Saturday, May 30, 2009

Central Coast Tomato Trials - part 2

Our trial varieties are growing along (and setting fruit!) here on the central coast. The tomatillos are growing outstandingly well:

Loads of flowers have bloomed:

and subsequently fallen off the plants without developing. But after today's check, I believe some fruit is finally starting to set!

As far as the tomatoes go, we've now got fruit set on Early Girl, Stupice, and Sungold (F2; a regular-leaved individual). That's in addition to the first variety to set fruit - Camp Joy. The plants are about 2-3 feet high. I'm testing 3 ways of growing: stakes, cages, and interweaving between twine. The later method is how a local organic farmer grows his tomatoes, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Last year at the farm they hosted a "tomato U-pick", which was fantastic...delicious organic tomatoes for 50 cents a pound! And now...back from that tangent...here's a shot of a few of my tomato plants.

If you look closely, you'll see that I've interplanted some marigolds between the tomatoes. Marigolds have a reputation for offending aphids...that makes us best friends. (I actually tested this theory last year and aphids were not nearly as prevalent on plants that got marigolds for neighbors.)
The tomato trial data thus far:

Please click it for optimal viewing. Till next time!

7 comments:

keewee said...

Jackie the tomatoes are looking good.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Hi Jackie... the flowers are a lot bigger than what we grew recently. Yours are full petals and ours very much spiky... Typically tomato flowers because they look downwards!!... Shy little blooms... haha

~ bangchik

Michelle said...

You are so wonderfully organized! I'm hoping to make it to the tomato U-Pick this year, I was away last year when they opened to the general public. I planted out the last of my tomatoes and green and purple tomatillos just yesterday.

Stefaneener said...

That twiny idea is an interesting one. I'm enjoying the idea of less-lasting supports for plants. Sticks, twine, etc. And thanks for the marigold reminder! Next year, for certain.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

You are inspiring me to be more organized. I just planted some marigold next to my tomatoes too.

PS- I have an award for you on my blog.

-Jackie

Maggie said...

I am in awe of your trial data chart. Wow!

I did not realize that tomatillos grew so tall. For some reason I thought they lay closer to the ground. I will be very interested to see how your trials of them goes. I'd like to try them next year. Actually, I wish I'd ordered seeds this year- but sometimes I goof.

Tatyana said...

Hi Jackie! I like your support system. I might try it next year. Looks very neat. Sungold is my favorite cherry tomato, I have two plants this year. I am trying something new this season, growing several heilroom tomatoes including those of Russian origin.