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Who is growing their own tomatos this year, and what kind?

I started mine -- Stupice variety from Seeds of Change. These are supposed to not grow too high but produce lots of tomatos. Last year, between all the rain we got and the variety I was growing (Russian Black) I had one plant that reached 13' and never produced a ripe tomato!

I'm also growing Japanese eggplant and Fresno peppers.

Fri. Apr 4, 7:49am

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Well, I foresee a tremendous hike on fruits and veggies this year. We've had a garden for the last three years, but this year, we're doubling the size of it to can things.

We have 16 apple trees, 2 pear trees, 2 peach trees, 2 cherry trees, 8 grape vines, and 5 rasberry bushes.

In our garden we are planting squash, cucumbers, pickles, tomatoes, red onions, peppers, pumpkins, green onions, radishes, beans, and carrots.

I am going to can salsa and pickles, make my own apple sauce and pie fillers, make my own speghetti sauce, and i'm going to dabble in wine as well.

My 2 children (ages 6 and 7) are big helpers in the garden and with picking fruit. We only use organic sprays and fertilizers.

I'm hoping this will cut down our grocery bill. The seeds for everything are under $20 total.

sorry, I have absolutely no idea what kind of tomatoes i bought.

Friday, April 04, 2008, 8:50 AM

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We are gardening this year to cut down on costs too. We are growing Roma tomatoes, but we might buy more plants of a different variety as well. We also have herbs, strawberries, beets, radishes, all the things that are easy to grow, because I'm not good at gardening. I'll be lucky if I get a tomato!

Friday, April 04, 2008, 9:18 AM

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Want to do grape tomatoes this summer. My bigger varieties had really low yield last summer. I started too late however...and used potted plants. I am impressed! Your garden sounds lovely.

I think we need to look at family or neighborhood gardening again as a source of healthy and affordable food. My grandparent's generation used their gardens as a major food source.

I am interested in what others here at PT are doing that way.

Friday, April 04, 2008, 11:53 AM

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growing lots of heirloom tomatoes- lots of different kinds. About 10 big plants already have green tomatoes on them here in south florida. also growing melons, squash, green beans, peppers.

Friday, April 04, 2008, 12:06 PM

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We always garden, but it's been harder since we moved to the north. I started pepper and tomato seeds this week, just what was available--California Wonder, Early Girl and a larger-than-average cherry. It's hard to grow tomatoes here. We did take down some trees last fall which will give our garden a LOT more sun, so I'm hopeful. And in exchange for my letting the trees come down (they were healthy and the quail roosted in them), my husband promised raised beds and some other garden improvements. I've made a garden plan that includes six 4x8 raised beds, three compost cylinders, grape vines and raspberry canes (for him), a chive bed, and an expanded asparagus bed. I have my rosemary, sage, oregano, and lavender out front. We will also plant potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, beans, peas, radishes, and lettuce--we already have most of the seeds for those, and the kids and I made some stick "teepees" for the beans and peas to climb. I have sources for peaches, pears, and apples and generally bottle some of those every year or two. I'm trying to revamp the way I think about produce so as to make better use of what is in season in my garden, especially early and late, and to plant successive crops.

We belong to a subculture that values gardening and food preservation, but we are also influenced by the generation in which we grew up. We always plant, but we don't put the thought, effort, and commitment into it that our parents did (and that his still do). We sacrifice some of our garden's productivity to travel, and we tend to be a little too casual about the work that falls between planting and harvest.

In addition, he is of the long-rows, widely-spaced tradition, a carryover from childhood. I'm more of a reader and want a garden that is more compact, and have told him quite often that I'm more likely to work in it if it's tidy and pretty. I want wooden tomato cages and chrysanthemum borders and small, intensively-planted beds; he tends toward something that looks like a scaled-down farm field.

We had beautiful gardens when we lived in the SE part of the state...esp. in our second house where there was no garden space and I got my way with the raised beds. :^ )

Friday, April 04, 2008, 12:07 PM

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I agree PP - I like to group as well and underplant. If you plant something with saay a deep taproot - you can underplant with something that has shallower roots and they don't compete so long as you have adequate water and nutrients.

Additionally you can plant more densly if you time your crops - for example, plant bok choy and carrots together. The bok choy is ready about the time the carrots would need thinning, so harvest your bok choy and you effectively thin your carrots at the same time.

I also like to add structure. In addition to tomatoe cages, you can train any vine over an archway (like to a garden path) and not only does this keep the vines more pest-free, but the fruits hang down and are easier to harvest. I wouldn't quite do this with pumpkins, but peas, beans, cucumber, and some varieties of squash look great like this and really add an attractive element to the garden. I'm not totally against straight rows either - a few straight rows of corn (planted at different times so all the corn doesn't finish at once) makes a gorgeous backdrop for a garden.

Happy Gardening!

Friday, April 04, 2008, 1:35 PM

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We live in Mass. and we can't plant till the end of May if then. last year we did sweet 100 (I think that was the name) cherry tomatoes. We gre them in the ground and the vines went everywhere and we had a huge crop. We also plant early girl and early boy variety because they ripen by the middle of August. Too bad all of the tomatoes come out at once. I can't wait for my first tomato (real) of the year!. We don't grow any other veggies- just some herbs.

Saturday, April 05, 2008, 1:44 PM

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We always do Early Girl, sometimes Big Boy and last year we did an heirloom tomato called BrandyWine. We didn't like that one as well so we are sticking with Early Girl.

Sunday, April 06, 2008, 10:14 AM

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I tried the Brandywine last year. They're supposed to weigh a pound apiece. I don't know if mine didn't have enough sun or what, but they never fruited at all.

Monday, April 07, 2008, 1:44 PM

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guys, dont you think all of you would be good in a group together???
All this talk of vege gardening is quite interesting...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 2:49 AM

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our brandywine were HUGE (at least a pound a piece) but honestly they didn't taste as good as our early girls and big boys. Maybe it's personal preference.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 9:30 AM

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