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Old 1 Day Ago   #1
sjamesNorway
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Default The best laid plans... a season review

Last year we had a dismal season – cold and wet, with overnight lows consistently under 50°F. I decided I would only plant cold-tolerant early varieties outside. This year we had record setting heat and drought from May through July, with daytime highs hovering just under 90°F. I’ve never had to water so much. In the first week of August, suddenly: highs of 70°F and nighttime lows of 44°F.
In the greenhouse, yield from some varieties was limited by blossom drop. Outside, some varieties suffered from the heat.
I don’t keep records of yield and weight, so the following review is based on my impressions. NR= not returning


The following were grown in containers in the hot greenhouse:
Maglia Rosa dtm: 50, good yield, I know this one’s popular, but the taste wasn’t there for us NR
KARMA Pink dtm:59, good yield, these really do taste like great late season beefsteaks when fully ripe.
Indian Stripe Potato Leaf dtm: 60, excellent yield – just keeps churning out fruit, meaty with excellent taste. Every year! (compact plant)
Girl Girl’s Weird Thing dtm:66, excellent yield, outstanding taste, a great variety!
Not Purple Strawberry dtm: 72, good yield, taste similar to ISPL, but not as productive NR
Bulgarian Triumph dtm: 74, average yield, average taste NR
Not Vintage Wine dtm: 76, very good yield, meaty, rich and delicious taste! Outstanding, the year’s greenhouse winner!
Copper River dtm: 76, set lots of fruit, but many shriveled due to 1 late watering(?). Delicious and beautiful. Will try again.
Cherokee Green dtm: 80. Poor yield. Delicious taste – sweet and spicy, but back to Green Giant next year – comparable taste, far better yield.
Orange Jazz dtm: 85 mediocre yield, uneven ripening – ½ ripe, ½ green. Ripe parts – excellent taste. NR
Rosado de Ayerbe dtm:90, good yield, beautiful, slightly ribbed big beefsteaks, taste – the essence of “tomatoness”, a favorite!

The following were grown outdoors (CG=container grown):

CG Belyi Naliv dtm: 52, very good yield, good taste, but thick-skinned. NR
Carbon Copy dtm: 53, excellent yield, great sweet snacking variety!
CG Jaune Flamme dtm: 54 days, excellent yield, very good strong taste, but too tart for our liking. NR
CG Karma Pink dtm: 57? I’m not sure what’s happening here. Sprawling plants loaded with fruit, but only one ripe after 74 days.
CG Sakharnyi Pudovichok dtm: 59, mediocre yield - but this one’s produced loads in cooler years. I think it hates the heat. Excellent balanced taste. It will return!
Yamal dtm: 60, good yield, very good balanced taste, but they all have (some deep) radial cracking. NR
CG Gregori’s Altai dtm:64 days, very good yield, taste on the tart side for us. NR
CG EM-Champion dtm: 65 days, excellent yield of pretty hearts, delicious taste leaning toward sweet.
Break O’day dtm: 65 days, good yield, good taste, but couldn’t compete with EM-Champion. NR
CG Zolotoe Serdtse dtm: 66, very good yield (beautiful persimmon-colored hearts), we tried them in all stages of ripeness, they stay hard and taste like bitter unripe green bell peppers, nasty – our only spitter. NR!
Altaiskiy Oranzhevyi dtm: 72 days, excellent yield, meaty with surprising outstanding taste – sweet with notes of apricot and spice. The season’s outdoor winner!
Tarasenko Rozovyi none ripe yet at 74 days…



But who knows how these outdoor varieties will do in a normal Norwegian summer?


Steve

Last edited by sjamesNorway; 1 Day Ago at 07:19 AM.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #2
NarnianGarden
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I do commiserate, as it was impossible to foresee all weather conditions when making this year's grow list. There are some forecasts, but usually there are surprises. This year's heat wave came as a total surprise.

Your assortment seems quite impressive. Hopefully you'll soon get to try the ones not ripened yet.

My conclusion so far here in Finland - cherry, grape and other small fruited varieties seem to do well in extreme conditions.

I am going to focus on smaller sized tomatoes next year, but it is a pity to dismiss all large beefsteaks or hearts.. I love big black and pink tomatoes and will try some each year.

So far, I haven't tasted any large ones, but the odd donut shaped Indian Stripe is indoors and half dark already.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #3
bower
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We had the worst of both extremes this season - warm april into may, extreme cold in may-june, extreme heat thereafter.



I was prepared for some early season disappointments due to the cold, but the biggest disappointment of all was the fruit that didn't ripen nicely in the extreme heat. Some varieties just don't tolerate it, their ripening enzymes or whatever is involved is not functional at those temperatures. I do think it's hard to find varieties that excel under both cold and hot extremes. But since we're likely to face more of that in the future, I will have to take this year as direction, what to focus on in the years ahead. The winners in a year like this deserve two separate awards.
One thing I will say about the greenhouse, I had excellent results from determinate lines, and that is at least partly due to the somewhat lower temperatures vs high canopy, but also due to their own growth habit providing some fruit-friendlier environment vs heavily pruned single stems.


So technique of growing also can play a part in dealing with temperature extremes in future.


I never thought I would be culling varieties that can't take the heat, but there it is!
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Old 1 Day Ago   #4
Labradors2
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I loved to read your write-up. Most helpful .

Sorry that you weren't impressed with the taste of Maglia Rosa. Mine weren't good last year either, due (I think) to them getting badly stressed as little seedlings. This year they have their usual great taste.

Linda
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Old 1 Day Ago   #5
IronPete
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Bower we are geographically so close but our weather seems to have been so different! We had a late spring (last frost June 15th!!!) but once July hit that hot/humidity mix made things pretty tough. My garden is in containers so I was able to water every day and so everything grew but the tomato plants dropped a lot of flowers. My Dwarf Orange Cream still has no tomatoes growing and it is one of my very favorites both for its unique pastel finish and also for incredible taste so not thrilled about that one. It is down right coldish today when only 2 days ago I couldn't work because of the humidity and heat! strange weather to say the least! I am hoping for a few more months of ok weather so that I can get a reasonable harvest!

sJamesNorway... I have grown and loved Girl Girl's Weird Thing and Indian Stripe (not potato leaf I don't think)... I did not like Jaune Flamme for the same reason as you. Gregori's Altai for me was a spitter with a lot more core than tomato. Tania has thrown some Altaiskiy Oranzhevyi into an order one time as a gift and I grew it last year. The plant was susceptible to BER but it grew well, produced a lot of tomatoes and the ones I ate tasted great to me so I would definitely recommend that one as well. It is strange how different your results were for Karma Pink! I will likely track that one down to try anyway. Sounds like a great choice for our short season!

Pete
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Old 1 Day Ago   #6
IronPete
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I misread what Bower had said about his weather, lol! Actually pretty similar!
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Old 1 Day Ago   #7
PaulF
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Thanks for the report. It is fun to see experiences in areas different from our own. Our weather extremes sound similar, so my year end numbers most likely will sound familiar.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #8
sjamesNorway
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Thanks for the replies.



NarnianGarden Thanks for the commiseration. I never thought I'd experience such a hot summer in Norway, and my Norwegian wife never has until this year.



Bower I guess I should be pleased with the indeterminate varieties that did fairly well in the greenhouse, even though they stopped setting fruit at about midsummer.



Labradors2. Hi Linda. I wonder if Maglia Rosa's lack of taste was due to the extreme heat in the greenhouse (enzymes, as Bower writes). Since it's so early, I may try it outside next year.


IronPete It's interesting that we've had the same take on so many varieties. KARMA pink from the greenhouse is delicious. I'm still hoping it will ripen outdoors. You should definitely try it.


Steve
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Old 1 Day Ago   #9
KarenO
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Very interesting reviews Steve, is the outdoor KP in full sun?
I’ve had reports of plants in part shade taking longer than anticipated.
Better late than never though I guess
All if your other reviews are useful as well. I’d love for you to try my hearts and the other KARMAS if you would like to.
Pete, pm me your addy for some KARMA seeds.
KarenO
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Old 1 Day Ago   #10
KarenO
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Narnian, before you give up on hearts, try mine ?
Karen
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Old 1 Day Ago   #11
sjamesNorway
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Hi Karen. The two outdoor KPs are in full sun, and we had mostly cloudless long days from May through July. I made the mistake of using a nitrogen-heavy timed-release fertilizer, so there's an awful lot of foliage. I still hope they'll start ripening soon. (The ones we've had from the greenhouse are so good!) I'd love to try your True North varieties, especially Midnight Sun and True Colours.


Steve
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Old 1 Day Ago   #12
ABlindHog
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Steve
Enjoyed your review. I too grow both EM Champion & Break O' Day but have never thought of them as either or. They both do better for me in the fall season here as it is much cooler when the fruit is ripening.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #13
NarnianGarden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Narnian, before you give up on hearts, try mine ?
Karen
Karen, I'd love to try yours - will PM you my adress if you have some to share.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #14
ABlindHog
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Bower
I think this years extreme weather has been an outlier and should not discourage you from planting the tomatoes you enjoy. There has always been occasional extremes of cold and heat but a cold year followed by a hot one is not a trend.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #15
ABlindHog
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Karen
I was just thinking about your hearts a couple of days ago, and wondering if you had any that where ready to release. Is that project completed? I have been busy with family the last couple of years and have not kept up.
Mike
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