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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 10 Entries.
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
New adventures in farming! I just moved into a tiny apartment in Delta, Utah. Big enough to house my seeds and start a few trays of seedlings, but no place for gardening. But I will be working with a local grower who has 120 acres of land about 30 miles away out in the middle of the desert near Baker Hot Springs. We're calling the project "Fumarole Farm" after the adjacent Fumarole Butte. It's a harsh place to grow, with extremely alkaline clay soil (bottom of old Lake Bonneville - think something close to Bonneville Salt Flats) and the spring water with total dissolved solids of >5,000 ppm (that's as high as the meter would read), with salt crystals forming all along the banks of the springs. So this means: Growing in containers Evaporating, collecting and pumping water. No electricity or other infrastructure at this point, so 2017 is shaping up to be quite a challenging year!
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
Since several very successful growers of giant tomatoes have recommended this strategy, I have waited until today to start my giant tomato seeds indoors. Here's the lineup: Big Zac (6.88 MacCoy 2014) Bigzarro (3.754 DT 2014) Domingo (4.647 DT 2014) Domingo (4.938 Lai 2016) Domingo (5.95 Konieczny 2016) Megadom (5.61 Konieczny 2016) MegaMarv (4.08 Khilenko 2016) MegaMutt (Konieczny 2016) Megazac (6.13 Konieczny 2016) Megazac (6.23 Konieczny 2016) Michael's Portuguese Monster X Delicious (6.51 Meisner)(F2) Russian Oxheart (4.66 Spaziani 2016) Slammer (4.80 Konieczny 2016) This is the "premium" batch in 6" pots, heat mat, etc.
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
These are additional varieties I plan to start tomorrow (May 2nd - last entry was May 1st where I am located): Bezrazmernyi (3.364 DT 2014) Bezrazmernyi X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy)(1.720 DT 2015)(F2) Big Zac (2.130 DT 2016)(6.16 Foss) Big Zac (2.784 DT 2015)(8.41 MacCoy) Bill Bean Select Brutus Magnum (2.976 DT 2014) Brutus Magnum X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy)(1.470 DT 2015)(F2) Chilo della Garfagnana (3.560 DT 2014) Chudo Sada (Shlomin 2013) Church (3.36 Perry 2008) Delicious (2.868 DT 2014) Delicious (3.205 DT 2014) Domingo (3.016 Schielke 2014) Domingo (3.69 Johnston 2015) Domingo (V. Domingo 2014) Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014) Gigantamo (M. Johnson 2016) Hoy X Delicious (6.51 Meisner)(F2) Krupnaya Grozd' (Khilenko 2015) MegaMarv (2.332 DT 2012) Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) Michael's Portuguese Monster X Delicious (6.51 Meisner)(F2) Michael's Portuguese Monster X MegaMarv (2.030 DT 2015)(F2) Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy)(1.724 DT 2015)(F2) Russian Oxheart (1.95 Spaziani 2015) Shuntuski Velikan X Big Zac (3.75 Catapano)(2.174 DT 2014)(F2) Smith's Southern Star (M. Johnson 2016) Wes X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy)(1.542 DT 2014)(F1) West Virginia Sweetmeat (3.312 DT 2014) Zaczilla (1.832 DT 2016) Problem is, I don't even know where I will be doing my giant tomato project this year. Still no patch of land that I have control over.
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
My tomato vines are HUGE, some pushing 8' tall, but not much yet in the way of impressive blossoms or fruit. This is by most impressive looking tomato to date, on Big Zac (2.130 DT 2016)(6.16 Foss 2014). This 6.16 Foss line produced my heaviest tomato in both 2015 and 2016. Looks like that might be the case again this year, though I have lots of other promising genetics. More details about my 2017 giant tomato project at: https://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/giant-tomato-project-2017/
Saturday, September 23 View Page
I've harvested about a dozen tomatoes over 2 lbs., but nothing over 3 lbs. - yet. Today is the Utah Giant Pumpkin Grower's annual weigh-off. I have a green tomato that measured to 2.81 lbs. last time I checked (one week ago). If it has started turning this morning, I'll cut it off for the competition. It's the variety RW Cephei - one of the crosses I've been working on since 2014 and named after a giant star, At this point, it doesn't look like I'll have anything else with a chance of breaking 3 lbs. this year. I'll post pictures after I get on top of seed saving - 325 tomato varieties this year.
Tuesday, November 28 View Page
Well, I've finally finished harvesting for the 2017 season, though I still have lots of seed processing and database work to do. I managed to save seeds from 273 varieties this year. Among these, I think 57 of them have the potential to produce 3+ lb. tomatoes if pruned and tended properly. Largest tomato this year, as well as largest officially recorded in Utah in 2017 is shown in the picture here: Domingo (3.420 Thurber 2017)(4.647 Thurber 2014). Here's a list of the 33 varieties which grew to 1.5 lbs. or larger, most with little or no pruning or thinning and grown in poor to fair soil (apologies in advance for formatting problems - can't seem to figure it out here on BP): Domingo -- 3.420 // RW Cephei* -- 3.376 // KY Cygni* -- 2.830 // Big Zac -- 2.730 // AH Scorpii* -- 2.600 // Bigzarro -- 2.452 // Bill Bean Select -- 2.438 // EV Carinae* -- 2.400 // MegaMarv -- 2.378 // Yaponiya -- 2.264 // Sainte-Lucie -- 2.150 // Donskoi -- 2.118 // Pink Oxheart -- 2.054 // Westerlund 1-26* -- 2.040 // R Leporis* (2016 result) -- 1.982 // Bezrazmernyi -- 1.980 // Tamara -- 1.964 // RS Persei* -- 1.912 // Budonovka Starinnaya -- 1.902 // Nesravnennyi -- 1.894 // Russian Oxheart -- 1.878 // Chilo della Garfagnana -- 1.860 // Smith's Southern Giant -- 1.854 // Megazac -- 1.828 // Tadzhikskyie -- 1.728 // Slankards -- 1.696 // Astana 6 -- 1.622 // CW Leonis* -- 1.612 // Gigantamo -- 1.610 // Zaczilla -- 1.610 // U Lacertae* -- 1.608 // Mexico -- 1.582 // Dyvo -- 1.530 // * Indicates varieties named after giant stars from crosses I made back in 2014; so these are 3rd or 4th generation.
Tuesday, November 28 View Page
Picture here is of the second largest tomato harvested in 2017: RW Cephei (3.376 Thurber 2017) It was looking like it could go just over 4 lbs., but for some reason ended up with quite hollow seed locules, as did many of my large tomatoes this year. I don't know what causes that? It didn't seem to be a varietal trait, as at least 15 giant varieties exhibited this phenomenon. Winter Giant Tomato Contest Wow, the weeks have flown by, pedal-to-the-metal fashion. I counted backwards from the first day of Spring and realized that I've probably run out of time to get a ripe tomato starting from seed this late. Nevertheless, maybe I can get an impressive green one by then. So last night, I planted 2 seeds each of three promising varieties: RW Cephei (3.376 Thurber 2017) Domingo (3.420 Thurber 2017) Big Zac (4.670 Thurber 2017) I've started them in 3-1/2" pots, 2 seeds per pot. Finding a place to grow them when it comes time for bigger pots will be a real challenge, as I'm currently living in an area that's only 90 square feet, which holds my 40+ boxes of seeds, my office and business supplies, and my bedroom. But I'll make a go of it - got a metal halide light ready to hang, somewhere!
Saturday, December 16 View Page
Of the six seeds I planted for the indoor giant tomato contest, only one (Domingo) did not come up. I have been growing in used potting mix 3-1/2" pots placed on a heating mat, then placed under a 40-watt bulb incandescent lamp for about 17 hours per day. They are gangly and week, well past time for transplanting.
Saturday, December 16 View Page
Weak and flimsy, I should say. So - this evening I potted them up into three larger pots, each with about 3 gallons of Fox Farm Ocean Forest potting mix. This basement room is quite chilly during the winter, so I hooked up a heating cable. Unfortunately, with the pots taking up so much space, there is no longer room to hang the standard 400-W Metal Halide light I was planning to use. I am working on an alternative, and that needs to happen soon! I plan to pinch off the two weaker seedlings once I am confident the larger ones will take. It will look, and maybe feel like real sunshine down here! Getting that electric toothbrush warmed up...
Saturday, December 23 View Page
Ok, it's a week since potting up, a different style of metal halide light installed, pots filled up with Harvest Supreme premium soil amendment (possibly too rich), and seedlings are growing like crazy. Among the three, RW Cephei is growing best. No sign of buds forming yet. Heating cable only goes on at night, as the lamp keeps them toasty warm during the day, especially with the Mylar fabric reflecting both heat and light. Should be plenty of CO2 for them, since between my bed and office chair, my lung exhalations are just 3-4' away for 20+ hours per day.

 

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