Friday, August 13, 2010

Tomato Crop Update

The summer has been getting the better of me lately. Asides from harvesting it seems hard to spend time in the garden or in front of the computer. We have been on the road a lot lately touring around and taking pictures. I should really post some photos of our finds soon. I was going to do this tomato post yesterday but ended up going to the lake with my Sister. Even at the lake I can find some veggies, below is a photo of a Trailing Wild Bean that was growing on the beach. From what I can gather it is fairly uncommon in the north east, not sure if it is edible though.

Now for the task at hand, tomatoes. They all look very healthy but seem to be taking ages to turn colour. This season I started them 6 weeks before planting them out, I think that is the culprit. Next season I will go back to starting them 10 weeks before transplant.

This was a sucker. They form between the main stem & leaf.

This year I have been religiously pruning out all the suckers. Once the plants reached the top of their 6' stake I also cut the top out in hopes it directs energy into fruit not growth. There are a few reason that I pruned so heavily this season:
  • It fits more plants in a small space, without pruning they just shade each other
  • To increase airflow within the plants, this helps reduce the risk of blight
  • It also makes it easier to see/harvest the fruit
Below are some photos of the fruit, mostly the ones I really wanted to try like last month!

Kellogg's Breakfast, grown from seed shared by Granny.

Green Zebra

Pink Berkley Tie Tye, grown from self saved seed.

Cherokee Purple, grown from self saved seed. They are
starting to get bronze shoulders so it shouldn't be long now.


  1. So many green tomatoes, so much potential! Hopefully they ripen for you sooner rather than later!

    About those suckers, I remember you advising me to prune out the suckers to get individual tomatoes to grow bigger. Aside from being able to fit more plants into a small space, have you noticed if your tomatoes are bigger/better than in the previous year(s) when you may have pruned less?

    Your tomatoes, even though they are still green, still look great and healthy to me (love the size of that Kellogg's Breakfast), but I guess only you would know if they are benefiting from your active pruning.

  2. A wild bean, how cool. I wonder if it is edible! Your tomatoes look so healthy!

  3. Your tomatoes are certainly a good size! I hope that they start to ripen soon for you.

    I was complaing in the spring thinking that I started my plants too soon. However, I was not complaining when I had my first ripe tomatoes in June!

  4. Hi there....I am so pleased you wrote about pruning your tomato plants...I did the same yesterday, and wondered was I doing the right thing....

    I thoughts were it would increase airflow (blight is a problem) and yes, makes it easier to see the fruit as I found a red one..our first that isn't a cherry. You gave me confidence..thanks for that.

  5. Good news! I checked #3 Cherokee Purple, and it was loaded with ripe fruits that I couldn't see through all the foliage yesterday! I darned near had to climb inside the plant to see them, then there they came, one after another, until I had an entire bucket of them! So two of the three plants grew true, and one evidently crossed with a smaller, round tomato, but took on a bit of the purple color of the CP. I took pruning shears to about half the indeterminates today, and will work on the other half tomorrow.

  6. I am planning to do some pruning on the tomatoes today myself. Mainly to remove the foliage that is yellowing on the bottom - but also to tie up and trim back the wild growth that is threatening to take over.

    I am glad to read that others are struggling to get some ripe tomatoes this year too. I am feeling really discouraged this year about the prospects of ever getting any decent harvest. Our fall rains arrive predictably in mid to late September and that is absolutely the death of the tomato plants (cool wet and short days spell doom) so if I do not get my harvest between now and then - it is over. Sadly many of the plants are still not only green - but on the smallish side. (sigh) There is hope though, the weather is warming up for us this weekend and if it gave us a two or three week stretch of reasonably warm, I think I could make it to the finish line with at least a reasonable tomato harvest. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  7. I find the ones that I start at 6 weeks do better than the ones I start at 10 weeks. I don't mean they are earlier, but I get more tomatoes. Sometimes I only give them four weeks. I think it is best to have both though. That way you can have the early and the prolific.

  8. Mine are taking forever to turn too. I'm pruning like mad, hoping they do.

  9. I'm still waiting too! I saw some color start on one of my paste tomatoes but I'm not too excited about those until there are many of them.

    Your green zebra may almost be ripe. It looks like it has a bit of a yellowish tint. I pick mine when they have yellow backgrounds and are soft. I've had 2 of those so far this year.

  10. I started my tomato seeds February 14th - Valentine's Day... What a fun way to start the 'spring' season... I transplanted them into larger pots about 2 months later & then into the greenhouse on Earth Day (April 22). They are monsters & the fruit are monsters. I broke down & ate one the other day, in my eagerness to taste them & realized they need to mature a little longer for fuller flavour.

    I've been pruning them like crazy as they just don't seem to want to stop flowering, but I certainly won't complain too much as this is the first season I've managed to set fruit!

    Good luck in waiting patiently for your's to ripen!

  11. Bronze shoulders...nicely put, Dan :) Beautiful tomatoes. Your garden is very meticulously cared for. I love seeing how it progresses every year.

  12. You could try and save seed from that wild bean in a hedgerow!

  13. I'm still waiting for mine to ripen too! I'm having a hard time waiting. I'm running out of cherry tomatoes to swipe. I think next year I'll look into more early varieties!

  14. Looking at the Farmer's almanac, you actually have better growing conditions than we do here in the Midwest USA. It's no wonder your produce looks so great.

  15. Those green tomatoes are already looking delightfuL! I would definitely watch out for them when they turn red! Thanks for sharing this post! Really inspired me. Actually, It made me a little hungry! LOL

  16. What a big tomatoes you have. I love to see them turn into red. They are really remarkable. I have nothing to say they are really perfect! I wished that my tomatoes are big as yours.

  17. Nice produce you got there! Those tomatoes are definitely healthy in size and surely in taste! Regarding those suckers, I always check all of my plants and look for these "rebel" stems. They suck all of the nutrients that supposed to be for the main stem. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post of yours. Will surely appreciate to see those tomatoes ripe already.