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Thread: 2015 tomato trials

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    Default 2015 tomato trials

    I am going to trial many early season tomatoes outside this year in the Matanuska Valley. I used to try this stuff 20 some years ago, but when I got my first greenhouse it all changed. However, after befriending several seed collectors from around the world, I am going to revisit this project. I did a few varieties the last couple of years, with pretty darn good results, I know others who are doing the same thing. If you want to can tomatoes for winter, this can really help you get enough to do so, even though yields per plant are lower. If you get 5lbs per plant off of 50 plants, you will be eating sauce in December. If you also have a small greenhouse, you certainly will have enough.

    I have read the UAF trial reports, and their selected varieties, I think they needed to do more research. I currently have about 15 new varieties to try, and one is supposed to be frost tolerant, not cold tolerant, and is supposed to be delicious to boot. Dinkel's 1960's reports sure are interesting to read through too, but most of those varieties are gone, or not on my like list.

    I also may have found Dad's old variety he used to grow in Indiana, when I was a kid. I was telling him I had collected several versions of Rutgers to try this year, he perked up and said " that sure sounds familiar." I will know as soon as I taste one. Since I posed a question a few years ago, concerning you guys favorites, I have went through 250-300 varieties, and still have not found that tomato.
    Try some new varieties, lets share results.

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    Mark:

    Do you have any variety suggestions? I have had some success with Glacier, Oregon Spring and Cosmonaut Vokel in East Anchorage outside, but neither of them have been good producers for me and the flavor is only good during late July.

    UAF Cooperative Extension Service has not impressed me in terms of their variety recommendations, but some of the tomatoes that do grow well outside in Fairbanks (such as Taxi and Bellestar, as well as the three I mentioned above) don't grow well down here in Southcentral, so it may not really be the Universities fault.

    Here's hoping for a hot summer.

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    I did try several cold tolerant varieties one year. Glacier, Siberia, Siberian, Northern Delight, Oregon Spring, Stupice, Early Girl, eleven types all told, and Early Girl was far and away my favorite, with Stupice coming in second. If you find anything noteworthy I would love to hear the details on it. I felt like my endeavor was a bit of a waste of time, as many people on this board recommend Early Girl and it was undoubtedly the best in the group I had. I look forward to the results of your experiment. If I could find a variety with cold tolerance and great flavor I could move it to an unheated greenhouse 2 or 3 weeks earlier than what I am growing this year. My space under the type of lights a tomato requires is limited and moving it out earlier would be helpful. Thanks!

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    Other than Stupice, I like Matina, Bloody Butcher, and Moravsky Div, for smaller tasty tomatoes. Other than Early Girl, Sasha's Altai and Gruschvoka are good standard early tomatoes. I have PL Early Girl x PL Black Krim that is showing signs of earliness, as well as some Bloody Butcher crosses we have done. Fireworks and Gregori's Altai are fairly early beefsteaks that taste pretty ok. Try Galina's for a small yellow tomato that is good.
    All of these should produce tomatoes outside in containers, in the interior or southcentral, even during decent summers, but you really should put out nice size starts.
    Last edited by mark oathout; 03-04-2015 at 11:35.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    I will always plant a couple Stupice in my Green House. Last year Mark brow beat me into taking "just one more" Stupice plant and since I didn't have any room in the GH It had to grow outside. It did produce quite nicely, but not in the volume that the Stupice inside the GH did. I was a little disappointed in the size of the Bloody Butchers, but really enjoyed the Flavor. If you have the time and patience the size and flavor of the Black Krim will not disappoint you. Dave gave me some of his Brandy Boy seeds that I'm looking forward to this year.

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    I started most of my Tomatoes Last Thursday the 5th. Today the 10th I noticed I already have a Black Krim sprouted. I don't believe I've ever had any tomato plants germinate in less than 7 or 8 days.. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. Just put the seeds in fresh potting mix in starter pots, add water, and set pots in a South Window..

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    Has anyone tried a variety called Agatha? I had some seeds given to me by a lady in the valley that I "met" on the Tomatoville Forum. Very early. Determinate. Large fruit. Not the prettiest tomato, kinda pale red with some blossom cracking. I havent tried it outside, only in the high tunnel, but it is larger and earlier than Early Girl and is determinate.


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    Did you get those from Sherry?

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    Default 2015 tomato trials

    Yes, and have been saving some every year since. She was nice enough to send me a few varieties but those were my favorite. I have not had luck with others like Siberia and Stupice.


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    Sherry has quite the collection of early varieties, we are always surprised that our lists are so different. Of note, most varieties that she grows in her greenhouses she also grows outside in containers on her driveway.

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    I was given some heirloom seeds, San Marzano and Grapoli Carbonaro. The Marzano's seem to be doing weel, the carbonaro's didn't seem to sprout. I also have a few brandywines and mostly moskvich.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Seedlings seem to be doing fairly well.



    Mostly Moskvich, with some San Marzano and Brandywines. For some reason the Grapoli Carbonaro didn't seem to sprout.

    So, will I need to give the seedlings any fertilizer in the next month or so before I transplant them, or are the good to go with just water?
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I feed mine as soon as they sprout, I want to to see vigorous healthy starts for transplanting.
    BTW, Carolyn Male told me to use a pinch of Miracle Grow in a cup of water to soak tomato seeds that won't sprout, the ones that sink should sprout.

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    Most commercial potting soils will have fertilizer in them so you shouldn't need to feed them much. I give mine one shot of 10-20-10 when I pot them up from plug trays to solo cups and another shot when I pot them up from solo cups to 1 gallon pots. And one final dose when planting outside. But I am not using potting soil with fertilizer in it. Stay away from high N fertilizer for seedlings. Use a high P to encourage root growth. Are you going to thin to one seedling per pot?


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    Default Starts

    Your starts should look something close to this if they are healthy
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    AWESOME Mark !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Seedlings seem to be doing fairly well.



    Mostly Moskvich, with some San Marzano and Brandywines. For some reason the Grapoli Carbonaro didn't seem to sprout.

    So, will I need to give the seedlings any fertilizer in the next month or so before I transplant them, or are the good to go with just water?
    Mild food mix & keep potting them up to large pots. If using soil with food, that'll help a lot.
    Try to not let them get root bound before the last planting/potting in the GH .

    My window plants tend to get a little leggy. OK though, in couple weeks & they will go to the GH buried to their necks.

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    Default Plants

    It looks like we are about to get some ripe tomatoes on a few varieties, and everything has set fruit by now at 90 days from seed. It's been another good season so far.
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    Default Tomatoes

    These tomatoes are an attempt at growing a tomato just for size, I hope I beat my 2.975lb tomato from a couple years ago, I am hoping for at least a 4lb, we will see.
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    Those are pretty mutant looking tomatoes. Yours are much farther along than ours. They are in the greenhouse beds but only about 3 inches high. Although they were about twice that height until I planted them in the beds.

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