Your Most Challenging Tomato

Everything About Tomatoes
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karstopography
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Your Most Challenging Tomato

#1

Post: # 17785Unread post karstopography
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:00 pm

Do you have a tomato you wish you could get to grow well, but so far mostly eludes your best efforts? My buddy has grown other tomatoes successfully for years, but can’t get a Pink Brandywine to produce more than a tomato or two in a season. I think he’s thrown in the towel on making it work.

I’m growing a number of new to me heirloom varieties this time around. I can see where I might get one that I really like the flavor, but is a very low producer setting me up for future seasons of misery trying to get it to produce.

Did you have one that was once super difficult, but something you did changed the equation and suddenly it became a much more productive type?
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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PlainJane
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#2

Post: # 17811Unread post PlainJane
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:03 pm

I’ve given up on Aunt Gertie’s Gold, lol. It hates me no matter what I change.
“Never try to outstubborn a cat.”
- Robert A. Heinlein

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#3

Post: # 17812Unread post Cole_Robbie
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:07 pm

I have only grown one Marglobe plant. It was a nice looking plant, but never made a single tomato. It was surrounded by several other varieties that did well. I have read that it was widely grown by tomato farmers in the 1920s. I'm glad I'm not a tomato farmer in the 1920s.

Clkeiper
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#4

Post: # 17814Unread post Clkeiper
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:10 pm

hillbillly. doesn't make more than a tomato or two. not worth the space water and nutrients it takes up.

rxkeith
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#5

Post: # 17817Unread post rxkeith
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:38 pm

kelloggs breakfast has the dark storm cloud over it in my garden. i tried growing it three different times,
and it never made it to maturity. i tried KBX one year in an attempt to fool the cloud, but that didn't work either.
just one of those things.



keith

eyegrotom
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#6

Post: # 17820Unread post eyegrotom
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:57 pm

Mine is Nebraska Wedding the first year the plant died when it was half grown, the next year a nice big beautiful plant but not one single Tomato. Skipped last year. This year I am giving it one last try, I have a plant that is about a foot tall. Maybe I get lucky.
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karstopography
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#7

Post: # 17822Unread post karstopography
Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:05 pm

@Clkeiper I’m growing PL Hillbilly. 6’ tall. Probably the tallest plant I have. Might be 3-4 little just set tomatoes on it. Probably 20-30 flowers and buds. Jury is still out on this one.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

TomHillbilly
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#8

Post: # 17826Unread post TomHillbilly
Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:02 pm

@karstopography-- Your buddy is not alone. I use to grow Pink Brandywine. While it might be a blind taste test winner. It will never win a "pounds of fruit per plant" contest. No one in their right mind, will ever try to be a "pound per plant" winner with any of the tomatoes in the brandywine family. Brandywines are bad to crack also. Its all about taste with them. PS-- I could write the same thing about 90% of the blackened tomato varieties. They are bad to crack, lighter than any heavy producers-- but ole the taste !!
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#9

Post: # 17836Unread post AlittleSalt
Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:54 am

Mine was Black Cherry tomato. I tried growing it for 3 years and the weather was wrong, or it was the RKN and Fusarium Wilt 3 that did it in every year. So many people wrote about how great it tasted. Then last year, I got one plant to grow in a 5 gallon bucket of "mix - not soil" and I used the premier growing fertilizer. It grew tall and produced very well. The tomato taste was pretty good sort of.
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Labradors
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#10

Post: # 17846Unread post Labradors
Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:45 am

I tried growing both the Brandywines several times. They take forever to mature, crack and go mouldy before ripening. I finally wised up and stopped growing them, even though I loved the flavor. Little Lucky, which has BW as a parent, does a lot better for me.

Linda

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karstopography
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#11

Post: # 17848Unread post karstopography
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:39 am

I plan on weighing my tomatoes to see how much each plant produces. I started a garden log, journal, to jot down some of the high and low points of the garden day. I might even weigh tomatoes lost to pests, but that could be going a little too far...could at least note which varieties are more pest probe. Not all my tomatoes went in at the same time, so that’s something to record and consider.

I’m going to note, harvest dates, taste and look with each variety. Not every tomato, just an overall experience with the particular type. Taste is subjective, but the idea is to build a selection of good types to grow where I live. Really nice tasting varieties that are marginally productive one year might be worth a shot in a future season, weather deals different cards in different seasons. I guess a really productive plant that doesn’t taste very good is pretty worthless unless they are appreciated by someone else.

I kept a log for fishing for over a decade. Logging events really does help build a better and more truth based account of the events. Memories play tricks over time, but a good journal will steer the memory back towards the truth.

I’m finding the journal already to be useful. It’s hard to remember when I applied kelp or NEEM oil or side dressed this or that. The journal, if I am faithful in making entries, will help a lot on remembering what I did when.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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MissS
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#12

Post: # 17855Unread post MissS
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:52 am

Your friend is correct in throwing in the towel on this one. Brandywine is a fair weather grower and it hates the heat. It performs quite well for me up here in the north but fails miserably for those of you down south. Everyone in the south that grows Brandywine experiences poor production with only one or two fruit. It is important to be aware of which plants tolerate what conditions.
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#13

Post: # 18154Unread post maxjohnson
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:01 pm

Opalka is a bit strange to me. I germinated it a 10 days before the other tomatoes, but it still lag behind in growth. From now I will start it a month a head.

I harvested a lot of Cowlick's Brandywine last season, it's probably one of more productive and easy to grow Brandywine.
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Bronx
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#14

Post: # 18241Unread post Bronx
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:12 pm

PlainJane wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:03 pm
I’ve given up on Aunt Gertie’s Gold, lol. It hates me no matter what I change.
I grew Aunt Gertie's Gold one time. It produced 3 tomatoes total, and a squirrel got one of them. But boy those two I had tasted spectacular. If it was more productive I would consider growing it regularly.
1

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SpookyShoe
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#15

Post: # 18247Unread post SpookyShoe
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:38 pm

I garden in the same climate that karstopography does. I grew Pink Brandywine last year, and it was a beautiful plant but only produced about three tomatoes. They tasted great. But I grow tomatoes in a suburban backyard and I don't have room for a plant that produces only three tomatoes.
Donna, zone 9, El Lago, Texas

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karstopography
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#16

Post: # 18259Unread post karstopography
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:29 pm

I wonder what Brandywine produces in a prime climate and situation? What’s sort of the top end of that tomato, everything being basically about perfect, temperature, soil, light, etc.?
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Bower
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#17

Post: # 18349Unread post Bower
Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:00 pm

The first time I ever heard of heirloom tomatoes, that was back in the early '90 s, I bought the seeds and planted them. It was Brandywine and Caspian Pink. Zero tomatoes from both of them. :roll: So I continued with my little F1 reds. Only much later I discovered the world of OP's and how much genetic variety is there, adaptable to many different climates, and with a great range of taste and color and shape to enjoy.

Keeping a journal is a great idea. I totally agree about memory being a deceiver. If I didn't write things down, I wouldn't have much more than a few tall tales at the end of the day. :P IDK where it comes from but when I check my "impressions" with an actual record, hmmmm. :? Opinions on a tomato also change in the course of the season but that is part of their changing nature too. But it is a reality check to see a table of your results. :geek:

One thing about journals, it can be really useful in future years to know plant dates and outcomes. Sure every season is different but there are similarities enough to be helpful for planning... most years. And tables of basic data on OP's grown at your site, are super helpful to others, too.
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Blackbear
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Re: Your Most Challenging Tomato

#18

Post: # 18350Unread post Blackbear
Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:13 pm

Many of my neighbors tried the Brandywine ...and did not get very many tasty tomatoes...
on Vancouver island we actually have less heat degree days so I only choose early and mid season varieties to venture into.
if you were interested in near Brandywine relatives......BrandyFred from the Dwarf project "done good for me"
but it was not a full Brandywine. I think if I was in a higher heat degree growing season area like Manitoba or Great lakes climate
I would give Brandywine a shot ...just for comparison.
0
So many Tomatoes...……..so little Time !

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