This Season's Tomatoes

pink_warm_mama_1September 13, 2013

First year I've been unable to grow my own tomatoes, and I haven't tasted a good bought one yet this season. Two friends, in two other states, have the same complaint, and one feels seeds have been altered too much. Any comments?

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You're probably right. Next year, try growing just heirlooms. Don't forget to keep a few seeds for planting the following year!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:18AM
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I am getting reasonable tomatoes in quantity and quality this year, finally.

However, it's crazy that all tomatoes (NYC area), regardless of variety, have extreme thick skin. I basically have to peel the skin off for salads.

Anyone else with the same complain?


    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Not noticed at all. I've had wonderful field grown Hudson Valley and a few markets in NJ that have been outstanding though the farmers themselves have had complaints. Just picked up a 30lb box for 12dollars last weekend for roasting and freezing, skins on.
My own garden was tended by friends while i was away...they ate good! Still producing but i have narrowed it down over the years to a few favorites that do well in the mountains and save seeds. Anna Russian, a black krim, Oxhearts do well, Kosovo and japanese. Always get a flood of yellow and red pear. Our own we eat fresh and freeze the cherries whole since we have so many.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:17PM
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A NJ market with heirlooms. Beefstakes in the background.
I buy phase 2-3, pink. Heirlooms, for me anyway, ripen beautifully on the counter even better than on the vine with unpredictable weather and heavy rains. (like yesterday!)...we lost power, just now back on.
I should have toms ripening for the next few weeks for slicing fresh.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:31PM
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sleevendog i need to do an early morning hand-off like a drug dealer ?!, lol. I drive thru mid-town at about 6.15am starting next week...every day thru x-mas.
Toms today ready for salsa and slicers for tonights GreatAmericanBurger (we call it)
Fresh home ground beef on the barbie.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Dcarch, I noticed a distinct lack of tomato pictures from you this summer, and thought of asking why. Sorry to hear about the poor season; I know you put a lot of work into this.

Sleevendog - you almost make me want to commute to the office once in a while to take you up on your offer. Almost. That's really early though!

Somehow I missed tomato season this year. Probably has something to do with being without a kitchen all summer. I should probably look to see if I can catch the tail end.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:55PM
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We are just now getting the bulk of the tomato crop here, and tonight there is a frost/freeze advisory. Figures.

I also grow heirlooms. This year it was Cherokee Purple which are delicious but don't grow prolifically here, I think I actually got three, Great White, Taxi, Pineapple, Mortgage Lifter and a bunch of Rutgers. I planted 60 plants and still ended up buying half a bushel to can, the plants are loaded with green tomatoes but nothing ripens. The weather included a month with no rain at all, so when we got rain the tomatoes split or were stricken with blossom end rot. It just wasn't a good tomato year here at all.

I don't care for most of the hybrids, although there are a few exceptions to that. It seems that most have been bred to ship well and withstand handling, not for flavor.

dcarch, I haven't noticed a difference in tomato skin in commercial tomatoes, but they seem even more bland in flavor than usual.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:32PM
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It has been the worst season i can remember here for growing tomatoes. I usually put out around 90 plants. This year they just didn't produce. Must have been the weather, the wettest summer we have had in a long time.
I also have 12 hives of bees and the honey production was lower this year than in the past.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:03AM
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The strangest thing i've noticed this year is sweet potatoes. Purchased from a few different sources. The exterior firm, but hollow voids inside and dry.
My tomatoes are in a raised bed so maybe that helped wet weather drainage?
Definitely a strange season to have 8 zucchini plants and only a few fruit. Concord grapes are still green, chard healthy but kale and brussels did nothing at all...never grew more than a few inches or bolted. Probably early spring heat.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Our tomatoes are fine this year. Some in the area (western ny) said they are having issues with the tomatoes not turning red.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:16AM
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Our tomatoes are fine this year. Some in the area (western ny) said they are having issues with the tomatoes not turning red.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:18AM
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It has been a challenging gardening summer here in Maine. We had the wettest June in years, with cool temps, then overnight we blasted into 3 weeks of hot humid weather. My toms all got early blight. I am getting tomatoes, but many of them are sun scalded toms, and are not as flavorful as in past years. Still, the tomato sauce I make is light years ahead of any I can buy so I'm happy.

I grew a new to me variety of paste tomato called Pompeii. It was prolific and weathered the blight well, taste is good but not great. I will try them again to see if better weather improve the flavor. My other favorite paste tomatoes are Striped Roman and Orange Banana; Striped Roman, however is more susceptible to Early Blight.

This post was edited by mabeldingeldine on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 7:40

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:50PM
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Hmmmm I am so sorry to hear that so many are having tomato issues... Mine were going great guns, prolific production, great taste, then over the last couple of weeks NOTHING! There are green tomatoes all over the plants (Mr Stripey, Cherokee Purple, Sun Sugar, yellow pear). We did not have a day over 90 throughout August which is very unusual, and now in Sept it has been a roller coaster temp-wise. One day in the 90's and 3 days later upper 40's overnight.

I have noticed more tomato horn worms than usual, has anyone else seen that?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:55AM
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"---------I have noticed more tomato horn worms than usual, has anyone else seen that?

Oh yeah! Got many more of those juicy, fat crawlers this year.

Anyone has T & T recipes for them?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:34AM
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I'm in SC, right on the border between USDA Zone 7 and 8. This summer has been unusually cool and wet, and that may be the reason I got a lot of cracked tomatoes.

Most of the heirlooms I grew were flavor-wise head and shoulders over the hybrids. Here are my observations, FWIW:

By far the best tasting tomatoes were Marianna's Peace and Stump of the World. Rich, full tomatoey taste, but not very productive.

Black Krim was pretty good as well, along with Cherokee Purple.

The most productive plants I had were a paste tomato, Opalka, and a cherry tomato, Black Cherry. Both produced lots of fruit, but neither one of them had a remarkable flavor. Not bad, just not exceptional. Probably won't plant them in 2014.

Did a blind taste test with a sliced up Marianna's Peace next to some hybrid (Goliath, IIRC): people could easily tell the difference on the first taste, even though the Marianna's Peace wasn't as red as the other.

This post was edited by arley on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 13:17

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:15PM
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