprouting.

Okay LORD, I hear you!

After a brief pause, I should add that before the devastation of the storm the wife and I had already harvested a freezer full of veggies of all kinds!!! For this, I am very thankful. Too, peppers of all kinds, being lower to the ground and more compact, withstood the worst and are delicious.

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Old August 10, 2018   #27
Goodloe
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That's great to hear, Mr. Bill! i have also had a very productive year. We've eaten countless tomatoes and given away countless tomatoes...and still managed to put 18 gallons in the freezer! Not much in the way of pests or disease, or killer storms...except for the late appearance of RKN on some cages...that will be dealt with shortly. Congrats again on a banner year!
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Old August 10, 2018   #28
Nan_PA_6b
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Mensplace, if you post a list of the seeds you've lost, maybe some of us can replace some of them.



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Old August 11, 2018   #29
mensplace
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Nan,

Thank you so much for you ever so kind offer, Also, great thanks for the many years of sharing both seeds and ideas back and forth with all here!

Unfortunately, between neighbors stealing everything they could, the overwhelmingly hot and humid summers, and my own issues with breathing, walking, falling constantly, and more, followed by the storm that came and absolutely leveled my garden I just can't see me doing another year. We were blessed to harvest a freezer full! Too, I discovered that wonderful emerald green tomato with the translucent skin, occasional orange stripes beneath the skin and incredibly sweet flavor. Too, discovered a new kind of squash that was cream colored, evenly plump, and best at eight inches. My Roma II beans were by far the best flavored, but short bearing. My curly kale is still bearing as are the peppers of every type. I do have fall seeds that take little work.

I think next year the garden will be a fraction of this years size with maybe ten tomato plants, a few squash, etc.. I have been gardening since I was 14 and loved every minute both in the garden, communicating with others, and researching. If I can find the name of that oblong emerald tomato and the "perfect" mid sized red that will be it for next year. That will give me a quest...along with the best recipes for zucchini relish, hot pepper jelly, and maybe a green tomato chutney. Thank goodness for my Kitchenaid .

Blessings to all.
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Old August 13, 2018   #30
Nan_PA_6b
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Mensplace, it's good to see you posting here.
Nan
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