2016 Giant Tomato Project Do-Over

First the good news:

Among the 481 seeds planted which were produced by DT (Delectation of Tomatoes), 459 germinated, yielding a 95.4% germination rate.

Among the 959 seeds planted which came from other sources, 794 germinated, yielding an 82.8% germination rate.  For the third year in a row, seeds from one source in particular, representing several varieties, had virtually zero germination.  I won’t publish the name here, but you’re welcome to send email to dale@gianttomatoseeds.com if you’re curious.

Bad news:

234 tomato seedlings have perished, with more dying every day.  This includes 116 seedlings that were slated for my giant tomato project.

Giant Tomato Project 2016 dead A rev

As an itinerant farmer, I’m spread very thin this time of year and 14 trays of newly potted-up seedlings were left in the cold, heavy rain for two days.  I no longer have a high tunnel.  I really miss my high tunnel!

Anyhow, in the past couple of days I’ve replanted 624 cells, many of them with more than one seed, in hopes of rescuing those varieties for this season, at least in terms of getting enough ripe tomatoes for seed saving.  It’s rather too late to expect much in terms of production from these replacements.

Here’s a look at some of the dwarf seedlings at 5 weeks along:

Dwarf Tomato Seedlings 4-21-2016 B

These were grown in a different location and were not subjected to the two days of cold rain.  However, they have suffered from high winds (after this picture was taken), including gusts up to 55 mph, and about four of these will not survive.

Getting serious about giant pumpkins as well this year, including a seed from the world record 2323 X self – anxious to see if it will germinate!

= = = = = = = = = =

Update 5-10-2016

Among the first round of tomato seeds planted, 186 did not germinate and 357 seedlings have perished, with more dying every day.  This is comes 543 total that failed, or 38% of 1,440.  97 varieties of which all 3 seedlings died or did not germinate:

Angela Giant
Bangladesh Heart
Belarusian Heart
Big Sungold Select
Big Yellow, Simpson
Black Master
Black Mountain Pink
Bob’s Boomtown Titty
Buffalo Heart Giant
Butter and Bull Heart
Cesu Agrais
Chocolate Champion
Cleota Yellow
Delano Green Ripe
Eastham Pink Heirloom
Eva Purple Ball
Fish Lake Oxheart
Fleur de Reagir
Georgia Green
Gramma Climenhagen
Grosse De Perthuis
Homestead 24-F
Isis Brandy
Jersey Giant
Joe’s Plum
Juliet (F4), long
Kennington’s Big Red
Knauss Oxheart
Kozula #135
Kozula #18
Kozula #37
Kukla’s Portuguese Beefsteak
Lemon Giant
Lime Green Salad
Magyar Piroska
Malinovyi Charodei
Margaret Curtain
Maylor Roth’s Orange
Mexican Yellow
Michaela’s Pink Oxheart
Monica (F3)
Mortgage Lifter, Estler’s
Nonna Antonina
Old Fashioned Oxheart
Orange Tree
Pink Petticoat
Red Robin
Russian Oxheart
Summer Sweet Gold
Super Marzano (F1)
Super Sioux
Supersauce (F2)
Tasmanian Chocolate
Teschchin Yazyk
Tollison’s German
Ukrainian Pear
Vater Rein
Work Release Paste
Yasha Yugoslavian
Yellow Out Red In
Yoder’s Red Beefsteak
Zluta Kytice

Plus 13 crosses or lineages of giant varieties

Plus 72 varieties of which only 1 seedlings has survived; in most cases the survivor my not survive for much longer.  In fact, it appears that approximately 50% of the surviving seedlings will likely die before June.

I have replanted most of these varieties, but it might be too late to get production from many of them.

Here’s the beginning of low tunnels intended to keep beet leafhoppers off:  Curly Top Virus decimated the tomato crop in Kanab in 2014 – more than 80% mortality.

Kanab Row Cover 5-6-2016 A revKanab Row Cover 5-6-2016 B

Two Atlantic Giant Pumpkins also transplanted, with shade cloth surrounding them to protect from the high winds that are so common in Kanab:

Kanab Garden 5-6-2016 B Kanab Giant Pumpkins 5-6-2016 A Kanab Giant Pumpkins 5-6-2016 C

Seedlings waiting to go in the ground – weather is finally cooperating!

Kanab seedlings to transplant

A double seedling – I’ve never seen them so tightly fused.

Double tomato seedling

Low tunnels in Cedar City.  Two giant pumpkin plants should be toasty warm in here!

Low Tunnel Cedar City 5-3-2016

But a bunch of nosey, unpleasant, uppity, ignorant neighbors have decided to infringe on my freedoms.  CCCR’s apparently state “No temporary structures of any kind”, so these have to come down immediately.  And “they” will not let me plant any of my tomatoes here – plant supports are too ugly for these rich snobs and, heaven forbid, I might try to sell a seed or two from the tomatoes.  I suppose CCCR means, “Communist Command & Control Restrictions”.  How a true-blooded American could ever submit themselves to yet another layer of government control & bureaucracy I will never understand; people willing to give up their freedoms just so they can control their neighbors.  No thank you and don’t get me started…

This view not too far away:

Horseshoe Bend Page AZ H rev

So 130 or so seedlings ready for my giant tomato project, but nowhere to plant them at the moment.