Messages posted to thread:

Vic27-Aug-02 08:45 AM EST 2b   
Alex03-Sep-02 09:21 PM EST 3a   
Alex03-Sep-02 09:27 PM EST 3a   
Sue04-Sep-02 08:24 AM EST 6a   
Vic06-Sep-02 10:32 AM EST 2b   
sandy07-Sep-02 01:04 PM EST 3b   
Vic08-Sep-02 11:47 AM EST 2b   

Subject: outstanding tomato
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 27-Aug-02 08:45 AM EST

What are your favorite or most outstanding tomatoes. Tell us about them. What kind, appearance, flavor, size, disease resistance and pitfalls, and availablity? Ours are arriving late this year. How are your's?


Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: Alex
Zone: 3a
Date: 03-Sep-02 09:21 PM EST

Hi Vic, tomatoes in our garden are not as good as in previous years. I blame the odd weather this year but I also didn't use any fertilizer. Having said that, we do have enough to eat but not an abundance this time. Favourites? well, we are very lucky. My father-in-law starts the plants in his greenhouse in Nanaimo BC. He then brings us a selections early in May. Our plants are usually huge and producing very early. The sweet 100's always do well and we generally train them up the side of the garage. I think it is called... Sunrise..Sun something - they are yellow and add a variation of colour to your plate. Big Boy, Early Girl also come in our selection. We haven't had any problems with disease, pests etc.

Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: Alex
Zone: 3a
Date: 03-Sep-02 09:27 PM EST

Me again, forgot to ask...for zone 2a whereabouts are you? Sounds cold. Are you growing any unusual types there?

Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: Sue (
Zone: 6a
Date: 04-Sep-02 08:24 AM EST

HI Vic and Alex: Tomatoes eh? This is the first year I have really planted tomatoes - just dabbled before. This year I grew them from seed -Patio Tomatoes - they are excellent and have had tons of fruit and lots more to come. Pruned them as John in the Yukon suggested. Also bought two grape size tomatoe plants - they took over the whole vegetable bed and adjoining perrenial bed before I had to get out the machette. They gave tons of tomatoes and are now giving us another growth and another harvest. Grew like a maniac though. Both are sweet and firm and would grow the Patio again but stay away from the huge one. Would like to try some of the very old varieties next year - like the black ones.

Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 06-Sep-02 10:32 AM EST

Alex, we live in southern Manitoba, which now is in zone 2B to 3A by the new 2000 Canada Plant Hardiness Map. We are 2B. I find that our growing season is about from early June to early September but I'm not as daring as others are, who start in the last week of May traditionally. In Manitoba we certainly have extremes in spring and summer weather from one year to the next so growing days can vary. This year good growing conditions arrived suddenly and somewhat late. The summer months have been very good. Our garden area was over 36 degrees C on many afternoons for a few weeks in late July and August. I mulched for the first time this year and used flax straw. Heat and drought were never an issue. What timing.

September has been great but we are often thinking about frost by now, most years.

We have a 14x14 foot area with 28 plants- 9 varieties from little yellow pear to ox heart and Roma. Some were purchased seed, others shared from friends. Our Siberian tomatoes ripened only slightly before some of the others. One very good performer was the Ultra Sweet hybrid from a mail order source in Canada. It grew vigorously, set lots of uniform sized, high quality fruit. It is also very disease resistant. I want to try some of their other types. Hybrids are definitely worthwhile.

One mystery variety made itself known after it set tomatoes, nice sized plum types.

With all these different plants in this place, it was interesting to compare them by growth habit, vigor, disease resistance, etc. In the end it was the birds that were the threat to the tomatoes.

I was able to acquire some seed of the variety Radio, written about in a previous issue of the "Prairie Garden" annual publication. It proved to be as profific as was heralded in the excellent article.

I'm trying to let some fruit over-ripen on the plants so I can collect the non-hybrid seed for next year. They seem to get picked anyway.

Next year I want to get some reinforcing bar for stakes to replace the wooden ones. They should be cheap and last longer.

How many suckers do you allow to grow once the plants get established? Some of my friends just let their plants go while I try to keep the suckers to a minimum. Do you usually crop the tops of the plants near the end of the season or is there any real advantage to doing this?

Thanks for the comments Alex and Sue.

Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: sandy
Zone: 3b
Date: 07-Sep-02 01:04 PM EST

It's been a rocky start for tomatoes this year, but the end result is wonderful. I like to grow Prairie Pride, it's been a favorite of my now for a number of years. Living on the prairies you never know what kind of a seaon you will have. I had 5 ripe ones first week of August, but since then the weather has changed and they are just starting to ripen now. I started them on April 15 and planted them outside June 10, as it was still very cold at night and also during the day. When I plant them I always use bone meal, and later on I used some leftover alfalfa tea,once. Then some Tomatoe fertilizer later on. The weather has not cooperated very much, but we did have 2 weeks of hot weather in the end of July, plus some very humid days. They just grew like crazy and now there is a bountiful crop. I also grew some HealthKick is new this year and Early Girl,also 2 Grape Tomatoes which are plentiful and growing everywhere.

Subject: RE: favorite tomatoe
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 08-Sep-02 11:47 AM EST

Hi Sandy,

I was late with planting too, due to the cold. I refuse to run out and cover my plants if I can help it. The cold really sets them back also.

Thanks for the tips on fertilizing. I will try them next summer. What is the source of Prairie Pride. I would like to try them.


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