Delectation of Tomatoes Website Is Now Online

Finally, after 3 years of hoping, planning and threatening, the website reconstruction has now launched!!

        www.delectationoftomatoes.com

At the moment, there are 1,463 varieties of tomatoes listed.  Among these:

• 1,350 are Heirloom and/or Open Pollinated

• 113 are hybrids in development to deybridize or unknowns

Among the hybrids are 8 which are original with Delectation of Tomatoes; these are documented in previous posts here and summarized at:

DT Big Tomatoes 2014

Of the 1,463 descriptions, 619 of them are original.  Regrettably, the others are “borrowed” for now.  But this is better than what has been available to date, which has been simple lists.

Also lacking for now:  pictures for 99% of the varieties – YIKES!  At last count, I had 39,627 pictures on file, with 14% of these still needing to be named.  So uploading pictures will be a major, ongoing task over the next few months.

And still to upload:

Pictures and descriptions of an additional 647 varieties that are NOT tomatoes as follows:

Pepper 333
Melon & Cucumber 108
Squash & Gourd 74
Bean, Pea, Corn 46
Ground Cherry, Eggplant, Tomatillo 25
Herbs, Greens, Flowers etc. 61
Total 647

These are listed at:

DT ALL SEEDS AVAILABLE

Plus there are another 500 or so varieties of tomatoes, etc. for which I have seeds, but not enough to share – yet!

Whoever said Winter is boring for the avid (I mean obsessed) gardener??

Processing fully mature summer squash for seeds, 1-10-2016

Processing fully mature summer squash for seeds, 1-10-2016

 

Website Reconstruction

For a couple of years now I have threatened to do what I just started doing:  Starting my website from scratch on a new platform.  For the next few days, this will likely mean difficulties.  But down the road a few months, it should look and behave like a modern, user-friendly, mobile-friendly website.

http://www.delectationoftomatoes.com 

http://www.gianttomatoseeds.com

Still taking seed orders!  Lists of all varieties are published at:

DT All Seeds Available

This site now accepts PayPal and all major credit cards, or PayPal can be used directly to:

dale@gianttomatoseeds.com

To date (Jaunuary 3, 2016), I have not been able to save up enough money to pay for a full-fledged, merchant account.  With 33,000 plus photos, hundreds of descriptions ready to go, and several million seeds needing a good home, I am anxious to get the merchant account up and running!

 

2015 Seeds Ready to Go!

Well, mostly that is.  Enough to get lists updated:

      DT All Seeds 2015

Subject to change once I get all seeds sorted and entered into the database.

Yes, that’s 2,115 total varieties, including 1,506 varieties of tomatoes!  Regrettably, it will take many weeks to finish processing 31,000+ photos, writing descriptions and getting a user-friendly, mobile-friendly website up and running.  I’ve been threatening to do a major overhaul for a couple of years now.  Turns out that I’m struggling with Webstarts, which uses technology from the 1990’s.  So within the next couple of weeks, there will be a point at which the main website will go offline while I transfer everything over to a much more streamlined platform – one that hopefully will be at least 20 times faster for me.

Here are a few plates of tomato seeds just put out to dry – the tail end of some 1,600 total batches of seeds, more than half of them tomato seeds – saved in 2015.

Seeds on plates drying 12-01-2015

An aside:

Angel's Landing 11-29-2015 S rev

This location is about 1 hour away, photo taken yesterday from atop Angel’s Landing .

 

Status Update – Fall Harvest 2015

A bit overwhelmed at the moment.  Impending deadlines, a week away from average first Fall frost, but making progress.  Estimated task completion rates

  • Harvesting tomatoes etc. for seed saving – 80%
  • Taking pictures, weights, field notes and starting fermentation process – 70%
  • Seed separation, drying and packaging – 55%
  • Organizing, alphabetizing, data entry – 10%
  • Labeling and preparing pictures, website and blog updates – 5%

Seeds of lots of great new varieties – wish I could get everything processed faster, website up-to-date tonight, and so forth!

In the middle of all this, I am moving my entire business about 250 miles south to Cedar City.

More than a small challenge, so I appreciate patience in getting the 2015 seed lists updated – it will be at least 3 more weeks.

Big Tomatoes of 2015

On 7-23-2015 I picked a tomato that can almost be categorized as “BIG” – from one of my few successful crosses last year! :

Cross (F2)(1.988 DT 2015)(2.414 DT 2014) [Hoy (~3 Kott 2011) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)]

Hoy (3 Kott) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner) F2 (1.988 DT 2015) A rev

I just picked my first 3 pounder of the year!

Big Zac (3.258 DT 2015)(5.67 Marley 2014)

Big Zac (5.67 Marley 2014) HT01 7-23-2015 C

Big Zac (5.67 Marley 2014) 7-28-2015 C

 

Big Zac (3.258 DT 2015)(4.67 Marley 2014) A rev

 

There three small tomatoes showing real promise.  On these three plants I pruned off everything else and stopped all growth:

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)(7.33 Hunt 2010) – shown here on 7-26-2015 and 8-9-2015

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011) 7-26-2015 A rev

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011) 8-9-2015 D rev

Big Zac (6.16 Foss 2014) – shown here on 7-26-2015 and 8-9-2015

Big Zac (6.16 Foss 2014) 7-26-2015 B rev

Big Zac (6.16 Foss 2014) 8-9-2015 C rev

Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Bouydo 2010) – shown here on 7-26-2015 and 8-9-2015

Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013) 7-26-2015 G rev

Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013) 8-9-2015 A rev

Note that when looked at closely, you can clearly see the remnants of the original fused blossom and thus determine that each of these was from a 4-6 X megabloom, perhaps more!

Main Production, 2015

This year’s main production will be at my cousin’s property and his neighbor’s, located about 40 miles south in the city of Pleasant Grove.  Total land area in cultivation will be close to one acre.

Still have 1200+ seedlings to go in the ground and another 600 or so hills of melons, squash and cucumbers to plant from seed.  Many more days of toiling in the hot sun still too go – 100°+ weather coming this weekend.  Window of opportunity closing rapidly.  Too exhausted at the moment to post pictures and such.

= = = = = = = = = =

Update 6-21-2015

With some great help from family members and relatives, all seedlings are in the ground, but 130+ hills of melons still to plant from seed.  Breakdown of what is planted at all three locations is, ballpark numbers:

Tomatoes: 2,000 of 700 varieties

Peppers: 600 of 150 varieties

Eggplant:  80 of 15 varieties

Cucurbits: 400 of 80 varieties

Lettuce, spinach, corn, beans, herbs etc.: 500+ of 60 varieties

At the base of majestic Mt. Timpanogos:

Pleasant Grove Plot, Mt. Timpanogos A Pleasant Grove Plot 6-16-2015 A

Tomato and Pepper Varieties Growing in 2015

Three weeks of intense planting of seeds into 288-cell plug trays, now in the early stages of potting up into 3-1/2″ trays.  Garage and basement are filling up.  Tally is at:

735 varieties of tomatoes – see list at:  DT Tomatoes 2015

210 varieties of peppers – see list at:  DT Peppers 2015

25 varieties of eggplant, tomatillos, ground cherries, etc.

7,600  = minimum number of seed planted so far.

Melons, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, etc. still to be determined.

A few pics of work in progress follow.

Some seedlings on 4-10-2015.  Note how the row of a dwarf variety stands out:

Tomato seedlings, dwarf (Bonsai) C rev

This variety is Bonsai (seeds obtained from Andrey Baranovski of Belarus) and here’s what the ripe fruits look like.

Bonsai (0.046 DT 2013) C rev

Seedlings in progress:

Seedlings 4-14-2015 B Seedlings 4-14-2015 G

Somehow, the weather of March and April have switched this year.  A massive windstorm blew in today, with sustained winds of 49 mph, and gusts as high as 92 mph recorded in the area.  Dust storm leading to virtually zero visibility, semi-trucks blown over, accidents (including fatalities), wildfires, the temperature dropped from 76° down to 35° in less than three hours, it was raining mud (very bizarre…) and it’s snowing now:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015

Next morning:  4″ and still coming down hard:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 D Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 E

Next day –

Storm produced 9″ of snow in this (West Valley) City, local ski resorts up to 42″!  Snowiest April on record – all in one day.  Average temperature for all of March was 49.7°.  Through April 15th, average has been 49.5°.  On rare occasion, procrastination can result in less negative outcomes…

= = = = = = = = = =

Update 4-19-2015

Heavy into potting up from 288-cell plug trays:

Seedlings 4-17-2015 B Seedlings 4-17-2015 D

up to 3-1/2″ pots:

Seedlings 4-19-2015 D

This batch is 63 trays (1,134 seedlings) in the recovery room under a 1,000-watt metal halide light.  This is only about 15% of the 7,800+ total seedlings I’ve planted this season.  Space, time, energy, $, and especially my marketing skills are all severely limited.  Still have 18 of these plug trays to pot up and time is very short, but doing what I can and getting some good help!

= = = = = = = = = =

Update 4-21-2015

Just finished potting up plug tray number 14, so 12 left to go – all tomatoes.  Recovery room was completely cleared out yesterday morning, but is now jam-packed again, this time with 70 trays (1,260 seedlings).

Here a few pictures of the process –

Following 3 weeks of intensive planting, here are a few of the thousands of seed packets, only 95% organized, though feels like utter chaos.  Imagine what it’s like when a seed packet is badly misfiled!  It will take a couple of days to reorganize and many weeks to update computer inventory.

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 Y

Here are the 12 plug trays of tomato seedlings (3,400 +) left to pot up:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 G

The main ingredient for potting mix:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 K Seedling Production 4-21-2015 N

Main amendment is Sustane 4-6-4; also Azomite, Redmond Sea Salt, black mineral residue, bone meal, wood ash and perlite.

Fertilizers BSeedling Production 4-22-2015 F

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 ESeedling Production 4-22-2015 I  Seedling Production 4-22-2015 GSeedling Production 4-22-2015 K

Preparing pots and trays:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 NSeedling Production 4-22-2015 O Seedling Production 4-22-2015 M

Blending customized potting mix in an old concrete mixer:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 B Seedling Production 4-22-2015 L

Potting mix in pots ready for soaking up water:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 E Seedling Production 4-21-2015 F

Rain water heated to 90° F with an aquarium heat, then a 1/2 dose of Alaska Fish Fertilizer and a tablespoon of Sea Magic dried seaweed.

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 H Seedling Production 4-21-2015 I Seedling Production 4-21-2015 T

Inventory must be done with care in advance of preparing labels and plant tags:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 R Seedling Production 4-22-2015 S

Last tray of pepper seedlings ready for potting up:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 U

Tags and labels in preparation (someday I’ll have a thermal imaging printer so I can print right on plastic tags…):

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 R Seedling Production 4-21-2015 D

Plug extractor, dibble and work station

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 C Seedling Production 4-21-2015 A

Production 4-24-2015 AProduction 4-24-2015 B Production 4-24-2015 D  Production 4-24-2015 E Production 4-24-2015 F Production 4-24-2015 MProduction 4-24-2015 J Production 4-24-2015 L

First room full outside under shade cloth to prevent sun scald of leaves:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 P

Seedling recovery room, round three:

Seedlings 4-19-2015 D

= = = = = = = = = = =

Update 4-29-2015

Finally getting around to “Fall cleanup” of the high tunnel last Thursday morning:

Seedling Production 4-23-2015 A

Thursday afternoon:

Production 4-23-2015 C

Thursday evening:

Production 4-23-2015 F

Monday – seedlings getting leggy,

Seedling Production 4-27-2015 B

and round 4 in recovery room:

Seedling Production 4-27-2015 A

Today, final surge to get tomato seedlings potted up – 58 trays with potting mix (see    DT Starts page for list of ingredients) in 3-1/2″ pots, watered fish/sea/rainwater mixture, and in place ready to go:

Seedling Production 4-29-2015 A

Round 5 in recovery room:

Seedling Production 4-29-2015 E

All need to be taken upstairs and outside to make room for the final 58.

Then it’s on to cucumbers, melons and squash – and someday soon perhaps getting around to prepping my own garden plots??

= = = = = = = = = =

Finally, more than one week later than I had hoped, all 6,000 plus seedlings – from nearly 8,000 seeds planted and of nearly 1,000 total varieties – are potted up.  Wow, this is NOT what is meant, in the jargon of economics, as “Economy of Scale”.  Quite the opposite.

The last few seedlings:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 A

Round #6 in recovery room for a another 2-3 days, depending upon weather:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 F

Here’s the light source, a 1,000 Watt Metal Halide light:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 C

From about 15″ or closer, intensity registers brighter than noon day sunlight on a light meter!  Really not the best choice for growing plants.  An array of 400 Watt bulbs, spaced about 4′ apart, would be better.  For anyone who might be curious, here’s a summary from a bit of research I did into light vs. energy consumption:

Another way to compare light sources is to consider efficiency, that is, lumens of light output per watt of energy consumption.  Here’s a brief overview:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

BULB TYPE               LUMENS/WATT

Incandescent, 100 W              14

Compact fluorescent               54

T-12 fluorescent                      60

LED                                         82

T-5 fluorescent                       104

Metal halide                            115

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now on to the cucurbits…