Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tomato Planning & varieties for 2011

I have decided to sow 30 tomato plants consisting of 17 different varieties this year. I know that it sounds like a lot of tomatoes.  However, even with the 221 lbs harvested last year, we did not have nearly enough for our needs. Last year I had sown 19 plants here. However, 4 of them were really not productive.

I have received many seeds & new varieties from fellow bloggers and am very excited to try them! I really wanted to sow 1 plant each of the seeds I received from others here at the home garden in order to really test them. I know what my soil is like here and I thought it would be the best way to test them. Due to the fact that I recently sold the house next door, I will be loosing some beds. The new owner is actually the woman I purchased the house from (she is renting the house to family) said that I could continue to use the beds. However, I think that woman who will be living there (my former cleaning lady) really wants to have some vegetables growing.

The plan right now is to have our favorite eating tomatoes here and the bulk tomatoes for storage at the plots. I am presently planning to sow 10 tomato plants here and 20 at the plots. This will also make my seed germinating easier. I will only have to start 10 plants early for here and the balance of the plants for the plots and others will be started a month later. Last year I started all of the tomato plants at the same time and was over whelmed to say the least. They got too big too fast and it was a real job tending to them. I will use the Kozy Koats for the tomatoes that are sown here enabling me to plant them as early as I did last year.

As you can see in this picture from last year, the greenhouse will go over the one small bed where 4 tomatoes will be sown and I will sow 4 in the other smaller bed with Kozy Koats and 2 in either this front bed or the side bed with Kozy Koats. The greenhouse goes up in late winter and comes down once I have all of the plants planted.

Planting varieties and locations are as follows:

Variety                                                       # Home Garden          # Plots

Amish Paste (Seeds from Thomas)                                                     2
Matt's Wild Cherry                                                     1
Howard's German Red                                              1                         3
Lancaster County Italian Paste                                                             3
San Marzano #1                                                                                    1
San Marzano #2                                                                                    1
Paulina                                                                                                  2
Early Pack 7                                                                                          1
Kellogg's Breakfast                                                                               2

Glick's Brandywine                                                                                2
Tiffen's Mennonite                                                                                  2

Cherokee Purple (Seeds from Diana)                         1                         1
Cherokee Purple (Seeds from EG)                             1                         1
Cherokee Purple (Seeds from Daphne)                      1                         1
Cherokee Purple (Seeds from Thomas)                     1                         1
Eva's Purple Ball                                                          1                         4

Other Colors
Pineapple (Seeds from Diana)                                   1                          1
White Tomesol                                                                                       1
Black Cherry (Seeds from EG)                                  1
Paul Robeson (Seeds from EG)                                1                          1

As you can see from the list, I am planting 4 Cherokee Purples here from 4 different seed sources. They are our favorite eating, I wanted to get a clear picture of any differences from all of the seed sources. You can never have too many CP's!!


  1. We will be turning our attention to choosing tomato varieties next and Amish Paste will definitely be one as it was our favourite last year!

  2. A few years back I did a similar thing. I planted 2 of several varieties to see which performed the best. While I'm still doing some tweeking, the workhorses are now planted every year with one or two fun varieties to try.

  3. Wow!! Good luck with the tomato growing! I like your list of varietals. Have you tried Green Zebra? That was one of my favorites last season. It was a great tasting tomato and very productive (even in containers). I can't wait for the future postings!

  4. GL, I have four new varieties that we are trying this year. There are also 3 varieties that it may be the last year that I plant them. I'm giving those one more try. The balance of the tomatoes have been tried and tested and loved!

    The Mom, I have been having trouble with the seed sources for the Cherokee Purples for a few years now. Four wonderful bloggers sent me, I'm going to see if there is any difference, since they are our favorite eating tomato.

    Holly, Yes, I have planted Green Sebra in the past. It was a beautiful addition to a tomato salad. However, we really didn't like the taste. I know several people who absolutely love them.

  5. I can see what you've been thinking about and working on!! Are you as excited as I am with gardening already??

    Your tomato plan is how I would have planned it. Eating tomatoes must be nearby! lol

    This will be our first year with Amish Paste so I'm very excited to work with this variety. We'll probably have 30 of these since I can so much sauce, paste, and ketchup. (No Italian in our blood but there may as well be!)

    Your tomato walls are nice looking -- never seen red ones before!

  6. I see some of mine on your list, and hope they do really well for ya. The Kozy Koats look very appealing...

  7. Lynn, I too am very excited about the garden! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed about the plots and how to and where to etc etc until today. We went over and looked at them I feel more focused.

    EG, I really can't wait to try the varieties you sent to me...they sound so good! Those Kozy Koats work very well. They enable me to plant the tomatoes at least one month earlier!!

  8. Boy sounds like you have a plan in progress. That's a lot of tomatoes. I will have my usual six plants of Rutger's tomato plants. I'm not too experimental and know what I like and, well, I don't have the space to try too many new things. If I had the space I would grow sweet corn but that's too much of a space hog for what I would get.

    Have a great tomato planning day.

  9. This is a great plan for tomatoes. I think that you can never have too much tomato plants.
    I will have around 40 tomato plants and 13 varieties.
    It will be very interesting gardening year!

  10. I love those little tomato coats!! Cherokee Purple has to be one of the top heirloom tomatoes. It's so delicious and seems to grow prolificly just about anywhere it's grown. 30 plants sounds like a lot but I find 30 to be a very manageable and works well when trialing new varieties. That's about how many I grew this winter.

  11. David, I have been sketching and planning the garden plots for the past two days. I think that I'm coming up with a good plan. I think that it is best to plant what you like. I only have a couple of varieties that may be on their last season.

    Mojo, I am hoping that 30 will be enough. I may add some more. We will see how everything works out.

    Jane, Those water cloches really work well. The tomatoes thrive in them. I take them off before they get too big. I am hoping that 30 will be enough. My in-laws will be getting tomatoes for storage also.

  12. I might do something similar. There are a whole bunch of varieties I want to plant, but I don't have a ton of space. So planting one or two of each will give me the chance to try out a bunch and narrow down to my favorites.

    I might have to give Cherokee Purple a try. A lot of people seem to like it.

  13. 30 tomato plants seems to be optimal for us as well. This year we're doing few varieties of more plants each.

    My FIL gave us 4 of those "Wall-o-water" things last year. What did you think about them? We thought that it helped get the plants in the ground faster but when it was all said and done, the plants didn't produce any earlier than the same variety of seedlings we planted at the normal time without the Wall-o-waters.

  14. Perdita, Last year was the first year that I used them. All of my plants had gotten way too big too soon, so I gave them a try. The plants were in the ground a month earlier and we had tomatoes much earlier then normal. This year, I will have the tomatoes here in them and the plants at the plots, we will see if there is a difference.

  15. I like your list of varieties. Will be interesting to see if any of the CP's are different. I am interested in your greenhouse in the back of your picture. Did you make it or is it a kit, or what??

  16. Lori, my husband got me that greenhouse a couple of years ago for Christmas. It is like a tent and folds up. It's called the Flower House Dream House. I call it my Barbie Dream House since I never had one.

    It's great when the seedlings get big and the weather warms up a little. I put shelves in there and tend to the plants until it's time to put them in the ground.


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