04 February 2011

The Tomato Plan


Last year we went a little overboard with our tomatoes—yes this is possible. As I said in an earlier post, a mistake we made when transitioning from a country garden to a city garden (stop thinking of mice) is that we didn't realize to feed ourselves from a small space it would still require the variety we had in a larger garden.

We did have quite the spread these past two years, but we had the quantities all wrong. Looking back I can't believe how much growing space we dedicated to tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, and hot peppers. Really, it was silly. Sure we grew a bumper crop of these four veggies, but harvests from other plants like peas, greens, squash, and other staples took a while before we had enough to make a meal.

So for the tomatoes (and I'll try to address the other garden hogs later) our plan will be to plant five varieties and try to keep them in half the space consumed in previous years. We'll see if this can satisfy our cravings and our desire to put some food by. One thing I should mention is that this year we have a partial share from a CSA to balance our production needs.

The five varieties of tomatoes will be:
Amish Paste - for sauces
Grandpa's Germans - for sauces, salads, and sandwiches
Black Cherry - for salads, pastas, and snacking
Peach - for salads and pastas
Yellow Brandywine - For sandwiches and snacking

There have been some questions regarding our trellises. We'll be bagging the old and developing new this year. In the next post or two I'll explain why we're making the change.

7 comments:

Farming Mama said...

We've only had a 'full' garden on our own for the past 2 summers, and although we have acreage, we have to fence our garden for deer, so as our money is limited, so is our fenced garden space. I have definitely struggled with proportions the last 2 summers - and by far tomatoes and corn have been taking more space than they should based on what we love to eat during the summer. Good for you for identifying that you want more variety and going for it! Looking forward to seeing your new trellises!

CallieK said...

I have only a small backyard plot so I keep the tomatoes out of it almost entirely. Last year I grew over 20 varieties and most were in buckets on the roof! They like the heat up there better anyhow. This year I think I will scale back then number of varieties and do more peppers- they were even better in the heat and the few I planted in the ground didn't fare as well.

Lisa said...

I just found this blog and am enjoying going thru it! Where are you at? I am in the Butler area, and it is nice to have a blog in my growing season!

Kelly said...

Farming Mama
It is easy to get carried away. The trick for us will be planning ahead for crop rotation. It should be a good time.

CallieK
Your setup sounds fantastic. If we had the room for buckets, we'd be all over it. I'm very jealous of your roof.

Lisa,
We're actually on the other side of the state. However, I did grow up in Middle Lancaster (just north of Zelienople) and graduated from Seneca Valley.

Emily said...

tomatoes are a weak spot for me, too. i grew a dozen different varieties (total of 30 plants) last season, which was hugely excessive for my little backyard garden. rather than scaling back this year i've already picked out 26 varieties that i just can't live without growing. i need help.

i just stumbled upon your blog for the first time and i really like it! i look forward to reading about your garden this summer.

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Mary Joy said...

I love eating tomatoes. I always ask my mother to prepare some tomato salad every other day.

Tomato is good in backyard gardening where we can easily harvest anytime we want to.

Nice post. First time to visit your site.

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