What tomatoes will you grow in 2019?


Thank you for the offer, I do have room for a cherry tomato plant or 2, Ever since I had seen the photo of your “Helsing Junction Blues”, I have been thinking about the variety. Do you have any spare seeds of the variety?


@alanmercieca pm me your address.


It is too early to figure out my list of tomatoes to grow this year. I will do my usual of about 250 plants in the ground of about 80 varieties. I grow for tomatoes to eat, to can, and to save seed.

If you are interested in some good advice for growing seedlings, have a look around my website.



Well, since Ohio Heirloom seeds had a January sale, I couldn’t resist picking up a few more packets of seeds:

Azoychka - a yellow medium beefsteak
Hillbilly Flame - a larger striped type beefsteak, mostly yellow with orange stripes
Omar’s Lebanese - a very large red beefsteak, some reach 2lb
Red Strawberry - large pink oxheart of German origins
Sister Miriam - large red oxheart, has origins in Europe

Bhut Jolokia (Ghost pepper) - yes the dreaded ghost pepper. I tried 7-pots last year, will again this season, but wanted to try these scorchers.
Fish pepper - medium hot, flavorful, variegated color pepper, popular in the Baltimore area.

Plus some various greens, like spinach, lettuce and some basil.

Can’t wait for spring. Probably will have to start the ghost peppers within a month or so.


@subdood_ky_z6b, start the ghost now, they are slow growers.


Ok thanks. How long do they typically take to germinate?

I was surprised that when I grew your 7-pots last year, they germinated very quickly, within a week or so, along with the tomatoes. I got a very good crop of the whites, but the Bubblegum not so much. So, I will have to start that variety sooner.


they could take weeks.


Super hot peppers are unique in requiring good to very good growing conditions. I put a gallon of dried chicken manure beside each plant. They do not respond very well to commercial fertilizer.


Dosage is key.


Re: Tomato cages

I use regular woven wire cut and circled around with the ends wired together. Then I use a T-post driven in the ground and the tomato cage wired to the T-post.

Tomato cages tend to blow over here in KS/MO without support of a T-post. The cost of the cage and T-post is pretty small compared to the cost of Texas tomato cages. A T-post is about 5 bucks (cheaper used on Craigslist). A roll of woven wire is less than a dollar a foot, so the cost for the wire itself is about 6 bucks per cage. Again cheaper if bought used on Craigslist.

The galvanized wire has very good weathering ability.

A disadvantage is that if “hinged” woven wire is used, the part of the cage opposite of where the T-post is sags a little under heavy tomato loads (because it’s unsupported). Although I use hinged woven wire for my tomato cages and put up with a little bit of sagging on the side opposite the T-post. However imo, this sagging can be overcome by using fixed knot woven wire, especially if it’s high tensile woven wire.

I have some of this fixed knot woven wire for the bottom half of my deer fence. It is really tough and I think would be very rigid if tied in 2’ dia. cages.

Another disadvantage is that most woven wire is 4’ tall, which is a bit short for vigorous tomato plants. But woven wire can be purchased in increments taller than that (i.e. 4’, 5’, 6’ or even 8’)

Here is a roll of 8’ wire (330) roll for a little more than $1 per foot (shorter wire is of course cheaper). A 330’ roll would make about 47 cages (at 7’ per cage - to allow for a little overlap). With a tall T-post total cost is about $15 per cage. Still much cheaper than the Texas cages. Plus more durable and won’t blow over under heavy tomato loads with high winds, like the Texas cages would.

Farm supply stores (like Tractor Supply) generally carry some taller sizes of woven wire in stock, but generally not as tall as 8’. The place where I buy my fence supplies (Kencove Fence Supplies) carries 4’ and 6’ fence in stock, but the 8’ can be ordered.

You generally don’t have to pay shipping if you pick it up at the store, so it’s best not to order fence online and have it shipped to your address. The shipping is cost prohibitive. Instead, if you need to order taller sizes, order it at the store and avoid shipping (generally).

Lastly, if you don’t need a 330’ roll, a lot of woven wire fencing is sold in 100’ rolls.

High tensile fence can be a little hard to cut if you don’t have a strong grip. I cut it with lineman’s pliers. If your grip isn’t real strong, you will need a small set of bolt cutters to cut the wire, or a fence crimp tool with built in cutters to cut the wire (like this one).

The back part of the jaws cuts the fence and the front part of the jaws is used to crush a fence crimp. All this stuff can be gotten at your local farm supply (Orschelns, Tractor Supply, etc.)

Btw, you could use fence crimps to join the two ends of the wire to make a cage, but we just use the wire itself to join the two ends. Just bend each end of wire around to make the cage. If you are OCD about have a professionally looking cage, you could use fence crimps at the connecting ends (fence crimps are cheap). This would also avoid any wire ends to potentially poke you while picking. I don’t use the fence crimps for cages because I don’t care if they look professional. The tomatoes don’t either.


Still putting together my plans for the tomato garden.


Have already started Big Beef F1, Stupice, and Creole.


A gallon?? That sounds like a lot. Also wouldn’t dried manure being that close to the plant burn it?

I planted two 7-pots last year, a White and Bubblegum. Both were germinated indoors, and were up-potted when they got big enough. When I put them in the garden in June, they were both about a foot tall.

The White plant grew up to about 3ft and produced maybe two dozen pods, whereas the BBG grew up maybe 2ft tall, and produced about ten pods. Does either one of these sound like a typical growth and production for this type of pepper?


What are your for-sure varieties?

As you can see up thread, I just ordered some more seeds. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Omar’s Lebanese, Azoychka and Hillbilly tomatoes, so I thought I’d like to try them. A lot cheaper than buying another tree! But it makes it harder to decide which ones will go in the garden this year.


@subdood_ky_z6b, not sure why you are getting so few peppers on your plants I’ve never experienced that. are you getting lots of flowers on the plants just no peppers?

Omar"s for me here is a keeper, I grow it every year and get large tomatoes from it and lots of them.


How many plants total will you shoot for?


I think it’s the plot they were in. I grew about 30 tomato plants in the same patch and several of them didn’t set hardly any fruit, even though all of them were at least 4ft tall. Not a lot of flower set on most, but not all varieties. Is that because of low phosphorous?

I had a soil test done on that (and other plots around the farm), and these were the latest levels:

P - 77
K - 140
Ca - 1486
Mg - 283
pH - 6.0

Not horrible but not nearly as good as the plots further down the hill. Over the last couple years, I’ve added quite a bit of lime to get the pH up, and fertilizer, but it’s apparently not there yet.


try growing one in a pot this year with soiless mix with no added ferts that way you can control everything. I use miracle grow and it works great for peppers and tomatoes here.


What would you recommend? We have tried growing toms in pots and they haven’t done well. We’ve used just generic potting mix.

Is lack of fruit set due to low-ish P or K, or both?


I’m going to shoot for 50+ plants this year. I’m still work it it all out.