What tomatoes will you grow in 2018?


I’ve heard to best way to get the lycopene absorbed is to heat up the tomatoes, but yeah, I really don’t think about what nutritional value a 'mater has.

So an unripe, say red beefsteak, green tom would have lots of chlorophyll, but no lycopene?

So a purple tom like CP or Paul Robeson has no beta carotene nor anthocyanin, but some lycopene? Maybe because although the skin is dark, the inner flesh is still a dark red?


Here are a couple of pictures of my 2018 tomatoes.

The first is a gardeners delight cherry tomato that is growing exceptionally well in a self watering container setup. You can see it has a couple of main growing stems after I missed removing suckers. I just let them grow. It has about 50 tomatoes on it at this point. I’m starting to get a little yellowing on the bottom leaves. Not exactly sure if that is an issue. I have given them both Epsom salts and garden gypsum. I fertilize occasionally with Fox Farm Grow Big 5-6-5 soluble fert.

Now to share an obvious mess-up on my part as a novice tomato grower. I failed to space the tomatoes in my raised bed far enough apart. They have all grown like gangbusters and have grown together. They are not easily manageable like this and the limbs are getting tangled. I’m concerned that they will not be able to get enough sunlight. I’ve pruned out a lot of bottom growth but I think I’ll prune out some of the leafy stems that are growing the plants. Despite this, there are too many tomatoes to count here. I’ve been feeding them the low nitrogen, high PK fert.


The container plant looks a paler green than the in-ground plants. Maybe because its roots are running out of room, and getting water-logged? JMO.

Yes, the in-ground plants are too close, which could also contribute to disease because of lack of air circulation. They look great now, though.

I space mine 4’ apart as they get huge. Even so, in some instances, they’re almost touching.

Did your Black Krim that was broken in a storm recover?


Yes the black Krim has fully recovered. It is the tomato on the far right.

The container tomatoes are lighter colored and their leaves are somewhat curled. It’s been hot as blazes and these maters get full sun all day long. I do not think the soil is overly saturated. I used the same soil that’s in the raised bed. Could be wrong though.


Noticed that a few of my chocolate cherry Tom’s had started to color up.

I then noticed that they had blossom end rot. After looking at some of the additional green ones a few of them had started rotting too.

This is one of the plants I put in a self watering bucket. I added gypsum during the additional potting and once since. As was mentioned by Bob earlier these plants appear to be paler green in color than my in ground plants.

My other two bucket plants show no sign of BER but are pale like the other.

Is chocolate cherry prone to BER and what can I do from here forward to prevent this on the newer fruits. Does folliar rot stop work?


I’ve never had BER on my Chocolate Cherry fruit, nor on any other cherry plants. I (and others) tend to see it on Roma type tomatoes. I’m speaking of my experience of in-ground plants.

Some folks will say BER is too much water, but others say it’s a calcium deficiency. Since you’re growing this variety in a container, I’m leaning towards too much water. Tom’s like it warm and dry, although a plant in a container may need to be watered a bit more, but not too much. My success rate with tom’s in containers is poor, so someone else with better results should chime in. Maybe @Drew51 could comment.


Too much water stops the roots from taking up calcium. Too little can too. I don’t use SIP so I’m limited there. You could add more perlite to the mix to drain better. Probably lowers the perch level too. Use a coarser or larger particle potting mix. Fertilize with calcium nitrate once in a while. I found this not to be helpful but others have. I like to error in too dry than too wet with tomatoes.


Well yes, in comparison to the Ohio Valley rainforest! Warm is the key. In some areas though, they are dead when dry. For example, I water mine thrice weekly until well established – but then, my environment is dry to begin with.

As @Drew51 inferred, drainage is important.

@speedster1 – the rot in your photos is occurring at the calyx end. That means the agent is in place during blossom and fruit formation – it is not a calcium deficiency problem. I’d personally go after it when blossoms appear with a very light (1/4 dose) foliar copper or zinc spray for mildews, etc.


While it is correct to say that BER is caused by calcium imbalance, that does not describe the actual problem. The problem is a combination of soil health and genetics. A tomato plant has difficulty absorbing calcium, more difficulty transporting it through the stem, and still more difficulty moving it into the fruit. This is exacerbated by any imbalance in nitrogen availability. So in a fit of passion, you dump a load of nitrogen on the soil around your tomato plants. Guess what? Excess nitrogen inhibits absorption of potassium. Now you have a plant that has abundant dark green leaves but the flowers all fall off without setting fruit. What to do? Use a fertilizer that provides the correct nutrients in balance with each other. Different plants have different requirements. Corn for example needs a lot more nitrogen than tomatoes. The amount of “available” nutrients in your soil also has to be considered. High phosphorus soils do not need more phosphorus dumped around the tomato plants because it is already available in excess. Do a soil test to determine nutrient requirements. Add an abundance of good quality compost because compost is slow release nutrients that feed the plant over a long time period. Use fertilizer if needed. Tomatoes generally absorb best if fertilized with 1-3-2 ratio nutrient mixes. This is a VERY hard mix to find so use something that gets close. Most of the time, 4-12-12 or similar will work.

What about genetics? Yes, roma types are much more prone to BER. They are genetically less capable of transporting calcium from the roots through the canopy. I advise anyone growing paste type tomatoes in containers to spray with liquid calcium. It is available at most garden stores.


Tomatoes are looking great right now. A couple of them are already close to 5ft tall (Russian Queen and Chocolate Cherry). Some have already set some fruit, although I’ve noticed some blooms look like they’re withering in this heat. I think tom’s won’t bloom above 90 or so, and it’s been that hot for about a week, even tho it gets down to the 60s at night. I tilled in between them last week, and They seem to like it, plus the hot, dry weather has been a boon to them.

Since I’m hesitant to get rid of suckers, the plants are getting quite unruly, so I’ve had to add a bunch more stakes to accommodate these new branches now.

@Drew51, the GGWT plants are looking very good, and the Romeo plants seem be a very bushy, low to the ground type plant. They’re really a lush, deep green, but seem to be a smaller plant compared to some of the others. Is this variety a determinate?


No, as far as I know it’s indeterminate. Yesterday I harvested my first beefsteak, Omar’s Lebanese. .


'Dood; Here’s a shot of the lone Romeo that I have planted out from seeds that I got from Drew. (Don’t mind the grass, I’ve been busy on cherries and just haven’t had a chance to get back in there to clean things up)

No experience with them yet, but they’re listed as an indeterminate. Seems to be doing pretty good here so far. I think by counting the squares on the cage it’s about 4+ feet. It’s overall plant size is slightly bigger than the San Marzano’s to the left of him right now.

Romeo doesn’t have the sheer numbers of fruit that any of the San Marzano have, but the the fruit is enormous so far. Looking forward to it in a big way.

Don’t know if it’ll do it justice but here’s a shot of a couple of the toms it’s carrying - really big!

Here’s one of the San Marzano. They set about like cherry toms - like crazy! And it’s throughout the plant - all of 'em. Love this variety.

And here’s a pix of Big Beef - unreal how many this variety sets for a fairly good sized slicer.


Thanks! Your plants look great. I hardly noticed the grass, your plot look very tidy compared with mine, even after I ran the tiller through it.

Yes, San Marzano were very prolific for me, but a disease magnet, I’m hoping the Romeo plants will do better.

I’ll try to get some pics from our patch, but maybe later today. It’s already 93 here at noon! :fearful: I had to drive to the doc yesterday (50 miles) and my flakey A/C in my car decided not to work, we were so glad to get home last night. I also staked some tomato plants yesterday, so I went through 3 t-shirts!


Early in this post I told of growing tomatoes for my buddy. He texted recently “Limbaugh’s Legacy strikes first.”



Very nice looking tomato!


I tried to get him to tell me how it was but he hasn’t returned my text. He runs his own business and he works a lot.



If he is eating tomatoes, he has a good reason to ignore silly questions. :slight_smile: :open_mouth: :smiley:


Our gardens were looking a bit parched after some really hot, dry weather over the last week or so. So, we’re thankful we got some rain Friday, plus it’s not as humid.

Our plants seemed to get a real boost from the rain, there’s a couple of thrm over 5ft now, and that’s after only been in the ground about 30 days. Quite a few of them have set fruit, none ready of course. I had to do a lot of staking (20?) yesterday. The combination of rain and wind caused some plants’ branches to fall over, so i propped them back up with some tobacco sticks, and they seem OK today. I don’t prune the plants much, unless the branches are near the ground, so they can get quite big.

I’ll try to get some pics posted soon.


Some pics from the patch.

Inside the tomato jungle, pardon the weeds, this is even after tilling the patch last week. I have spaced them 4ft apart, which seems like a lot at planting, but as you can see, it gets filled in.

Chocolate Cherry, almost 6ft tall now :open_mouth::astonished:

Russian Queen

Overall view of patch

This evening I gave all the tom’s and peppers a liquid fert drench, as some are looking a bit pale green.


I picked the first ripe tomato from my garden yesterday. It was from a plant that is an F1 hybrid of Tastiheart X LA0417, i.e. a large fruited potato leaf heart crossed with a disease resistant cherry tomato. I saved the F2 seed for next year.