Greenhouse tomato tip

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by shawnee, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    We bought an orchard Feb. last, and included with that orchard was 2 greenhouses. The previous owner always alternated them with tomatoes, letting them rest a year with buckwheat, rye or even 2 plantings of sugar peas or green beans.
    They only planted bush early girl determinate tomatoes in their greenhouse. They said they tried many others but they split or were too early. Their goal was the early market on home tomatoes - tried to have the first tomato by father's day. We failed miserably last year - drought, mites, verticulum wilt, etc. This year we did much, much better - we had our first ripe tomate 2 days before father's day! However, my hub devoted 1 of our 4 rows to a tomato K-State guaranteed to be a superb greenhouse tomato. Wellll, they are early - only a week apart for their first ripe tomato. They're called Caruso, taste far superior, but they split. I can't understand why they would tout a tomato that splits in that higher-heat environment. But, if you can stand to cut out the split, if you can take the look of them, WOW are they good!
    We don't have fans in there - the other folks tried one but said didn't make much difference. We have a good market here - sell them to 6 surrounding small burgs - micro sized - and have 3 larger towns about 25 miles away that like to make the drive (folks in Ks. like to see the countryside and judge crops, etc.); all connected by highways.
    We charge $1.29 for tomatoes and folks here don't blink an eye. They want to know where their tomatoes come from, don't like the taste of WMart's veggies, and when they want to can they want a lot right then. I have standing orders for 25-30 lbs. ripe from a list of folks. This makes a good side-income. Takes the place of asparagus which only lasts 2 months here.
    We also have Celebrity and Empire planted for late summer-fall tomatoes to keep the market going. Fall tomatoes in the greenhouse, and you can extend that as long as you want to with kerosun heaters, can be even better than early market. Some folks like to have them semi-ripe and lay them on newspaper to ripen in their basement or spare room - NEVER in windowsills.
    Just a few tips; also have thriving market for burpless, old-fashioned straight 8's and more importantly pickler cukes. Folks here like that old-fashioned taste of home-made pickles and you can't buy them day-fresh in any grocery store. I have a greenhouse filled right now - when they peter out this crop, I'll put some more in for fall. Also have dill patch; I stagger seeding it every month. Some folks like it fresh, some a little dried.
    Didn't mean to ramble on so; but I know some of you out there are looking for ways to make $ on your homesteading or country living sites.
     
  2. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Messages:
    4,568
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Location:
    Maine
    Are you watering the plants heavily? Too much water promotes splitting.
     

  3. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    Nope. l hr. per day by drip and the conditions here in Ks. are HOT and dry. Greenhouse makes 'em even hotter. Besides, only the Caruso are splitting; but like i said, man are they good.
     
  4. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,730
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I grew some early girls in my green house this year. They were the worst performers- they wound up extremely catfaced. I will have to look for the caruso seed.
     
  5. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    If you plant Caruso's you'll hate my guts. Those devil-tomatoes would split even before they turned orange. I'd plant them outside. Not as early by 2 weeks as early girl bush determinate, but WOW that taste. Don't give up on the early girl's - ours don't have a mark on them. Only one's previous owner could grow that didn't split - He tried MANy varieties, too.