Tomatoes are definately in my top 10 things to grow

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Mark, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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  2. Funnily enough, Burke's Backyard were just about the most scrumptious Tomatoes I've ever eaten! They are closely related to Rouge de Marmande but are themselves PVR so keeping seeds is probably not an option. My R de Ms are just fruiting now so it will be interesting to see and taste. The BBs were sweet and tasty even when unripe. And btw, fried Green Tomatoes really is a great dish with or without the film ;-)

    I was sent some seeds of a Yellow Cherry tom and they are fine, fruit well but are not all that strong a flavour. But still one's own organic Tomatoes ...

    I have the seeds but are yet to try, but Green Zebra are reputed to be meltingly delicious. Maybe next winter, or will try them in the summer and see how they go.

    Mine are always staked and grow on a central leader, nipping out the laterals. It's a modification of the system used in commercial greenhouses. Since I haven't got an infinite amount of height, I allow another leader to arise from the base and treat that one like the others. They are controllable and set less fruit but bigger. I blogged about the central leader idea on Brisbane Local Food and a search for a blog called Tomato Taming should bring it up.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Burke's Backyard are good - so true.

    I have tried the Green Zebra and I don't mind them either.

    As for taming tomatoes, I do a little nipping and I also use a similar greenhouse method on most of my tomatoes by stringing them up along the main leader to the top of my tunnel trellis. Admittedly, I do get lazy sometimes and let my tomatoes grow out "jungle style" - naughty me :)

    Saw your "tomato taming" central leader trick - nice. The Roma image is a good example because Roma tomatoes are susceptible to disease especially in the low leaf areas at the stem bottom. Removing these lat stems and leaves (as you have shown) helps to keep the plant healthy.
     
  4. nila11

    nila11 Active Member

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    My favorite tomato is yellow it was first time introduced span so Spanish was first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, in 1521.
     
  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    My Tomato plants are powering away and some flowers are coming out. Everything looks healthy, but I am concerned that those Mexican grubs (the fruit fly that wrecked my Jelepenos) or some other little bugger will wreck my tomatoes. I put on some "Tomato Dust", is there anything else I should do when the fruit starts? I'll have to read about that nipping/taming stuff.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I'm going to post a home made fruit fly trap my father in-law taught me how to make on the cheap over the next few days - so watch this space. :geek:

    Tomato dust will protect against some fungal and bacteria diseases plus kill caterpillars but it won't stop fruit fly in tomatoes (especially the large tomato varieties).
     
  7. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    anyone got tips on how to support the plants?

    I have a couple of methods i'm trying out, i have a ring of chicken wire around one plant, it seems to support it all around and the plant grows through the wire etc, ... then i have the usual stakes with wire holding on the stems and branches, ... this method is not going so well as the plants are getting big, tall and heavy and falling over.

    What's your method? Do you have a stromg structure that you set up prior to planting?
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Staking really only works well with determinate tomato plants (ones which only grow small and not like a vine) even then one stake is not usually good enough unless you heavily prune the plant to one leader and tie it up the stake - a lot of oldies still do this method.

    Chicken wire will work ok but it can be a little flimsy and get in the way. Also, some tomatoes will develop between the wire holes and get trapped making them hard to harvest.

    I've found heavy steel mesh cages or a strong trellis is best. Commercially, some train tomatoes up a string hung down from above and this can easily be done at home. I have a trellis tunnel made from concreting reo mesh (they sell it in lengths of about 7 x 2.4 metres) but you can cut it down - it's pretty good value for trellis material and much cheaper than buying "trellis stuff" from a garden centre.

    Espaliering the tomato plant is probably the best way to do it. Basically, tie the main leader central up the structure and then espalier the other branches.

    Here are some examples:

    This is a small trellis for one plant - roe mesh last years and costs only a few bucks direct from a concrete place. Just train the plant between the squares and tie off in places.

    tomato trellis small 600.jpg

    This is an old image but it still explains the bent over trellis system where twine is used to support the main plant leader from the top of the trellis down to the plant as it it trained up. Also, the mesh acts as further support for horizontals and secondary leaders.

    Tomato trellis tunnel reo mesh 800.jpg

    Post to post method with runs.

    tomato trellis vegetable garden crop 620.jpg

    Unfortunately, I never took a pic in its prime - this is end of season.

    end of season tomato trellis plants 620.jpg

    I have also written an article on the blog which has some more info and a "try hard" video at the end :D http://www.selfsufficientme.com/blog/view/696/how_to_make_a_strong_tomato_trellis__plus_tomato_tips_
     
  9. steve h

    steve h Active Member Premium Member

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    Mark, will this trap protect my Nectrines?
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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