2019 Tomatoes - Windermere Studios

2019 Tomatoes

My tomato season started in February, planting seeds of the following four varieties:

San Marzano (Aimers Organic): roma for cooking. New to me.

Golden Rave (WCS): yellow roma. Previous prolific producer. Very tall, gangly plants.

Indigo Rose (WCS): 'black' cocktail tomato. New to me. 

Old German (WCS): small slicer, orangey-red, more compact plant.

Originally started the seeds in the garage under lights with heat pads. The pads did not generate enough warmth to counter the 11C temp in the garage. Moved the set up to a closet in the basement after week 3. 

We attended Seedy Sunday late March, and I bought another variety of tomato (among other things). I was encouraged by that vendor to try germinating seeds saved from 2016 and 2017, and so started more tomatoes on 3/21/2019.

Silvery Fir Tree (Wild Rose Heritage): red slicer. New to me. 

Golden Nugget (WCS): yellow cherry, prolific producer. started seeds from an old pckg and seeds saved by me.

Black Krim (WCS): large deep red slicer. started seeds from an old pckg and seeds saved by me.

Purple Bumble Bee (WCS): started the last 5 seeds saved from 2017.

Old German (WCS): fresh seed package

Indigo Rose (WCS)

San Marzano (Aimers Organic).

The 2019 growing season was very wet with particularly cool nights, and definitely not an ideal tomato growing year. I planned to keep 2X of each variety, grown in pots against the SE facing garage wall.  I filled the pots with a layer of bark mulch and a layer of manure under the potting soil. I kept the few seedlings that I couldn't give away in smaller pots on the south side of the deck. Those plants  did not do well at all, so the heat and shelter provided by the garage wall was an important factor in this years crop.

Companion planted Nasturtium, Basil and Phacelia (Bee's Friend) with the tomatoes. The flowers flourished and had the desired effect of attracting pollinators. The basil was overgrown by the tomatoes and did not produce as well as hoped. 

I under pruned the plants this year. While I don't think that reduced the yield it definitely was a factor in delaying ripening. We have a rain water cistern for watering our garden so the tomatoes had enough water, and I fed them compost tea and diluted whey a couple of times a month.

Golden Nugget was the first to mature, and as expected is very prolific. pretty, and definitely photogenic, but one plant is enough.

Silvery Fir Tree was the first slicer to mature and is a very nice tomato to eat fresh. They were done first and I believe all eaten fresh as they ripened. I'll definitely plant these again, and keep more than 2 plants.

Indigo Rose was a surprise. Tomatoes turned black very early but were hard, sour little balls for a very long time. They turn red when ripe, and are reportedly quite nice. Will give these one more try.

Golden Rave had a reasonably good yield, but not like 2017. They make particularly good curry base. 

Old German had a disappointing yield, and perhaps because the ones I kept were from saved seeds they had quite a variance in size and color. These were the best dehydrated. 

Black Krim produced very large, and very mis-shapen tomatoes. Pretty color. Prone to cracking.

San Marzano had a disappointing yield, and a lot of blossom end rot (especially compared to the others.) I will try a different variety of roma cooking tomato in 2020. 

Purple Bumble Bee produced quite well. It's a really pretty tomato with green stripes. Same size as the Indigo Rose. Will buy new seed and grow again.

Tomatoes were about a week or so later to start to ripen, due to the lack of hot weather, and I ended up picking a lot of them before they were ripe in late September. (Yes, there still had not been frost in the last week of September.) Last batch ripened end of October. We preserved tomatoes by oven roasting, dehydrating, making salsas (cooked and frozen as well as eating fresh) and making copious amounts of tomato sauce (frozen).

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