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hello everyone! I want big tomatos that taste good 2!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Randy on February 22, 2004 06:27 AM
Any suugestions for very large toms in zone 5..thanx and it is [angel] [angel] [angel] [angel] [angel] nice to be here!

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Have a God day!
by weezie13 on February 22, 2004 07:02 AM
I personally LOVE Beefsteak and BeefMasters'

But we have alot of TOMATO GROWERS HERE!!

Many will pop in with answers....

(Celebrities are my regular sized favorites)

Limey, Big Boy, Phil, Rick....
May all have a comment or two on them...

Any other veggies you grow??


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Rick on February 22, 2004 10:43 AM
The ones I like best are a couple of old varieties.
Burpee Delicious and Burgess Climbing Trip-L-Crop. Both are big plants, the Trip-L-Crops being an old potato-leaf variety. The Delicious are more regular in size and shape, can be over 2lbs, very juicy, ripen to an orange/red. The TLCs are irregular, varying greatly in size and shape. They have a tenancy to crack and be green at the shoulders, but can get huge. I've had some that completely covered my hands when opened wide, and could easily cover a slice of bread. They ripen a dark red.
by Phil and Laura on February 27, 2004 01:30 AM
Randy, I have many varieties of Heirloom tomatoes, all very tasty, pm me and I will set you up!!
Phil [thumb]
by Bestofour on February 28, 2004 07:41 PM
Randy, and that is my all time favorite name, you should ask someone where you buy your seeds or plants. If you have a small hardware store that sells the plants, they'll have the perfect tomato for you. [flower]

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by BigBoy on March 14, 2004 04:27 PM
Randy, I suggest you seek out gardeners in your area and ask them your question. What variety may work best for me here in south central MN may not fit best for you. All I do know is that tomatoes like good well drained soil, adequate nutrients, LOTS of sun, and mulch which keeps ground spatter off the plant. After that, they seem to thrive best with a bit of judicious neglect. No matter what the plant variety, however, to get the biggest tomatoes possible witihin the genetic lines, one can pinch off some of the fruit so that fewer fruits reach maturity. This is a trick that some growers of monster pumpkins use.
by Rockfish on March 20, 2004 03:58 AM
Bigboy is right. Seek out those who grow in your area. I don't know where you're located. If you listed that, others in your area could respond. I love beefsteaks, but, betterboys grow better and give better results for flavor(but that's where I live). I grow several types and I am constantly experimenting on which grows best under what conditions.

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Rockfish, NC Zone 7
by catlover on March 20, 2004 05:01 AM
I have a son named Randy [thumb] ....anywho.....I live in zone 9 and my all time favorite is "Better Boy" toms....they have terrific flavor....very isn't quite as thick as a lot of them....and resistant to quite a few diseases.

I have no idea about the heirloom tomatoes.

Just out of curiousity let us know what you decided to grow and how well they turn out!!!
Catlover [kitty] [wayey]

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by njoynit on March 24, 2004 08:19 PM
This is anewsletter I get.comes every other wensday& then get daily gardening tips too boot.I know this is about southern grown tomatoes,but thought you'd enjoy some of the tips.

I know the picture won't show through,but shows the milk jug of water right up next to plant and can see the PVC(looks 2B 1 inch pvc) bent in a curve for his row cover.I just set a bucket...5 gal size over the plant& have a 55 gal trash can that used over one item this brief cool spell..HE HEEE HEE no snow for me ya snowbirds...YEEE HAWWWW!
Gardening - Lower South:

ArcaMax's Gardening Report

Tomatoes Rule!
By: Skip Richter

To get an early start on your tomato patch, place a gallon jug of water against the stems and provide hoops of thinwall PVC to support a protective cover for frosty nights.

Tomatoes are the undisputed king of the vegetable garden. While we all have a number of veggies that we love to grow, tomatoes are the hands-down favorite. Each spring brings many new varieties to choose from and a renewed interest in our ongoing pursuit of the perfect tomato.

Whether you have a large garden or just a couple of large containers to grow in, there are some great tomatoes to choose from and a few tips that can help you get off to a successful start. I have grown tomatoes for over 35 years now and have learned (and relearned) some basics that make for a successful harvest of luscious, vine-ripe fruit. While there are definitely many ways to grow tomatoes, there are some basic techniques and rules of the game that are non-negotiable. Sun, Sun, and More Sun Let the sun shine in! Six hours of sunlight is minimal. With enough sun you get large, tasty fruit. In the shade you get skinny, straggly vines and few tomatoes to show for your efforts.

Good Soil Prepare the soil well for optimum vigor and production. Mix in an inch of compost and a cup or two of complete fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area. Raised beds warm up earlier in the spring and keep tomatoes from getting waterlogged in heavy rain. Containers work fine too if they are at least 5 gallons (larger is even better) and filled with a quality potting soil mix.

Disease-Resistant Varieties Select locally proven varieties with a VFN (or even more letters) after the name. There are plenty of diseases and insects out there that would love to have a shot at your tomatoes. By selecting a VFN variety you are two soil diseases and one case of nematodes ahead. There is no perfect variety! Plant two or three to hedge your bets. The variety that was #1 last year may be an "also ran" this year.

A Head Start Helps Plant early but not too early. Our summer arrives soon and shuts down most production. However a late frost will spoil the show too. I like to gamble a bit and plant about a week ahead of the last average frost. But I always have some thick row covers or 5-gallon buckets on hand to help plants through a marginally frosty night. A milk jug full of water set right up against the stem before covering the plants adds an important additional measure of protection. Fertilize Water the new plants in with a starter fertilizer solution at transplanting. This gets plants off to a good start. It could be either a synthetic liquid feed product or an organic solution like compost or manure tea, or fish emulsion. Pour a cup of diluted solution in the planting hole and then water plants in with the same solution after planting.

Once the first fruits set you really need to push plants along with good nutrition, especially the new hybrid varieties. Apply 2-4 tablespoons of fertilizer around each plant in a circle extending 8-12 inches around the stem and water it in well. Then continue to feed plants weekly with a liquid fertilizer solution. Weed and Mulch Control weeds as the plants get going. After a few weeks, when the soil has warmed up a bit more, apply a layer of mulch to control weeds and hold moisture. If you mulch too early, the soil will not warm as fast and growth will be delayed.

Plant Supports Stake or cage plants to keep fruit off the ground. Caging without removing suckers results in more, smaller, later fruit. Staking and removing suckers makes for fewer, larger, earlier fruit. Take your pick!

General Tending Water regularly when the weather begins to warm up. Deep, infrequent soakings are best. Keep an eye out for signs of insect and disease damage. Early control is very important!

There is nothing like a fresh, homegrown tomato. Grow some prizewinners yourself this spring!

Prepare Planting Beds for Warm-Season Flowers
We are just around the corner from our last average frost date and the rush to plant our warm-season flowers that thrive in our southern climate. Take advantage of this time by building up planting beds with 2 to 3 inches of compost and digging out any perennial weeds. Poor preparation spoils your best blooming plans. It is so much better to prepare soil before you plant.

Wait To Fertilize Turf
Wait to fertilize lawns until you have mowed the turf twice (early to mid-April in most areas of our lower south region). By then it will be actively growing and ready to utilize the fertilizer. Early fertilizing is less efficient and can really encourage those winter weeds, which are actively growing now.

Don't Harm Those Bees
Fruit trees are starting to bloom in the lower south. Bees are busy working those blooms, a critical part of a successful bumper crop of fruit. Avoid using insecticide sprays during bloom, as these products can be devastating to bees and other insects that pollinate our fruit and vegetable plants.

Fertilize Established Woody Ornamentals
The roots of trees, shrubs, and vines are active in early spring in our warm southern climate. Established plants will benefit from some extra nutrition applied early. Spread about 2 cups of a turf type fertilizer per 100 square feet to provide an extra boost of nitrogen as these woody ornamentals begin their spring growth.

Last Call For Tree Trimming
Although most pruning is done in late winter, you can still make a few minor cuts in those landscape trees to brighten a shady area. As the years pass by, the trees get larger and the shade denser to a point where grass and many shade-tolerant blooms will no longer thrive. A judicious cut here and there to remove low-hanging limbs or crowded overhead branches may increase light intensity enough to do the trick.

Web Finds - Grow Tomatoes in the Home Garden
The horticulturists at the Louisiana Ag Center have put together this helpful online publication called Grow Tomatoes in the Garden (Click Here). It includes a useful and up-to-date listing of varieties, as well as tips on proper planting, staking, caging, fertilizing, and pest management. All in all, it is a very useful resource for southern gardeners.

Favorite Plant - Carolina Jessamine
One of the first landscape plants to steal the show in spring is Carolina jessamine. It bursts forth to announce the end of winter with a barrage of yellow, trumpet-shaped blooms. This evergreen vine is well suited to a trellis or garden wall, and it also can be massed and trimmed into a mounding ground cover/shrub. It does well in full sun to part shade. Note that the blooms and foliage are poisonous, so it is not for homescapes with very small children.

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

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