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Bowregard
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PostSun Sep 11, 2022 9:20 pm 
Thanks RichP, We learn something new every year. Last year it was about aspirin and fertilizer mix. This year it was transplanting deep, manual pollination, and sucker propagation. I don't mind the tending, trimming, and harvesting but 70+ seed starts is just too many to manage watering, grow lights, and transplanting. And there are a couple of varieties we grew this year that we won't grow again. Not sure what approach to take yet regarding the HOA. I suspect they already wished they had rejected the complaint instead of sending us the letter. We have a small space in the back yard that is suitable for 8 plants or so. I definitely don't want to grow any more in those big black containers.

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flatsqwerl
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 3:01 am 
I wish I had neighbors like you!

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Bowregard
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PostThu Sep 15, 2022 6:50 am 
Any tricks for eradicating "Southern green shield" bugs? I am finding these on my tomatoes in the mornings. I haven't noticed damage but Google search tells me they can damage the leaves and fruit (especially young fruit) of tomatoe plants. I have been picking them off but I guess I should be crushing them.

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Bowregard
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PostSun Oct 30, 2022 6:00 pm 
Well, We harvested the last of the tomatoes and took down the structure yesterday. Green ones went into a box with banana/apple to ripen. Total weighed result was 705 lbs (didn't weight the Sungolds). Largest was 2.2lb and we had about 80 over 1lb. Most common question I get is what we do with so many: 1. We eat a lot of sandwiches and salads with tomatoes in the summer. 2. We pick and eat most of the Sungold variety right off the vine or in lunches. 3. We gave away a lot to family, friends, neighbors, the neighborhood work crews, etc. 4. We made fresh salsa and canned some too. 5. We cut up pieces and froze them in gallon bags. (great for spaghetti sauce over the winter). 6. We made spaghetti sauce and canned some too. Of the 7 varieties we planted: 1. Dark Star was our favorite for sandwiches. (vigorous starts but takes awhile to grow once planted). 2. Early Girl were great producers for all-around use (ripened first and throughout the season). 3. Big Daddy was great for Burgers and BLTs. (reliable grower and producer that trains well to single stem). 4. Polish Linguisa provided a lot of meaty fruits for sauces. (seedlings were fragile though and we lost some). 5. Salsa produces small firm fruit great for cooking and salsa. (Still deciding if we would grow again). 6. Mortgage Lifter - large pink fruit, not as tasty, long fruit stems are weak (will not grow these again). 7. Sungold is great directly off the vine and easy to grow. 2022 Lessons Learned: 1. Don't grow so many tomatoes (too much work). 2. The plastic clips work great but place them often and tight to avoid stem bending/breakage. 3. Place the poles quite close to the stems to avoid bending down low. 4. Planting as deep as possibly works well but first fruit can be too low (pick off flowers that are too low). 5. Support straight rows of tomato structures well from the side (they get heavy and can fall sideways). 6. Suckers cut from mature plants will grow easily when planted in the ground. 7. Some varieties fruit stems support large fruit well (Early Girl, Big Daddy) and some not (Mortgage Lifter). 8. Southern Green Shield Bugs are not good - pick them off and destroy as soon as you see them. Caprese Salad:
Salsa:
Linguisa Arch:
Front:

day_hike_mike, kiliki, RichardJ  RichP
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RichardJ
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PostMon Oct 31, 2022 10:18 am 
Iím blown away by your success and generosity Bowregard. I had my best tomato crop in 28 years of living in the PNW this year with these heirloom Oxhearts given to me by my neighbor. Another option with a huge harvest is to smoke them. I used cherry and apple chunks and made spaghetti sauce.

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kiliki
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PostMon Oct 31, 2022 11:47 am 
The trellis with the Romas is amazing. The plants in general looks so healthy. I don't think I've ever seen such successful tomato growing here (though I live in the city and it's hard with the small lots and shade from nearby houses/fences/trees).

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Bowregard
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PostMon Oct 31, 2022 12:59 pm 
kiliki wrote:
The trellis with the Romas is amazing. The plants in general looks so healthy. I don't think I've ever seen such successful tomato growing here (though I live in the city and it's hard with the small lots and shade from nearby houses/fences/trees).
The "pepper" shaped tomatoes on the arbor are "Polish Linguisa". The starts were by far the weakest of all our varieties with leaves turning yellow and dying off. We lost half of those seedlings before they got planted. Below is a photo of the strongest at the time we planted it. In the end only four Linguisa survived but once they got going they really took off and became one of our strongest producers. If I didn't see the leaves I would think they were peppers for sure. They get pretty big (We had two over 1lb but most are about half that size). The Roma type Variety we planted is called "Salsa" which was our only determinate variety which grew to about 3" tall at the largest.
We have learned a lot of little tips over the years but except for the short growing season the PNW is not a bad place to grow them. Edit: Pruning to a single stem and selecting early and disease resistant varieties helps to keep the plants healthy when the weather gets wet.

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BW
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PostMon Oct 31, 2022 1:36 pm 
Truly outstanding tomato harvest. Adding dark star to our list for next year. We grew black krim and purple calabash this year for the first time and enjoyed those.

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kiliki
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PostTue Nov 01, 2022 1:51 pm 
Quote:
Edit: Pruning to a single stem and selecting early and disease resistant varieties helps to keep the plants healthy when the weather gets wet.
Do you pinch off the branches that grow at a 45 degree angle in the corners of the branch and stem?

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Bowregard
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PostTue Nov 01, 2022 4:25 pm 
Yes, Those are called "suckers" and they will produce flowers and fruit but I prefer to pinch those off and grow fruit off a single stem. This is only for "indeterminate" varieties. I find that I can grow tomato plants closer together, have more airflow around the plants, and make sure each fruit stem is better supported that way. Most varieties will grow 6-12 ft tall over a PNW season this way so you have to be a bit strategic about how you support them. Most of my varieties are fine on a 6' pole and I space the Sungold variety about every 6' so I can secure them from the top of one stem to another since they grow very tall. This year I started pollinating the flowers with a powered toothbrush which caused many more of the blossoms to turn into fruit. If I do that again I will clip the larger fruit stems back to 4 or 5 tomatoes each so they grow larger an d don't get too heavy (I had some stems with 10 large tomatoes which is just too many).

kiliki, RichardJ
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