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We always grow 8-10 varieties--can't resist trying something new but every year we plant Carmello and Dona for the best tomato flavor,Celebrity,Abraham Lincoln, Delicious and Heatwave as we know we'll get a reliable crop from these in our climate, Rutgers or Heinz to can for juice, a Roma type for sauce,Early Girl 'cause we can't wait for "REAL" 'maters, some kind of cherry tomato in pots on the deck--Totally tomatoes free trial this year is Quimbaya,tomato from Columbia rain forest...guess we'll be trying that!! Haven't had much luck with heirloom types...tried Brandywines but they didn't have enough leaves to keep from cooking on the vines here in MO. Usually give dozen of plants to our neighbors and they all like the varieties we grow....DEE
 

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Dee, do you really, really want to know what I'll be growing? There will be about 10 times more than a normal person should grow but then nobody has ever claimed that I am normal! My seed offer shared only 2 varieties of the nearly 100 that I have on hand. But, you asked!

New for 2004, most to replenish seed but some first time:

Aztec
Bradley
Eva Purple Ball
Italian Plum
McClintock
Mother Russia
Neves Azorean
Ponderosa
Reif Red Heart
Tigerella

Repeats from 2003, large fruit:

Amish Yellow
Aunt Gertie's Gold
Heatherington Pink
Hellfrucht
Hugh's Yellow
Kellogg's Breakfast
Novogogoshary
Omar's Lebanese
Paquebot Roma
Tidwell German
White Wonder
Wisconsin 55

Small fruit repeats or trials:

Black Cherry
Juliet F3
Riesentraube
Santa F3
Sungold F3


Is that enough variety for you?

Martin
 

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Martin...that's a lot! I mean a really lot!! I think I'm doing three kinds, and my intent is to find one that will do it all. I'm hoping the Amish paste will be the one, then next year, I'll just have them. But maybe that'll change because my garden size may be increasing by about 5 times. We'll see.
 

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Wow,that's alot of 'mater varieties. I note alot seem to be heirlooms and we've just not had much luck with them....heat,humidity,drought each summer zap a crop that looks great in June. Don't really have a bug problem other than tomato worms and the chickens love them. Planning on going over to Baker Creek Heirloom spring fair since its' only about 1 1/2 hrs from here and see what's what. Would like to grow more open-pollinated types. At one time we probably grew 20 kinds,too but only have our Starplate greenhouse at present and have to have room for flowers....many many flowers!! DEE
 

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Martin, any special way to grow the Wisconsin 55 and Romas? I bought some Jiffy mix from Walmart instead of their awful blue bag stuff. Hope seeds do better with the jiffy and their peat pots. What do you recommend to start seeds? Also the starts of other seeds appear to be very leggy. Any way to correct that? Thanks for your help. Don't want to have plants die again this year!
 

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Hank, I had to try to remember where you lived but knew that it was in the warmer part of the country. Arizona, but that state is all screwed up for zones so you could be sweating or shoveling snow!

You could almost start those seeds outside since you don't want either one to become leggy. My Roma seeds were planted on Thanksgiving Day in a cold frame. Covered them with about 3" of snow yesterday to remind them not to sprout too early. I don't want them sprouting until about 1 April but if they show up before, no problem as they will remain short.

Remember one thing about a determinate tomato such as the Paquebot Roma. They have X number of days to complete their life and it doesn't do a thing good to try to speed it up. They may go from seed to entirely dead plants within 90 days. From seedling to full production in 60 days.

Wisconsin 55 is semi-determinate. Supposedly 75 days from transplant but I find that they are more like 65 days here. Then it will produce for probably a month or so but not forever. That means that it might still be going strong when frost arrives or will have worn itself out. If I figure on 15 May planting, I won't be starting them until 15 April. So, start the seeds one month before you plan on planting them. Yes, they'll still be small but there will never be any setbacks due to transplant shock.

I don't use Jiffy Mix except to mix with regular soil for starting. Jiffy Mix is fine is you are going to transplant to regular potting soil or babysit them and end up killing them with liquid fertilizer. So, best to use a potting or starting soil instead.

I'll be splitting my seeds into two plantings. One will be inside as usual and the other outside in a cold frame. It's to prove that one does not have to start plants 6 to 8 weeks early in order to get full production. One will be in normal soil and all natural sunlight. Those inside will be in starter pots and under artificial lights. I'm betting on better plants from the cold frame than the house!

Martin
 

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These are the ones I have to grow, there are about 10 other varieties that I haven't listed yet. I might not be able to grow so many though, because we might be selling our house this spring/summer, so I don't want to grow tomatoes for someone else! I will grow all the short season ones, and probably the others at my dads house, and sisters house. It will be tough, I am due to have my baby on May 22nd, so hopefully they will help me plant them.....I have an addiction problem with tomatoes.......... :rolleyes:

Marizol Purple
Great White
Snow White
White Wonder
Red Zebra
Green Zebra
Thai Pink Egg
Galinas
Black Cherry
Yellow Bell
Kellogg’s Breakfast
Oregon Spring
Gardener’s Delight
Pruden’s Purple
Aunt Ruby’s German Green
Golden Queen

Crazy Cherry
Super Sweet 100 Cherry
Orange Cherry
San Marzano
Red Grape
Mr. Stripey
Yellow Perfection
Black Krim


Black Plum
White Cherry
Gold Nugget
Plum Lemon
Large Cherry
Isis Candy
Roma

Rocketship (Stripped or speckled Roman)
Mexican currant
Oliver German White

~Marisa :)
 
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Wow! For newbie like me, that's a lot of tomatoes!!! Just one question....what would you recommend for zone 3 in Alberta, Canada?

I live on a prairie farm, May 23 to Sept 9 frostfree growing time, can get hot and dry in summer. Would like to grow 4-5 varieties, like cherry sized for fresh eating, romas for sauces, and some for canning.

Thanks, Andrea
 

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Thanks Martin. Think I will wait til it warms up and direct seeding in the garden can take place. We are zone 8 but not sure if this is a or b. We are at 4,400 ft. We should be clear of any frost by the middle of April. The other potting soil I presently have is Walmart's cheapo so the Jiffy was a compromise. A friend plants his in straight horse manure. Think we will try planting some other varieties in a mixture of all soils.
 

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Andrea, I could have helped you with all 3 of your needs a week ago. Can't now as I'm out of Wisconsin 55. On Garden Web Forums, I was surprised by the number of requests I received from the Prairie provinces. Not from the big cities but little communities out in the middle of nowhere. There are a number of decent varieties that were developed for the short seasons of the US Midwest and which were also applicable to the Canadian Prairie. Few US companies will now ship to Canada but there are a number of good companies up there. Do a Google search for Seed Companies Canada and you should be able to find something for a good all-purpose canner-slicer-juicer plus your other desired types. I can help you out on a Roma and cherry tomato that will do well in your short season. Contact me through the forum's features with your address. If you are not a registered member, you will have to register first. But you'll get some free tomato seeds as a result!

Hank, I had to laugh when you mentioned a friend planting tomatoes in horse manure. It was just a month ago that I began this damned bronchial problem at a funeral for a long time farmer friend. They'd retired to the city last year and no huge garden as on the farm. They could only have pots and containers in that retirement complex. I was chatting with the widow and the family about the family garden that they had and how I sold them a lot of seeds in 1950 to win prizes offered by some company that always had an ad on the back page of comic books. Lots of memories! Then I asked about what they grew last year and there were a few tomato plants in pots. Soil and manure brought up from the farm to fill the pots. I asked what the tomatoes tasted like. Almost in unison, the entire family said "cow sh--"! Need I say more? :haha:

Martin
 

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It's to prove that one does not have to start plants 6 to 8 weeks early in order to get full production.

Martin,

Good post. Last year I started tomato seed in my greenhouse on the 4th of July. I had ripe tomatoes in September and finally gave up on trying to keep them unfrozen the beginning of November. The seed were started in 3 gallon pots and that's where the tomatoes spent their entire lives.
 

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I just spent an afternoon going through my seed inventory and the catalogs...I had a few varieties in my seed stash that I wanted to try again, and I decided I could probably try 10 new varieties (although that number may be revised upwards! ;) )

Repeats:

Pink Brandywine
Yellow Pear
Stupice
Amish Paste
Green Zebra
Rose
Principe Borghese

New varieties:

Enterprize
Maskabec
Tiffen mennonite
Martino's paste
Garden peach
Akers plum pink
Black from Tula
Purple Russian
Riesentraube
Siberian
 

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Discussion Starter #13
tomatoes are actually pretty tough plants... after using the Squeezo you can throw out your seeds/pulp on the compost pile and have plenty of seedlings come spring. We have done an experiment with just plopping a fully ripe tomato on top of good soil in a pot,left it in the unheated 'cept by the sun greenhouse all winter and had plenty of seedlings. Remember where we lived in MI our neighbor had sludge delivered from the sewer tx. plant and tomato plants would pop up in his fields.
A good starting medium is Metro Mix that you can get at a greenhouse...fine enough for small seeds and you can always pot up in something coarser. We pay about $16 for huge bag, maybe 50#? Never had problems with damping off using this. DEE
 
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