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#3119375 - 01/11/13 03:17 PM Tomatoes
BayouStateVol
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Registered: 01/06/13
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Loc: Sumner County

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So I just moved up here from Louisiana and I am planning my garden this weekend. I was wondering which tomatoes do best for Middle Tennessee.

In Louisiana I planted Creole and Better Boy tomatoes. They always seemed to grow best for me. On the flip side I could barely get an heirloom to produce because of the heat.

So, I was wondering what does best up here. I imagine Better Boy's would be great up here. What other types do well for this climate? Which heirlooms do well?

Thanks for any and all advice.

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#3119427 - 01/11/13 04:07 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: BayouStateVol]
catman529
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I have had most of my heirlooms grow fine up here. I only water ten once or twice once they go in the ground, mainly after transplant so they can recover. After that, no water unless its bone dry because too much water will make shallower roots and less drought tolerant plants when the summer really heats up.

Some staple varieties for me are brandywine sudduth, opalka, sungold F1, Cherokee purple, black krim, red brandywine (landis valley strain), black cherry.
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#3119681 - 01/11/13 07:31 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: catman529]
BayouStateVol
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Registered: 01/06/13
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Thank you. I was online today look at seed sites to buy different types to see what I like and don't like. Cherokee purple was on my list.

Question. Do you raise them from seed?

When do you generally put the tomatoes in the ground? Back in Louisiana, I would plant my first seeds right about now and raise them inside till it was time to put them in the ground. Honestly, I put them in the ground at the first of March because the chance of frost was nominal. If I lost a few plants it was no biggie since I raised so many plants to give away.

Thanks for helping me out.

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#3119866 - 01/11/13 09:05 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: BayouStateVol]
catman529
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I start seeds around the first of march and plant in the ground late April after chance of frost has passed. Wouldn't hurt to start the seeds a week or so later, because they get a bit tall if I plant them out near May.
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#3120645 - 01/12/13 04:06 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: catman529]
Wobblyshot1
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Registered: 10/13/10
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catman has pretty much nailed it as far as growing tomatoes around here. I pretty much agree with him except for the watering thing but if it works for him that's fine.

As far as planting my seedlings, I like to keep it as close to six weeks as I can. They always look "just right" at about that age....almost like they're begging to be put in the ground.

Heirlooms are my favorite and over the years I've settled on a few that almost always seem to produce,at least for me. You might give one a try.....kellogg's breakfast, giant belgium, delicious, and german red strawberry. Sorry, but I,ve never had much luck with cherokee purple.....good taste but never any yield. Don't let that stop you from trying them, though, as they may do well in your dirt.

All this talk about gardening is starting to fire me up. I think I'll go check my tomato seed stash.....and by the way, welcome to Tennessee. Hope you have a good growing season.
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#3121415 - 01/13/13 01:24 AM Re: Tomatoes [Re: Wobblyshot1]
catman529
spiderboy
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 Originally Posted By: Wobblyshot1
catman has pretty much nailed it as far as growing tomatoes around here. I pretty much agree with him except for the watering thing but if it works for him that's fine.
have you tried laying off the watering early in the season? If it makes a difference, I usually have mulch fabric to keep weeds down, and the soil is somewhat clay (not very heavy clay though) and pretty fertile being not far from the river. I assume the soil holds water pretty well down deep. Sandy soil might not be so great but if you limit your watering in the spring, the plants will be forced to grow deeper roots to find more water, so when the summer heat kicks in, they will reach water a lot deeper that the soil holds while the surface is bone dry. Last year, even during our 100+ degree heat spell, I didn't water my tomatoes more than once or twice all summer long, and they did just fine, no wilting. The okra seemed to wilt a bit if I remember correctly.
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#3122141 - 01/13/13 03:59 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: catman529]
Wobblyshot1
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I live in Rutherford County and we're known to be close to rock around here. I've never hit any while digging in my yard but several of my neighbors do have a few rocks showing. That may be the difference in mine and your garden watering needs.
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#3122680 - 01/13/13 09:36 PM Re: Tomatoes [Re: Wobblyshot1]
catman529
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 Originally Posted By: Wobblyshot1
I live in Rutherford County and we're known to be close to rock around here. I've never hit any while digging in my yard but several of my neighbors do have a few rocks showing. That may be the difference in mine and your garden watering needs.
makes sense. A lot of middle tn is loaded with clay and limestone especially around Marshall and Maury county from what I've seen. Plenty of it here in Williamson too but not as much. My garden has plenty of soil above the rocks.
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#3124587 - 01/15/13 08:53 AM Re: Tomatoes [Re: catman529]
woodchuckc
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Registered: 02/09/05
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I pretty much stick with open pollinated and heirloom tomatoes too, and catman listed several that have done well for me over the years too. I would also suggest Persimmon, an orange large beefsteak that has had high yields for me and is heat resistant. Yellow Brandywine has done best for me for yellow tomatoes (the fruit are pretty ugly, but much more flavorful than most yellow tomatoes which tend to be pretty bland). Marianna's Peace is a variety with excellent taste, but the yield is pretty low. Arkansas Traveler is a drought-resistant variety that has pretty good yield, but the tomatoes tend to be on the small size (think tennis ball).
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#3124723 - 01/15/13 10:42 AM Re: Tomatoes [Re: woodchuckc]
catman529
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 Originally Posted By: woodchuckc
I pretty much stick with open pollinated and heirloom tomatoes too, and catman listed several that have done well for me over the years too. I would also suggest Persimmon, an orange large beefsteak that has had high yields for me and is heat resistant. Yellow Brandywine has done best for me for yellow tomatoes (the fruit are pretty ugly, but much more flavorful than most yellow tomatoes which tend to be pretty bland). Marianna's Peace is a variety with excellent taste, but the yield is pretty low. Arkansas Traveler is a drought-resistant variety that has pretty good yield, but the tomatoes tend to be on the small size (think tennis ball).
one of the best producing small slicing varieties I tried was red brandywine (landis valley strain, some sources have the wrong type). For the yellows I have grown aunt gertie's gold and Kellogg's breakfast, both of which are large beefsteak type with good flavor. I grew Marianna's peace one time but don't remember much about it. For flavor, brandywine sudduth strain, sungold f1, black krim and opalka win my vote. Sungold is the only hybrid I grow and it's an insane variety- enormous plants with more fruit than you can pick and the flavor is not quite like any other cherry tomato. Black cherry is another good variety and is OP.
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