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Member discussion regarding the methods, varieties and merits of growing tomatoes.

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Old November 16, 2022   #31
Dak's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 473

Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
Earlier varieties as well as smaller varieties (slicers instead of beefsteaks) should give a better yield in hotter summers, or more extreme summers.

I'm helping choose varieties for the spring master gardener tomato sale. About half the current list is large, late beefsteaks, so I'm suggesting major revisions. It's worth trying one or two, if you have space for a dozen plants, because you might get lucky. But for a steady crop, it's better to rely on other varieties.


I know I'm a bit late here on this thread, but I would be very interested in learning the tomatoes you recommend for yield in hotter summers.

My crop this year was very disappointing, it was just unrelentingly hot here. During the last 2 months of heat I put up a shade cloth, which brought down the temperature by at least 10 degrees and cooled things down enough for me to get some sort of yield, so at least I have that in place for next year. Unexpected plus, I still have some tomatoes going, I didn't realize it would work as frost protection as well.

I read somewhere on here that for hot summers, it's best to plant seeds early, like the week of Christmas to get a good headstart. Wondering if anyone has feedback on this, (I use wall-of-waters once they get too big to manage in pots), has anyone else tried this?
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Old November 18, 2022   #32
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Posts: 1,027

We all felt the Climate changes of Hot Weather last summer, Amen. The 2022 Heirloom Tomato Crop I started in the Greenhouse February did well, but my Last Crop was hard work because the heat. I had to replant and they are doing well in the Green House. So, No Off Season for "Farmer Joyce". This will be my first time farming this late in the season and the First time I am selling Plants everyone Month of this year.
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
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Old November 18, 2022   #33
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: virginia
Posts: 683

It was a hot dry year. Also a warm fall until two or three days ago. 60's and 70's during the day 50's at night. So the varieties that survived the heat did well in the fall and still going. The 3 varieties still going are Arkansas Traveler, Atkinson and Pale Perfect Purple.

Arkansas Traveler - Strong performer as usual. This is my Number 1 tomato

Atkinson - I had no plans of growing the tomato next year until October and November came around. I really didn't eat that many this summer. They tasted pretty good but were smaller that I thought they would be. Most were golf ball size and some were bigger. When the weather started to cool these started tasting better and still taste great. The taste got sweeter and better in cool weather which is a first for me, So I think I will grow this again next year if only for great tasting fall tomatoes. To this day the plant is healthy and green and still more tomatoes to harvest. Picked two dozen Nov. 15th. Because the size is kinda small I am not certain this is the real Atkinson but it may be.

Pale Perfect Purple - Vigorous grower. Added an extension to the cage early and by the time you add in where it dropped down the cage and drooped over the sides i am sure it was over 15 feet long. Ultra productive. Tastes good too although the taste went south with the temperature. This one can be consumed at different stages of ripeness to get different flavors. It is definitely a Black Tomato.

Carolina Dusk - I planted two of these and they were both short small plants, so much so that I pulled one up and replaced it with an Arkansas Traveler. It took a while but it finally took off and prospered. Strong healthy productive plant into October. Great taste

Monomakh's Hat- - Oxheart shaped, droopy foliage. Meaty and tastes great. Big tomatoes, early and often. Made it through the end of September. A regular in my garden.

Marglobe - Healthy plant. Nice red tomatoes. Taste was just OK

Burgundy Traveler - Late start, knew it was wrong when it came up potato leaf. Contacted seller and they grew and got potato leaf also. Grower told them it was the potato leaf version of Burgundy Traveler. Turned out to be Pink Brandywine or something similar.

Earl's Faux - The weather didn't agree with Earl either but still got some great tasting tomatoes before it went down earlier than usual. In a good year it produces loads of tomatoes

Bradley - Turned out to be a pink heart shaped tomato. Fit the description of Bradley otherwise. Went down early

Soviet - Soviet made me buy a weight scale. The biggest one was almost 2 pounds, 1.8 I think.There were two tomatoes on that truss wth a total weight over 3 pounds. Tomatoes probably averaged 1 1/2 pounds.Just guessing but I think there were 15 or 20 tomatoes. Meaty and great taste

George Desitkos Italian Red - Good tasting red tomatoes, Went down fast.
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Old November 22, 2022   #34
sic transit gloria
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: KS 5b/6a
Posts: 240

Worst year in 20 years in Kansas 6b. Too hot too early, then very dry. Didn't help that I went on vacation to WI in July and ot was over 100F several days while I was gone. I'm looking forward to next year.
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Old November 23, 2022   #35
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California Central Valley
Posts: 2,519


I had lots of nematode problems this year, so I didn’t get great productivity.
My neighbors at the community garden grew lots of Early Girl F1 and Juliet F1, and they may have complained about too many tomatoes. They invited me to pick when they were on vacation, and it was nice to have tomatoes — better than anything you could buy, but not heirloom flavor.

I harvested almost nothing from the dwarf bed ( hardest hit by nematodes) but got a few Polaris and a good number of Purple Boy F1 and Benevento F1, and several others. I planted late, though.

My strategy for next year is cover crops and brassicas now in the worst beds. Then Kodiak mustard or Nemagon mustard as a very early spring nematocidal cover crop. Some beds will have nematode-resistant varieties only — tomatoes, peppers, black-eyed peas. Maybe a bed with plants that are not affected by nematodes — zinnias, corn. A bed with nematocidal marigolds.

As for tomatoes in inferno summers, I think the best strategies are to plant as early as possible (get good roots growing before nematodes wake up at 65F soil temperature); focus on early to mid season varieties; plant mostly small and medium size fruits.
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Old November 23, 2022   #36
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 473

Thanks for the info! I've ordered Mighty Mustard Trifecta blend just for organic matter and as a natural soil fumigant, but I hadn't heard of Kodiak or Nemagon, sounds good. No nematodes here that I've become aware of, but a quick google on them makes me glad I've planted the mustard.

Good advice on the planting early and focusing on early to mid-season varieties, thanks!

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Old November 25, 2022   #37
Milan HP
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Ústí nad Labem in the north of the Czech Republic
Posts: 328
Default Central Europe

Lots of posts from two continents, but nothing from Europe. So I've decided to send my report that can be summarized in one sentence: my best season in at least 5 years. Not exactly in yield but in taste. All my varieties were 8+ on a scale 1 -10. The summer months were warm and relatively dry, but there was quite a long spell of cold wet weather in Sep. Lots of cracking, so the yield went down. On the other hand Oct was drier and warmer than expected. Which left me with some 30 kilos of green toms to take indoors for ripening in Nov. They are still at it and I hope to have ripe ones at least until the end of Feb. I planted about 30 cuts for that purpose in June. I have kept meticulous statistics, so I can share the average yield a plant with you (variety, number of plants, yield a plant in kilos):

Mountain Magic F1 (10) - 3,40 kg; Oh Happy Day F1 (1) - 4,48; Crimson Cocktail F1 (6) - 4,47; Crimson Crush F1 (4) - 2,41; Crokini F1 (2) - 2,74; Primabella OP (4) - 2,15; Consuelo F1 (2) - 2,57 kg; Defiant F1 (4) - 5,37 kg; Ailsa Craig (1) - 5,27; Koralik (2) - 4,65; Crimson Plum F1 (2) - 4,14; Mountain Merit F1 (2) - 4,02; Crimson Blush F1 (2) - 3,41; Start F1 (2) - 3,26; Galahad F1 (3) - 3,18; Garden Berry F1 (2) - 2,95; Mountaineer Pride (2) - 2,43; Honey Moon F1 - 1,97 kg. Sorry for not converting kilos to pounds.

You can see that Defiant was the winner in yield, but in taste it's clearly Mountain Magic. Even now after having ripened indoors, they are best in taste.
Milan HP
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Old November 28, 2022   #38
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 923

Season here was about like usual production wise. Too hot and way too dry during July. A few years back it was way too much rain, so it all balances out.

Here's to next year, hoping for 1/2" of rain, exactly two days per week, low humidity on the other 5 days, and temps never over 85.
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Old November 28, 2022   #39
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,854

We had a wonderful DRY season so not a lot of disease, although I almost lost a Blush to stem rot early on. Fortunately, I had a back-up plant and I was able to save the sick one by practically cutting it in half.

Old Favourites

Maglia Rosa, best for taste, as always


Sunrise BB

EM Champion

New favourites

Prairie Fire - Compact and very tasty

Pink Princess - round, pink cherry, sweet and absolutely delicious (although they split easily and fell off the vine at the least provocation. Probably not great for a wet year!)

Elgin Pink - Mine was Black, but very tasty.

Ambrosia Gold - red instead and not exceptional

Benevento F1 - taste just wasn't there raw, but excellent when cooked.

Danko was more productive than AM Champ, but taste wasn't as good IMO.

Japanese Pink Princess didn't seem very hearty - a runt which looked red. Tasty though.

Matt's Hornet was productive and pretty, but the flavour was not there for me, especially growing next door to Prairie Fire which was very tasty.

Perayva was productive, but disappointing

Pink Cherry Wine F1 was tasty AND it kept extremely well (a couple of months in the basement), but not as tasty as the other new faves.

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Old December 1, 2022   #40
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA/NH Border
Posts: 4,915

We had extreme drought this year, and I had the second highest production in the last ten years. The beds are on a drip zone off our irrigation system which is controlled by a WiFi controller, so watering was steady and regular. What was missing was the rain which leads to foliage disease and usually by August I have plants that are declining as a result. This year they stayed dry which left them healthy and green well into October.

Several new favorites were Midnight Sun, the real Mat-Su express (finally tracked down seeds to replace the unrealeased and not true ones someone had sent me years ago), Waratah, Wherekowhai, Crnkovic Yugoslavian, and Antique Roman.
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