2023 Field Notes

Tomato -- Solanum lycopersicum -- Many Varieties


Sown 4/7
Germination 4/11 (4 days)

Germination counts
4/11, 12pm: 2
4/11, 5pm: 3/3/1/1 (8)
4/12, 7am: 12/4/4/3 (23)
4/13, 7am: 12/14/5/13 (47)
4/14, 7am: 13/14/7/16 (50)

Split germination numbers above are for varieties San Marzano / Sun Gold / Amish Paste / Brandywine.

4/9 -- Four leftover varieties from last year sown into the middle section of a 200, using the custom germination mix. I've done tomatoes every year in this greenhouse and know pretty well what I'm doing - 1/4" deep, keep them moist and warm. They're on the heat mat which is currently set to 78 to also accommodate the Celosia and Giant Marigold who also like things a little warm.

4/11 -- Noticed these today! About 10 spotted so far. Given the other issues I've had with the custom germination mix, I'll likely need to pot these up sooner than expected.

4/14 -- GUp to about 50 of 57 germinated. No issues here, but similar to peppers, we'll see if I need to do an early pot up. I'll be keeping a close eye on these.

4/23 -- These are fine, but not really getting true leaves, and we're right on top of their pot-up date. I'm likely going to need to move these before they're ready. Given the success I had doing this with the peppers, I'm less concerned, but still not happy to have to do that.

4/23 -- Went ahead and potted these up today into a 50 with potting mix. They did quite well with the transfer - lots of roots, was able to largely fill the 50.

4/24 -- 24 hours after the pot up, these look fine so far. Should know about two days from now whether or not they'll do OK with the "early" move. I suspect they will but the truth lies in the leaves (haha).

4/29 -- These definitely survived their pot up. Starting to see true leaves now on most of them, so they'll likely be a little behind (like the peppers were) but should catch up (like the peppers have).

5/23 -- Transplanted 14 of these into a 4x8 bed. Pretty standard fare here - 18 inch spacing, three rows, five to the outer rows and four to the middle, offset to allow for light and space. Each plant got its own stake. Decided to do Sun golds in one row of five, Brandywine in the other, and San Marzano in the row of four. Didn't plant any Amish Paste in the bed, but I'm planning a small overflow veg section for some additional peppers and tomatoes, figure the APs will go there. Watered them in using the high phosphorus fertilizer and added extra compost to the surface for moisture retention.

5/29 -- As I mentioned in the previous entry, went ahead and planted a few additional seedlings at the end of one of the rows. 11 additional plants - five Amish Paste, and two each of the remaining three varieties. Only two rows in the row because the row is only 32-36 inches wide.

6/13 -- All good here. Every plant is growing nicely, no issues from pests, just good all the way around. Twined a few of them to their stakes today.

6/16 -- First flowers noticed on a set of these today.

6/25 -- These look fabulous across the board. Starting to see flowers now. The weather has turned muggy here, so we'll see what kind of disease pressure we see. Didn't have issues two years ago in the super wet July and August, so not massively concerned about this.

7/2 -- Lots of flowers, and first tomatoes spotted (Sun Gold, no surprise there). I did spray these with copper fungicide both last weekend (and then it rained like crazy, of course) and yesterday again. It has been very wet and humid, so very conducive blight conditions. Not seeing any signs of disease though - I trimmed, twined and sprayed these yesterday and they look good to me at this point.

7/8 -- These have, unfortunately, spent the last week being a deer snack. They've been eating the main stem and newest leaves off of most of the plants. They've left the tomatoes alone, fortunately. I've been re-cutting with a clean but the areas they've chomped, and I know from experience the plants will be OK. I've also re-sprayed the plants with additional copper.

7/24 -- Good news/bad news situation here. Good news: harvested first Sun Gold, reports are that it was delicious. Definitely an early one, don't see any more turning just yet, but plenty coming. Bad news: lots more deer damage overnight, they really have decided they love the new foliage on these plants. Will be officially time to protect them now - going to likely try some bird netting first.

7/29 -- Well - I wasn't fast enough. Went out yesterday to begin protecting these and the deer has decimated them overnight. Took most of the unripe tomatoes and basically chainsawed the plants. My own fault for sure for not moving fast enough. Still planning to protect them from here and see if I get another round of fruit. Feeling a bit sheepish for sure for not getting the protection going, although I suppose I'm not sure what I'm planning will actually help!

8/5 -- Netting got put up a few days ago, obviously too late to prevent what happened last weekend, but hopefully the plants will be able to bounce back. We shall see, I'm very curious to find out.

8/12 -- So far, so good on the netting - the tomatoes I protected are generating new leaves and new tomatoes. Really amazing to watch this in action, resilient plants for sure.

8/25 -- Have grabbed a handful of Sun Gold, and just grabbed the first couple of Amish Paste too. In the meantime, I haven't spotted the deer in about two weeks, and the netting has done its job - the chomped plants have come back quite well, are leafy again and making tomatoes. Hopefully there's enough time for them to ripen up and picked!

9/4 -- Able to do a daily Sun Gold run these days, plus have harvested a number of Amish Paste. More tomatoes coming too - and with nice sunny hot weather this week on tap, should be a good week for these!

9/10 -- Grabbed another good set of these yesterday, all types.

9/22 -- Continuing to harvest these regularly right now. More coming for sure. Very nice late season burst.