State of the ‘mater

I didn’t quite make my goal of a May tomato, but we’ve been in pretty good shape for the last 6 weeks, and there are still some varieties that haven’t contributed to the salad bowl. The photo above shows Early Girl, Glacier, Dr Carolyn, Grape and the big one on the right is my first Brandywine.

I started my seeds indoors during the first week of March. I planted half my seedlings, including a purchased Big Girl, about April 10, and then planted the rest a couple of weeks later. There continues to be a significant size difference between the ones that were transplanted so early, and the ones planted later.  As it turned out, the last frost date was very early this year, and I could have planted them earlier. The unseasonably hot weather over the last 6 weeks slowed down product, resulting in some fruit drop long before some plants were close to having ripe tomatoes.

Early Girl: To get fruit as soon as possible, Elizabeth brought me a very solid and healthy seedling from Merrifield Garden Center.  It has been a solid producer of tasty fruit since early June. I’m guessing that the seedling was planted in February, because it was significantly bigger than my seedlings.

Dr. Carolyn: This lemony-tasting (and looking) cherry tomato has consistently provided handfuls of tasty tomatoes since mid June.

Grape: I bought this one from a local nursery as a replacement for my only fatality. Pickings were slim, and this plant was much too leggy when I bought it. It has provided a small amount of fruit, but looks to be almost tapped out at this point.

Glacier: This is the earliest-fruiting of the heritage tomatoes that I started from seed. It was the 2nd plant to provide ripe fruit, but the small and solid fruit are not as tasty as the Early Girls.  The first fruit were quite watery, although taste and texture has improved. Lately, it has suffered from a lot of split fruit.  It doesn’t seem really comfortable with the hot weather.

Brandywine: Reputedly one of the tastiest varieties, this heritage tomato hasn’t impressed me, yet. The first seedling I planted is the only plant in the garden to suffer from blossom end rot.  I mulched all the early fruit from this one because they were obviously not turning out well. The plant is doing better, but I had to throw away another very large fruit today.  The 2nd plant, which has a lot more sunlight, is ahead in fruit production, with no sign of end rot.  I think Sheryl harvested 1-2 during the second week of July, but I didn’t get one until July 18. It was tasty, but not noteworthy.

Mortgage Lifter VFN: I didn’t get one of these planted in the first batch.  A huge tomato is almost ripe, but it is so close to the ground that I’m concerned about rodents.  Looks like there is more to come.

Long Keeper: I planted two of these with the idea that we’d be able to store some of them in the Fall.   There are a few fruit, and I expect them to ripen over the next couple of weeks.

Old German: Hello?  What are you waiting for?

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