Growing nice tomato's...

...is alot like bass fishing! It's a pain in the butt. They are finicky...it takes major effort, patience and expense.
The only reason I keep at is hoping to get lucky!
Dave...(doin his annual "Tomatoe Dance" to the gods) Down in Florida.
(Hey...the Rain Dance worked...I'll try anything at this point!
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D.Reid wrote:

Not sure what it's such a pain for ya. I 'till in composted cow manure each year and they grow like weeds. I'm on NY state, zone 5b and already have about 15-20 tomatoes on 6 plants.
What problems are you having?
--
Steve

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Geez, I'm in 5 a and still haven't seen a tomato. When do you get yours in the ground. I have to try that cow manure trick next year.
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FDR wrote:

Well, I'm in Poughkeepsie NY for your reference. I cheated this years as we had a very warm spring so I put 'em in around the first of May. The biggest one on the vines so far is about 2" in diameter. None ripe yet though.
Are you getting bugs or something or just no growth?
--
Steve

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Poughkeepsie is a far way from Syracuse. Now I understand the difference. We can have cold weather through the end of May, so rarely do I get anything in the ground before the last week in May.
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Steve Calvin wrote:

He's in FL, thats why it is so tough. In florida we have every known species of bugs and diseases that double up on us every season because there is no freeze/frost that helps kill off some generations like you all up north :) Plus there is alot of sand here, not much good "soil" to hold the nutrients needed
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Well, don't know why it's such a problem for you. My problem is too many tomatoes. I'm in zone 9 (Texas) . As every year, I stupidly plant too many plants (9) and I've been harvesting big fat tomatoes for 2 weeks and soon will have to start canning, selling or giving away. My plants are almost 5 feet tall. Feed the soil, don't feed the plants. Compost, compost, compost! Do you add epsom salts when you plant? It helps. The manure is also a good idea. I can send pics if you want to prove it. ;-) Thomas

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I have quite a few plants in. They are growing good but just not producing. I had a few just starting to ripen and they split! after that the bugs got into them and that was that. I picked a few just turning and set them in the house, in a window...and they turned rotten!...and/or split. I dont know why. I have quite a few setting and growing bigger but geeeeeze...I thought I would have them out the "Kazoo" by this time but it just aint happnin'. Dave...(just gettin' frustrated I guess) Down in Florida

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I'm in z8 in SC. When high temps stay above 95F it will kill a lot or all the pollen. Our Better Boys etc are just ripening now. We've had cherry tomatoes for several weeks. We work compost into the sandy soil every year and we do stake them for better air circulation and production. They also stay cooler that way and suffer less bug damage. Birds can sometimes be a problem. But we usually don't have any production problems until mid July-Aug with the high temps. Putting out new plants or rooted cuttings in July brings on a new crop from Sept-killing frost (usually about Thanksgiving). Don't use too much nitrogen. 10-10-10 is good. Good luck. Gary

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D.Reid wrote:

I've had this happen, usually after a dry spell where the fruit has had a chance to grow a good outer skin, followed by a heavy rain which causes them to swell. Maybe yours just need more consistent water?
Dawn
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-snip-
Another thing I have found that helps is to plant several varieties. If one doesn't like the weather, another might. [it would seem that maybe someone has compiled a list of heat loving, cold tolerating, wet loving & dry loving tomatoes]
I'm up near Albany in NY & it looks like I might get a ripe tomato this year by the 4th of July-- that is the holy grail of tomato lore in this area. I rarely have any set fruit by the 4th. This is the first year I've planted Scotia & the 6 Scotia plants are loaded with small fruit.
Celebrity has a couple fruit- my Brandywine, San Marzano & Roma plums, Beefmaster, and Sweet 100's all have lots of blossoms, but no fruit yet. I buy flats of 6 and gave 4 Sweet 100's away, but couldn't part with any of the others. I'll give away some fruit, and dry a bunch- the rest of what we can't eat fresh goes to salsa and chili sauce.
I planted early for this area because weather permitted- mid May, instead of end of May. The ground was warm & I was prepared to cover them with buckets if frost threatened, but never needed them. I mulch with grass clippings once the lawn needs mowing. I feed once with tomato food as they set fruit. I till shallowly between the rows of cages.
What has worked for me is; 1. Get them in the ground. 2. Keep them warm. 3. Keep them evenly, but not overly watered. 4. Don't overfeed, but don't starve them. 5. Mix up the varieties in hopes that one likes the weather.
Good luck, Jim
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D.Reid wrote:

Dave, The truth of tomatoes is there are no rules. I got my first tomatoe and the plant died. OK maybe too much fertilizer (the natural sheep kind). Then the Super Bush VFN are on the corner and something is breaking them off. The Golden Girl look great with blossoms but are slow to get a tomatoe. The Celebrity are great here. They really love the Miracle-gro, which is my favorite fertilizer. It is a late plant and no rain in sight in Nebraska so you spread out your varieties and use TLC. Good Luck, Lucille
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Don't tell anyone I said so, but, if you live in the country cherchez la leach line. 'Nuf said.
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