2020 Tomatoes and Tomato Support


Mike, I grew Sweet Million years ago. They were Amazing. So much ‘tomato taste’ !!! :tomato::tomato::tomato: - and they kept forming tomatoes all summer long and into the fall. Then . . . (like most things I find that I love) . . . they disappeared. For years! All I could find were Sweet 100. No millions anymore. ???

And then this spring . . . they were back! I bought one Sweet Million plant - and an Early Girl - to supplement the seeds I started. I just hope that they are the same ‘sweet million’ that I grew in the 80s.
Prairie Fire sounds interesting. I haven’t seen that one - or the seeds - around here.

I have watched that British guy’s YouTube videos. (He is so C A L M . . . that he makes me sleepy!) Trying his cardboard ‘mulch’ solution this year. And thinking of using it to create a ‘border’ around spaces like my blueberry bed.

(Did you know that Walmart will not let you have their broken down box cardboard???) Ridiculous. I thought the guy was kidding me when I asked if I could have a few broken down boxes - and he said he was not allowed to let me have them!

And he was serious.
Guess there must be big money involved in selling the cardboard for recycling. ???

Staking with hanging string . . . I would like to try the string method on a few of my tomatoes. I may try sinking 2 very tall metal posts for the ‘top line’. I’d be interested to see if I get less - or more tomatoes - per plant. ???

Planted my fabric pot tomatoes this past weekend - and my in ground plants yesterday.
All seem very happy so far. Big storm coming today, though. :grimacing:


Charles Dowding does have the most soothing voice! I really enjoy watching British garden shows in general but he was the first one I discovered. I’ve made most of my gardens doing sheet mulching with cardboard and compost from the municipal site. Have had good results. I usually have too many boxes from Amazon and such, and I have gotten them from restaurants before too. I think smaller operations that Walmart are usually happy to pass off some boxes!

As for tomatoes I think you get less per plant but can put the plants closer together, so overall you get more fruit. They look really neat and tidy which I like, and long strings of tomatoes really stand out and look nice because excess foliage gets taken off.


They probably do it as a matter of policy to limit liability. From what I’ve heard the only thing that makes money in recycling these days is metals (see article below).

If you want to get free cardboard you are going to have better luck asking smaller businesses.


I use cardboard mulch for the paths in the raspberry patch. Until it gets saturated a few times, I put large rock down to anchor it, so the wind doesn’t blow it to oblivion.

I use Florida weave for the few determinates I grow and the overflow. In the main tomato crop, I use electrical conduit to hang bailing twine to each plant. Each plant gets suckered to grow into a single vine (intil it is 5ft or so). Growing them in this fashion allows planting much closer together, better air circulation, and potentially larger tomatoes.

Second time is a charm for uploading pictures. :+1:


Every year I get some tomato plants going from seed myself and buy some from a local guy that sells heirloom tomato plants from his house. Every year I plant too many and they get out of hand. This year I was going to plant fewer plants and try to focus more on caring for them, then I come across a local company that will be selling tomato plants at the township park near my house. You have to pre-order them then pick the plants up. I figured they would only have a few of the common varieties, but I’d support them and buy a few. Then I checked out their catalog. Yikes!!! They have well over 200 varieties of tomatoes plus about a hundred peppers. Can’t believe I’ve never heard of them before. Check out these .pdfs: If anybody sees any winners, please let me know.


Wow! Some very unusual tomatoes! I don’t think I’ve heard of 95% of them! I wish they would include descriptions.
That is a really interesting place. 'Wish I lived nearby. Have fun!



About 4 hours work to turn 150 spool of remesh into 24 cages with a 6ft Tpost between each pair. Now just waiting for tomato’s to get growing


Since it’s 50 degrees outside and still a bit rainy, I potted my tomatoes up into cups today. They got really leggy the last couple days, so I had to bury them deep in the cups. They looked pitiful before I transplanted them, but they look better after they got repotted. I potted over 30 in 30 cups, some have two plants in them.

I have another 15 that I planted last week, but not all have sprouted yet.


I usually start seeds too early and end up with leggy plants that I just plant deep. Thought I would avoid that this year and held off starting seeds until the last couple days of March. I have them in my grow box and I let that cool down to the 50’s at night with no light to keep growth in check. Well, I opened the grow box today to check on things, and the plants are about 12" tall ! I don’t see any nights with temps above 50 in the foreseeable future, so looks like I’m going to end up with leggy plants again this year.


I shouldn’t had them under lights the last couple days as they seemed to really get leggy fast. They sure won’t be getting the lights now.

If the weather can warm a bit and the soil dry out, I’ll plant them out. The last two years we’ve had to wait until Memorial Day.


I have a question about planting legging toms deep. I generally snap off the lower branches when I do this, depending on how deep I am planting. Would there be any advantage to the plant to leave the lower branches on instead of removing them? That area of the stem where the branches are located will be buried. Does that even make sense?


I do the same as you, I run my hand down the stem to strip off the branches/leaves on the section I intend to place below the soil line. I have always just dug the hole deeper, but the recommendations for doing this always say to place the buried part horizontal and cover it. One fall I dug up a few of my plants when clearing out the garden. I wanted to see if those plants did form a stronger (larger) root system. I was surprised to find all the plants root systems were at the top, just under the soil line, 3-4", and any plant material I had buried deeper was gone. I think the plants just abandon that extra section and form their root system closer to the soil line. I’ll have to try planting the extra length horizontally to see if it maintains that material.


@AndySmith, thanks for the reply. Your root observations are interesting! Many years ago I remember planting the ‘extra’ stem and root horizontal, but I didn’t make any notes as to how those plants performed. It’s so long ago I don’t recall how they did. Probably they got blight and died, Which is normal for me! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. I should plant some each way for a comparison. Thanks for the help!!


Has anyone grown Cherokee Lime Stripes tomato? I can’t find a reference for it here. Diane’s Seeds has this description: The bicolored fruits are striped light and dark green with a rose-pink tint when ripe. The chartreuse interior is swirled with pink. The juicy flavor is sweet and tangy.
Tomato ‘Cherokee Lime Stripes’ is descended from the famous Cherokee Green.

Diane’s Seed website says 2020 is the last year they will be selling vegetable seeds, so they are all on sale.


@PomGranny - I used the powder coated tomato cages from amazon sold by gardeners.com and really liked them. I now use them for my cane berries after I saw a picture of fruitnut using something similar to keep his black berries in check :smile:

It was very easy to setup even for me without any handymen! Lasts many seasons. I can post pictures here if you need.

@BeeDee your tomato setup looks so good!!! Would love to see more pics if you can post :smile:


These are for you, Girly, as requested. Everyone else is welcome to enjoy them too. I take a lot of garden pictures. :slightly_smiling_face:


@BeeDee, That is a really cool set-up! How many plants do you typically put in? What is your average spacing between plants in a row? Spacing between rows?
Do you grow for market sales? You must produce A LOT of tomatoes!


I am growing Pink Bumblebee and Sunrise Bumblebee too (for the first time). Green Bee too.


I’ll third that suggestion, although the cages are so sturdy I use them now for butternut squash.



Really efficient usage of space. Great setup! I also love the trellis setup you have going in the back for beans/peas… Look at the size and color on those tomatoes awesome!

You can feed a town with the amount of food you have growing :slight_smile: !

Great work!