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Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

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Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  pattipan on 5/17/2011, 4:39 pm

Welcome to the first installment of Tomato Tuesday 2011!!

First off you are probably wondering what Tomato Tuesday is, right? It's simply a weekly report or update on how our tomatoes are progressing. Join in and post your reports. It doesn't have to be a long drawn out report and it is not required, but it will be fun and informative to read about how other tomatoes in your region progress throughout the season. It's one of the things we hold in common as a region.

Very easy guidelines for posting your Tomato Tuesday reports...

  • Have fun with this!
  • Report only on Tuesday if at all possible.
  • Use this same thread to post your reports through the end of the season. In other words, don't start a new thread each Tuesday. That way it will be easy to find this thread next week. It will be one looooong thread by October.
  • Other regional forums may start a Tomato Tuesday as well, double-check that you are in the Southwestern Deserts forum when you post your report.
  • Refer to first guideline.

Since there is no regional host for Southwestern Deserts region yet, anyone can start their tomato report today if they like. Don't wait! You can check the other regional forums that have Tomato Tuesdays going on if you want to see what others are posting about.

Got tomatoes? We want to hear about them!
pattipan
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  AZDYJ2K on 5/25/2011, 1:20 pm

Sorry for posting this on a Wednesday.

I currently have 6 tomato plants going. 2 are Romas and 4 are Sweet 100s. All are store bought.

1 Roma was purchased a few months ago. Shortly after I got it there were signs of either burning or fungus or perhaps a combo of both. However, it did keep it's fruit and still has a few more left on it. All the leaves are pretty much dead and only the vines are still green. The fruit is probably not as good as it would be if it were healthy, however, much more supoerior than store bought.

The other Roma plant is doing better, however, does not have much fruit on it and no more flowers. It is showing some signs of having leaf issues.

The Sweet 100's all have signs of yellowing/dying leaves. There are quite a bit of little green fruit so we'll see how it goes.

I have not had much succes with tomatoes and am a bit discouraged given that tomatoes are supposed to be one of the easier garden plants to grow. Will keep you posted as the season progresses.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/31/2011, 7:27 pm

I have three reports. I grew seedlings for my accountant, my father-in-law and myself. The gardens for my accountant and father-in-law gets lots of great Arizona sun and we just pulled our first Vorlon and Black Cherry tomatoes (from Baker Creek). Phenomenal. Also have Paul Robeson and Reisentraubs growing. All the plants are loaded with big and little green tomatoes with a few that have ripened.

I, on the hand, just moved from an apartment with plants that were getting only two hours of sun. They are small weak plants that have, though, hardened after a transplant and are starting to grow new leaves. One has little cherry tomatoes just starting to grow after losing their flowers.

Should I pull the 3 other plants that haven't flowered?

I know AZ sun can/will be brutal. These guys are mostly doomed? I don't want to put a sun shade over the plants because I'm guessing my pepper plants won't like the shade cloth. Is this true? I have dragon's egg cucumber seeds and beit alpha cucumber seeds I can drop in their place (the UofAriz planting guide says cukes can still be planted and grown during hot summer). Any suggestions?
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  duhh on 6/4/2011, 1:28 am

Great to hear about all the tomatoes! I hear the black cherries are yummy!

Your toms may still flower, but with temps getting into the 100's this weekend, I would suggest a shade cloth. This might be our last week for any tomatoes to set before the heat.

My peppers seem to be just fine under the shade cloth.

Cucumbers seem to really like the heat here. So far ours have been good. We picked our first Armenian cucumber last week and it's been under the shade cloth for a couple weeks now. My aunt had an Armenian cucumber that grew up her shade cloth and up on top of it last year! It was crazy.

Wish you luck!
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/8/2011, 2:22 am

I posted about a sick Roma tomato plant back in April, here's the thread: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6543-tomato-disease-id

It looked horrible back in April and even worse now. I decided to keep the plant (far away from my garden and other tomatoes) and give it some compost tea and continue to water it daily. I recently noticed that it still is producing tomatoes and even new blooms and leaves. I'm really amazed that it is still alive and producing fruit. We've had a few handfuls of tomatoes from this plant and they were delicious.

I thought this was really cool and thought I would share.

Here is a pic from 4/17/11:


Here are pics from this morning:


Notice the new leaves and blooms


New tomatoes
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/8/2011, 8:24 pm

I have several different plants that I transplanted from a spot getting only 2 hrs of sun. They have been in their new spot for a month now and never developed flowers in the past. I know they won't set flowers in the summer with the high heat but there is new growth starting at the base which a much stronger looking leaf.

My question - if I trim the plant way back and keep it both under a shade cloth and well-watered for the summer, will it survive the summer so it can produce in the fall? Or will it die? I just added mulch to the garden and it seems to work wonders already keeping the soil moist. Should I wait to see what happens?
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 9:36 pm

AZDYJ2K

That is so amazing that your poor roma never did do well and now when it looks like death warmed over, it is putting out tomatoes.

Remember the first goal of any plant is to produce fruits and carry on its heritage by producing seed.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 9:38 pm

@jkahn2eb wrote:I have several different plants that I transplanted from a spot getting only 2 hrs of sun. They have been in their new spot for a month now and never developed flowers in the past. I know they won't set flowers in the summer with the high heat but there is new growth starting at the base which a much stronger looking leaf.

My question - if I trim the plant way back and keep it both under a shade cloth and well-watered for the summer, will it survive the summer so it can produce in the fall? Or will it die? I just added mulch to the garden and it seems to work wonders already keeping the soil moist. Should I wait to see what happens?

Since I live in another completely different climate, I really don't have an answer for you, but I wanted to bump your question so that maybe someone in your area would have a chance to read it and respond.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  duhh on 6/11/2011, 7:43 pm

I'll chime in, but I don't know if it will be any help! this will be my first summer with the garden and I have heard that you can over summer your tomatoes. I'm not sure it they need to be cut back or anything. I plan to leave mine as is, under my shade cloth and up the watering during the summer. I know I won't get any tomatoes during the heat, but the plants will hopefully live through the heat, have bigger root systems, and create bigger fruit for the fall garden. I'll do little more research, and if I come up with anything let you know! Good luck!
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/12/2011, 7:54 pm

Thanks Furbalsmom.

Duhhh - I'll post what I succeed with. I've trimmed four back. One if a reisentraub, another a black cherry, one is a vorlon and one is a paul robeson. I've trimmed off all the old leaves leaving only the new leaves since the transplant, cut them down to 6"-8" and will keep watered.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  schristi69 on 6/15/2011, 1:58 pm

How do you manage to grow in your pots? I have tried for 2 years and they all die when it starts getting too hot....even under shade cloth. Used moisture meter, larger pots, etc. don't know if I am over/under watering or the roots are getting cooked. What is your secret?

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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/28/2011, 12:09 pm

@schristi69 wrote:How do you manage to grow in your pots? I have tried for 2 years and they all die when it starts getting too hot....even under shade cloth. Used moisture meter, larger pots, etc. don't know if I am over/under watering or the roots are getting cooked. What is your secret?

All my tomato plants are starting to die off. It has been blistering hot here (114 yesterday with no relief in sight). However, I think I have some tomato plants growing in one of the pots. Must have been from the compost. At least the seedlings seem to be doing alright.

I would also like to know if anyone has had success with tomatoes in pots in the Phoenix area during the summer. Is it too hot here to have tomatoes during the summer?
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  duhh on 6/28/2011, 6:03 pm

alot of my tomatoes are struggling in this heat, even with the shade cloth. My yellow pears still seem to be going strong. Even the part that has grown up over the shade cloth and are in full sun. We are saving saeeds for these guys!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  AZDYJ2K on 7/6/2011, 8:00 pm

I'm going to take a new approach with tomatoes. I think I started too late and I made the mistake of leaving them in their original pots. I'm going to grow some from seed starting in July and transplant them in late Aug/early Sep. I'm really jealous of all the wonderful looking tomato plants out there and I really want to have some nice tomatoes.

Others in the SW region, when do you usually do fall plantings of tomatoes? Or should I just wait until spring?
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  Goosegirl on 7/7/2011, 1:47 pm

[quote="AZDYJ2K"]
@schristi69 wrote:
I would also like to know if anyone has had success with tomatoes in pots in the Phoenix area during the summer. Is it too hot here to have tomatoes during the summer?

Do you have an area that gets shade from the house or a shed or something? Where I grew up in CA summers were typically 105-110F and my dad planted his tomatoes on the east side of a shed we had in the back yard, that way they were in sun for the coolest part of the day and in shade for the afternoon and evening. He always had scads of tomatoes! He also always direct-seeded them - we had no issue with a short growing season (something I had to learn to contend with here in SD now affraid ).

GG
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  duhh on 7/8/2011, 10:59 pm

I have heard that Mid Aug. Sept is when you plant for the fall. I didn't get mine in until Oct last year and it was a little late. Another month would have been great. I am going to aim for beginning of Sept, but I'm pretty sure they will need to be shaded in Sept still.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday/Southwestern Deserts

Post  jkahn2eb on 8/23/2011, 11:13 am

Transplanted July seedlings a week into August under shade cloth and all have survived. None of have grown but perhaps they're doing all their growing underground and waiting for temps to cool at touch.

I did have two small tomato plants of my four make it through the summer under shade cloth (I pulled two of them to make room). One is starting to flower but the flowers never make it past a day.

Anxious to see what I have by Oct 1st.
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