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Tomato Yield and Support
#99145 March 6th, 2007 at 06:44 PM
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I'm growing a lot of different tomato varieties this year. Specifically, I'm growing break o'day, brandywine OTV, Mexico Midget, F1 Sungold, Ace 55, Big Beef, Adelia, and rose de Berna. I plan on doing a LOT of canning. How many plants would you plant to get a large yield for diced tomatoes and salsa? Obviously the cherry-sized tomatoes probably won't be useful for that, but what about the others?

Second question: I love JohnCt's beautiful cages but unless someone is going to build me a shed, I have no room for the cages during off-season. I really don't care for staking. Is there another method/technique that I could do which doesn't require a lot of storing space?

Thanks!

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99146 March 6th, 2007 at 07:00 PM
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I can't help you with the support issue since I stake my tomatoes. But, I plant 18-20 regular tomato plants for chopped tomatoes, juice and salsa. This gives me enough tomatoes for approx. 25 jars of chopped tomatoes (mostly quarts), several pints of salsa, several pints of okra and tomatoes, and several quarts of juice (for soup). Then I put in about 12-14 Romas for thick sauce and usually get about 25 quarts from them. This is plenty for me and hubby (kids are grown and gone) and allows me plenty for table use and sharing with friends and family which always puts a great big wink on their faces!

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99147 March 6th, 2007 at 07:34 PM
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So, I'm up to about 20 plants needed. Geesh, that's gonna take up a lot of garden-space. But I think it will be worth it in January when I'm opening a jar of homemade tomatoes!

After the experience I had last year with Roma's, I'm not sure I'm willing to even touch them this year. They were nothing but BER or they didn't produce at all. Trust me, I'm now very educated on BER! laugh I just think it was too hot and too dry last year for them. It was such a disappointment!

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99148 March 7th, 2007 at 06:55 PM
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I had a real bad year with my tomatoes last year too. Just too hot and dry. That's one reason I put up extra on the good years--there are always those years when something in the garden doesn't do too good so I put up enough to carry me through an extra year if necessary. Last year my cukes didn't do any good either so I hope to get lots of our favorite sweet pickles made this year. Good luck on your canning. I enjoy it.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99149 March 7th, 2007 at 08:34 PM
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Sarah, I am unfamiliar with the productivity of most of your varieties. Best thing to do is plant as many as you have room for. You'd be suprised how easy it is to find use for them all, especially when you can some of them.

As far as other support methods, staking and caging are the most common, but you could also just let them sprawl. Many people do this, but I wouldn't. The other method is called the Florida Weave. It uses string and stakes. Just do a google search and you'll see pics.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99150 March 7th, 2007 at 10:20 PM
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I am not a sprawling type of person. I'm very obsessive when it comes to my garden. Everything goes where it should, and it had better not even try to go anywhere else! laugh

The Florida weave looks promising, but do you think the twine "cuts into" the stems cutting off circulation? Would something like that withstand strong winds? Then again, if set parallel to prevailing summer winds, that should be less likely to blow over than being put perpendicular, right? Only problem is we got strong south winds and storms blow in from the east. But I've got trees to the east that should serve as a wind block, at least a little bit...

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99151 March 7th, 2007 at 11:37 PM
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my dad used to grow his in the border, then he just tied them into the fence with string.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99152 March 8th, 2007 at 01:22 AM
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You could try on one these; Tomato Trellis

I bought one this year and it is like a net. I comes in a very small package. Just buy some T-posts to hang it on. I was thinking about using Electric Fence wire guides for hanging it on.

As far as planting them, I planted 24 plants last year on a 25 foot row. I planted them in pairs, with each plant about 6" apart the pair about 18" apart. Worked good for me.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99153 March 8th, 2007 at 02:42 PM
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Hey Sarah, I powdered a bunch of egg shells last year so if you need some for spreading over your tomato patch prior to tilling I'll be happy to send you some. It certainly stopped me from having to deal with the BER on my roma's last year. The difference was amazing between first and second year. Really amazing. I trench rather than stake so I don't know anything about different support structures. This year I'm just doing a few container tomatoes. Can't wait to see how that works.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99154 March 8th, 2007 at 03:59 PM
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I go through about a dozen or so eggs a week and I've been smashing them up and putting them out there for a year or two now. I'm not powdering them though. Are they still going to breakdown and be usable for this years crop?

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99155 March 8th, 2007 at 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by LandOfOz:
Are they still going to breakdown and be usable for this years crop?
*You can put them in a gallon sized zip lock baggies, and then close it up and smash it up inside, then it's all contained and you don't lose any.. teech How ever sometimes they poke a bit of a tiny hole in the baggie, if it's really sharp or pointy...

And they don't really break down, they leach out like, and then the roots, going thru the soil, can utilize what they leach out, it takes quite a while for them to finally breakdown.....

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99156 March 8th, 2007 at 07:18 PM
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Egg shells are a great source of calcium for the soil Sarah.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99157 March 8th, 2007 at 08:05 PM
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I think the absolute worst support is that common tomato tower thing you see everywhere in the garden stores. They aren't tall enough or strong enough and they look awful too.
I gave that up the first year I tried them and now all I use is cedar stakes and twine.
I rather enjoy the sun-warmed scent of the vines while I'm twining away...

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99158 March 9th, 2007 at 01:16 AM
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I have probably a dozen Tomato cages, I'm going to use them this year it all. I did buy Electric Fence wire supports today to use the hold the Tomato trellis up.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99159 March 9th, 2007 at 02:06 AM
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Gulp...hope I didn't step on any toes? shocked

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99160 March 9th, 2007 at 01:24 PM
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No Deb, you're absolutely right about those cheap cages. They work great for peppers though.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99161 March 9th, 2007 at 02:25 PM
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Sarah,
I'm planting the Adelia. I think it should do well for you depends on the year. It seems to do better in the heat and drought than many others.
I use both cages and let others sprawl. My sprawlers usually produce a little more than my caged plants. I have 2 acres so not a problem. Also they don't need as much shade and windbreak with the winds and heat here in SW KS. I understand why most don't let them sprawl but it works for me and 50 cages is all I want to handle every year. I have seen several methods even where they just make half cages. I've been thinking of trying that. Would stack a lot better in the off season. I have some seeds of the other varieties you are planting but haven't grown them yet. Best of luck gardening in 07. Jay

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99162 March 9th, 2007 at 02:27 PM
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elkwc,
when you lte your tomatoes sprawl,
does the plant and tomotoes get dirty?
or do you put something under them so
no dirt gets on them?

ann

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99163 March 9th, 2007 at 02:34 PM
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Sarah,
Have you started your seeds yet. I have started my pepper seeds and will start the first batch of tomato seeds this weekend. It has been hard for me to wait. I got in too big of a hurry last year. Just curious when others here in KS were starting.
I will be growing Break O' Day also. So will be interested to compare results later. I will have around 50 varieties planted so will post any that does well. Jay

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99164 March 9th, 2007 at 03:14 PM
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I planted my peppers in mid-January, expecting them to take a month to germinate. Instead they were up in a week. So I've got several fairly tall peppers in the house. Unfortunately a few seeds were collected from gardens and were mutant (mis-shapen leaves, leaves growing out the side of other leaves) so I'm probably going to have to sacrifice those and purchase some seedlings.

I just started my tomatoes this week. In fact, I ran out of pots to plant them in, so I've been forcing OJ and Soy milk on my kids like crazy, so I can have the cartons. I will be keeping an eye out to see how your tomatoes are doing, Jay.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99165 March 10th, 2007 at 05:39 AM
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Reno,
No I haven't ever had that trouble. I do mulch fairly heavy around them. Probably had 6" by the end of the summer last year. Then work it in in the fall. My soil looks nice right now. It is dry enough here I've never had any problems with rot ect. I lose less tomatoes by sprawling. Just my experience. Jay

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99166 March 10th, 2007 at 06:08 AM
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expecting them to take a month to germinate. Instead they were up in a week.
Don't you be scaring me now, Sarah! I planted mine last week and I see elbows sprouting already..... shk

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99167 March 10th, 2007 at 05:30 PM
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RedReno,
I have let tomatoes sprawl before but I always mulch pretty heavy for a good ways out from each plant with wheat straw. That way when it rains, my tomatoes stay nice and clean.

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99168 March 11th, 2007 at 09:44 PM
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JohnCT,
I live in northern central Arkansas and am in zone 6. How can you be in zone 6 in Conneticut?

Re: Tomato Yield and Support
#99169 March 11th, 2007 at 10:26 PM
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