Early August report from the tomato patch

x-no-archive: yes
Here's my report.
USDA Zone 9 Sunset Zone 16/17 Northern California - San Francisco Bay Area - North Oakland
[No ripe tomatoes yet. A late start - early to mid July with most plants - I swear I won't be this late next year!]
At my house:
In a pot on the fire escape, about 7 hours daily of full sun, with some breeze:
SunSugar: Setting fruit, nice big trusses of fruit on the way, one tomato on the first truss is big and green and I'm looking forward to tasting it in a week or two. This plant is wind-whipped but gets lot of sun and is blooming and setting fruit vigorously.
Next to it, in a five-gallon pot:
Two Ha-Ogen melon seedlings, also enjoying the sun, hope I can get a melon or two from these late-started plants.
In the south-facing side yard, about 4 1/2 hours daily of full sun (and light from the neighbor's porch light at night) and sheltered from the wind. Most of the nursery plants and a couple of the volunteers have been put in 33-inch cages, but I'm sure they will soon be outgrown:
Mystery Volunteer Tomato #1: Setting fruit, this looks like it will be a plum-type or grape-type tomato. Should be ready end of August. This volunteer has a sister plant (with the same potato-leaf growth pattern) and I've rescued it from the shade where it was growing and moved it to a better spot in the garden. No blooms yet on the second one.
Park's Beefy Boy (large red slicer), planted 7/13, from the nursery. Big plant, blooming but no fruit set yet.
Early Girl, planted 7/13, from the nursery: Just beginning to bloom. Monstrous plant with HUGE leaves, yellow-green in color (but soil is rich; there is no nitrogen deficiency, plants nearby are deeper green). I wonder if this is really an Early Girl or if there was a tag swap.
Mystery Office Tomato #1 (from a seed I found in my desk at work). Planted 6/30, now has five true leaves and is working on a sixth; all other things being equal it should have a flower truss after the sixth leaf comes out in a week or so.
SunSugar, planted 7/13, from the nursery. Tall and spindly, several flower trusses, several beady little green fruit. Disappointing when compared with the robust SunSugar on the fire escape in full sun.
Mystery Volunteer Tomato #2 (again, a refugee from someone's kitchen window). Rescued from the shade and put in a better spot in the garden. Coming along fine. No blooms yet.
At the office, on the patio, full sun almost all day:
Mortgage Lifter: Huge plant, blooming, dropping blossoms[1], no fruit yet.
Sweet 100: Small green tomatoes and more on the way.
"Stupice" (no potato-leaf growth pattern, must have been a tag switch at the nursery, Amish Paste was nearby, could this be it?): Vigorous, setting many little fruits that have a plum shape. Should be ready end of August.
Pink Ping Pong: Big plant, slow to bloom and set fruit, just beginning to set fruit, I think.
Sharing the 7-gallon pot with the Mortgage Lifter:
Crane melon (Sonoma County heirloom): big healthy vine, first female blossom showing, should bloom any day now.
Sugar Baby watermelon: two healthy seedlings, should begin to run in a couple of weeks, hope these can make it in that crowded pot.
-- dkra
[1] I think the large-fruited tomatoes are slower to set fruit in cool weather/climates because their characteristically (larger) blossom doesn't open fully enough for the pistil to extend past the stamens and the stamens to open fully with their pollen load. This doesn't seem to be as much of a problem with the blossoms of smaller-fruited tomatoes; all of the flower parts seem to open quickly and at the same time, so pollination is more effective.
--
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Zone 6B Eastern Panhandle WV
My plants are doing very well. The 4th of July's have now pumped out at least 2 dozen fruit, with plenty more to come. Burpee's Burger has produced 3 ripe fruit and still more on the way. The Brandy Boys are doing ok, a couple of fruit, with one having ripened (very large) but in general I am not impressed with the output of this variety. The Big Mama paste tomatoes show no signs of getting ripe yet but there are many many fruits on the plant, despite the fact the plant has looked somewhat sickly since the day it went in the ground. The Sugar Snack cherries are doing insanely well. One of the plants is 7ft tall. It is outputting tons of fruit, all in all a very prolific variety with high output. All the fruit has a good taste, no signs of watery fruit like some have complained of. My onions are extremely pungent and I'm convinced my soil is very high in sulfur (that and my well water stinks of it untreated) and may be contributing to the rich taste of the tomatoes.
I am pleased overall with my tomato patch. I can only hope next year will be just as good. I plan on doing my tomatoes in traditional rows next year as opposed to the poorly measured wide rows I used this year. I'm also going to be rotating the plants to another plot of garden space I will be preparing later.
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