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general tomato questions from a beginner

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general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/29/2011, 1:59 am

We are not big fresh tomato eaters at our house (I know, blasphemy to some here), but we do like sauce and salsa. I plan to do a roma for sauce, but what is a good tomato for salsa? I'm not a big fan of seed, personally. I think it comes from my grandparents canning tomatoes with seeds everywhere.

Also, I'm completely new to growing tomatoes, so from what Ive read, romas need to be caged, not trelissed. I guess a trelissable variety would be good since space is a big consideration in our yard.

Again, showing my ignorance-- I plan to do peas on a trellis in one box. Would they be harvested in time to rip them out and plant a vine tomato (from a transplant, not seed) that could be harvested before our frost? In IN we have about 150-165 frost free days. I was thinking it could work, but I'd appreciate suggestions!

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general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  happycamper on 3/29/2011, 4:21 am

I have to admit that I use Roma's for salsas I find that using a determinate tomato such as Roma works better for me when it comes to canning.

I wish I could help with the pea question. My Alaska peas are about 4 inches now and the Progress #9 and Sugar snaps are only about 1 inch and neither will be finished producing before my tomatoes go in.

I found an Indiana Vegetable Planting Calendar from Purdue Universty that may help.



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Re: general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  rowena___. on 3/29/2011, 8:53 am

i also like romas for salsa, they are firmer and less watery and homegrown have a wonderful flavor.

i would go ahead and put the tomato in the ground when it is time. the peas won't last much longer anyway when it is warm enough for the tomatoes.

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Re: general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  elliephant on 3/29/2011, 9:54 am

Some canning (paste) tomatoes are indeterminate. Amish Paste is one I'm growing this year. If you are just making fresh salsa as the summer goes along that would be ok. But if you are thinking of canning you probably either need several interdeterminate in order to get a bunch at once, or determinate which produces pretty much all at once.

I'm growing 4 Rio Grande paste tomatoes (determinate) in a 2x8 bed and so far it looks like they'll have plenty of room. Well, maybe not plenty as in not touching each other, but I don't think they'll be crowded to the point of interferring with their development.

Juliet is another paste tomato I grew last year. It's ind. and I got it at a big box store as a start last year. Did really well, but I wouldn't have had enough at a time for more than possibly a small salsa canning batch at the peak of production.

Hopefully others will chime in with actual experience. I'm also limited by high temps which make it hard for fruit to set sometimes.


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Re: general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  camprn on 3/29/2011, 5:01 pm

I had tremendous success last year with the heirloom indeterminate Gilbertie. High yields of large fruit that is very nice as table fruit or for canning/freezing as tomatoes, sauce or salsa. They also dried very well. You can see the plants in my personal photo album. I have seed available. Seed exchange database


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Re: general tomato questions from a beginner

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/29/2011, 5:28 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. I was planning to buy transplants when it comes time for tomatoes, but I broke down and bought a packet of roma seeds today and have already put them in seed pots. I know I'm a little late in the game to be starting seeds, but they were on super sale at Menards (11/99 cents), so I decided I wouldn't lose much if I have to throw them out. It's good practice for me.

I've never had much luck starting seedlings in the past, but I'll give it another go. I will probably just go ahead and plant them where the peas were and just buy whatever type of ind. tomato the nursery has as seedlings when the time comes.

thanks for the link to the IN planting calendar! The Purdue site is quite helpful-- we live in the same town, so almost everything they publish is pertinent to my area. I hadn't found that calendar, though.

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