No Big Box tomatos this year

After last year's late blight fiasco I've sworn off buying plants from the Big Box stores, I'm doing everything from seed.
I started the germination process on Friday for the first four varieties, they have all started to sprout, my plan is to give them a few more days on wet plates and then move them to containers at the end of the week and then start the next batch. I'll put them in the ground in the middle of May.
I've doing the following varieties,
Cosmonaut Volkov (Ukranian) Black Prince (Siberia) Black Sea Man (Russian) Legend (Univ of Oregon, supposedly late blight resistant, we'll see) Italian Grape Yellow Pear Sun Gold Cherry
Has anyone tried any of these varieties, how did they work out for you?
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Good for you! Last year I got my slicing and Roma tomatoes from department stores, and when they grew to 1/5 the size of the heirlooms I started from seed (and with much less fruit), I decided to start ALL of my tomatoes from seed this year. In addition to them probably being healthier overall, I also get to decide what to grow them in, and can keep them clean by only using organic potting soil and no chemical fertilizers. Old habits cause me to get excited every time I see trays of seedlings at stores, but overall I LOVE that I am growing everything from scratch this year. --S.
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On Sun, 04 Apr 2010 18:07:14 -0600, Suzanne D. wrote:

I tried doing it from seed a couple of years ago but I started way to early (February under grow lights) and they all died before I had a chance to plant them so I ended up buying plants from the garden center and from the big box stores. Last year with everything drowning from the rain except my fruit, which did terrifically (blueberries and strawberries), I did a second pass of plants (not tomatoes) in summer and fall by starting them on wet plates, planting them in containers and then transplanting them to the garden. That technique was pretty successful given the limitations of our short growing season so I feel comfortable doing everything from seed this year. The good thing about seeds is that there are so many more varieties to choose from, the garden centers only have the major modern varieties, they hardly have any heirlooms.
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General Schvantzkoph wrote:

Last year was just bad for tomatoes whether you bought plants or sowed them yourself. I grew Porter and Legend last year, both from seed. The Legends were eat-up with late blight even though they were supposed to be resistant to it. The Porters faired much better, but were so late I didn't get many fruit at all before the first frost.
This week I'm gonna start the tomato seeds; Porter, Better Boy, and Stupice. And some tomatillos to get an early start on them, instead of relying on volunteers.
Bob
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I'm not impressed with the Yellow Pear, except for the color it adds to a salad, but it is a consistent producer, and has volunteered for me the last 2 years.
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On 4 Apr 2010 22:39:50 GMT, General Schvantzkoph

I haven't tried any of there but I got Black Sea Man seeds as a bonus when I ordered some others. Let me know how it does and how it tastes.
I am hoping to compare some OP to the hybrids I have been using. Tomatofest has Carmello, Grape and Golden Grape which I want to compare the hybrid Carmello, Jelly Bean and Yellow Jelly Bean. I am also trying several paste tomatoes to see if any of them are as good as Viva Italia hybrid.
Tomatofest has a wonderful selection of organic tomato seeds. I always go wild when I find a site with lots of different tomato seeds.
I have had a problem this year. I started putting the tomato plants outside and I believe that the wind has been breaking (nearly through) the stem at the soil line. I believe that they were just too "leggy." I am moving them into deeper pots and putting the soil almost up to the first leaves.
Other items:
My rhubarb, Victoria, which I started from seed is doing well this year. Never knew that they flowered and I needed to cut the flower off as soon as I see it.
Beets, chard, broccoli, cabbage, lettuces and onions are in the ground and are doing well.
I am waiting for the pepper seeds to germinate. I just planted them a few days ago and am putting them outside in the daytime. The greenhouse got up to 113 a few days ago when the outside temps were in the 70s.
Time to open the greenhouse. The sun is up and it will be hot in there soon.
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You've tried the various San Marzanos? I tried them last year. They were plagued with blossom-end rot, perhaps it was our drought and less than normal watering. I made a few batches of spaghetti sauce from them, but have nothing to compare it to. They were good as a salad tomato, or fresh picked with a leaf of basil wrapped around it.

minimum order. If you can't find it anywhere else, <http://www.tomatofest.com/tomato-varieties-by-color.html probably has it. I mainly use them as a reference, but if you are going to order 5 or 6 different exotic tomatoes they may suit your needs.

I was in such a hurry this year to get started that I germinated my tomatoes, peppers, and squash first. I did this partly because I've had problems getting them up to size before planting the last few years. With my new grow light, everything went very smoothly this year. By early March, the tomatoes were a foot tall, at which point I put them outside. I've had to bring them in a couple of times because of concern about frost, but they, and the squash, seem to be doing just fine so far. The last 2 weeks have been pretty wet and decidedly cool, which has me nervous. Squash and tomatoes, and dampness don't associate well in my memories. Tuesday we are supposed to break out into some good weather with temps back in the 70s.

Why cut the flower? Mine flower, and keep on producing. This is a serious question, but I suppose I could look it up.

Next year, this is where I'll start. I should have started a lot more lettuce, and spinach. Thank god, I remembered to start the snow peas. The tallest is 18". They would be larger, if I had more sun, which is almost to the top of the tree line, up the hill.

heads out. (2 Scotch Bonnet, 16 Quadrato di Asti, 7 Corno di Toro, 5 Szgedi, 4 Sw. Yellow Banana, 1 Aconcagua, and 60+ jalapenos) I'm only keeping 10 of the jalapenos, so I'll have a lot of jalapeno plants to give away. What kind are you growing?

their lids on. I'd put the plants out to harden-off, and they came back well-done. Then, it is back to the end of the line, and start over. Grrr

Between the heat given off by computers, and the grow lights, my study has been very comfortable this winter.
"'There's nowhere left to plant' is not an uncommon cry and, ironically, the larger the garden, the worse that problem can be." --Joy Larkcom
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wrote:

The San Marzanos were so-so for me. I have started some Super San Marzanos and will compare. Last year was not a good year around here.

The first part of March we had snow. I did not start tomatoes until March 15. I have about 3 weeks before a safe planting date.

I have no idea except that those were the instructions on the seed pack. Maybe I will leave the flower stalks on a couple of mine just to see what the flowers look like and what happens to the plant.

I had to buy some green romaine since neither of my plantings germinated. Time for new seed next year. The red romaine did fine. The spinach and onions were not successful. Less than 20% germination. I was talking to the owner of the nursery I prefer and he said that the provider of his potting soil said not to germinate with soil that had bark in it. I am not too sure about that since onions were in the soil with bark but the spinach was in the softer germinating soil. Both were fresh seeds. Who knows.

bell, a long tapered red that was given to me. They called it Berkly. I also plant poblanos and a couple of other not too hot ones.

You would think that as we get older we would admit that we are not going to be able to take care of ever increasing gardens. But then we get loose on the net with millions of choices.
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We cut off flower heads. We pull rhubarb only never cut.
http://www.wikihow.com/Harvest-Rhubarb
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/tog/harvest.cfm
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Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
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wrote:

Gardening" says to cut the flowers to encourage leaf stalk production. Rodale's "Garden Problem Solver" does not mention it at all. Let me know if you find some other references.
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A word of warning: The blight came in from Big Box plants last summer, but the spores can spread 30 miles a day, so starting your own didn't help much. Usually, late blight spreads from the south where it can survive, but last year it got help from the aforementioned stores infected stock. I was it on plants offered at Home Despot, which I didn't buy. (most of the above from an NPR interview with Mike McGrath on Saturday. He called tomatoes a "Gateway Drug" to gardening. )
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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I guess in a way we only do things if it is rewarding. Good tomato salt pepper mayo carb and one could get hooked. Then besides the mouth temptations there is the visual and o yes the sensual smell and the pleasure of a grape exploding and and and. Seems gardening can be a bacchanalian exploration of life. There is even auditory beauty in the morning evening garden. Perhaps I fail to elicit the proper greek gods that all reveled in the garden. Eden for a reason lost but not somehow forgotten. Five senses in the garden sort of reminds me of Pan.
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Not for everyone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapus
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In the morning, I have the birds squawking and chirping. It is a very pleasant sound.
So, in the Roman pantheon, even a big prick could be revered. Good news, eh, Shelly?
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wrote:

Have grown a couple of your varieties here in Oregon - Legend was a good, healthy plant, but a poor producer for me. The tomatoes were on the small side and took forever to ripen. Sun Gold Cherry, on the other hand, was a real winner - very early to ripen and amazingly prolific. Lovely sweet little fruit - I would definitely plant it again.
You've chosen some interesting varieties - hope you'll post some reviews this summer.
Nancy T
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eats enough of them to make tomatoes a "project". Usually, when the overnights are warm enough, I just mosey up to Sherwood's (local nurseryman), Home Desperate, or Lowes and buy from whichever has the best looking among the few varieties available.
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