In previous years, we’ve planted a lot of tomato varieties. Our second year, we went bonkers with 29 different varieties! Over the last 8 years, we have learned a lot about what planting and tending approaches work best for us; every summer we learn a little bit more and feel better equipped going into the next year. Believe it or not, last year was one of the least fruitful crops for us, so we’re still very much on the learning curve.
We’ve experimented with a lot of different planting and maintenance methods. This year we opted to go as simple as possible; only 6 plants! We skipped the fish heads, and just planted them as Laurel recommends. This is the first time we’ve purchased her mail-order tomatoes and 2 months into the process, we’ve been extremely pleased.
What was our selection process? In the past, it’s always been about how unique the tomato is. This year, it feels as though the decision-making was a bit more practical. Smaller tomatoes have done historically well for us, so those had to be included. Laurel had some varieties that are labeled as heat-tolerant that I haven’t been able to find at local nurseries (Super Sioux, Dagma’s Perfection, and Fireworks), so we’re experimenting with these. They don’t look as interesting as the blue tomatoes that were released last year, or perhaps some exotic heirloom, but hopefully they’ll fare better in the heat we experience. The 3 other tomato plants have 2 varieties grafted onto one plant; kind of like having a “two-headed” tomato plant. So technically, we have 9 tomato varieties that take up the footprint of only 6!
7 comments on “our six tomato plants”
I had a bad tomato year last year too; the worst I’ve ever had. I thought it was something I did, but after talking to a lot of other experienced gardening friends, they all said the same thing and now you are too. I think last year was just not ideal for tomatoes somehow!
So interesting that you had a bad year too! You probably are right about it being bad for most people!
I love trying new varieties of plants and my eyes bug out at all the interesting, exotic varieties when we get seed catalogues. Since I know color means vitamins and minerals, I don’t necessarily feel guilty for wanting to try those new and different things. I forget what kinds we went with this year, but we always go with two basic types of tomatoes – some sort of plum to use for salsa and tomato sauce, and some sort of grape or cherry to use in salads and for snacking.
That’s a good tomato rule to follow! Here’s to hoping we both get to harvest lots and lots of tomatoes!
Hello, can you please email me the measurements of your raised beds and any advice on making them. Really love the Corten steel you used. Trying to build my own raised beds in Houston. Thank you! Stuart
All our beds are different measurements. Some are 12″, 18″, and 24″ high. We didn’t make them ourselves, so I don’t have too much info for you. Good luck!
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