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whgille

A Central Florida tomato story...

whgille
13 years ago

Hi

I planted 45 different varieties of tomato plants this season in my small garden, they are all doing good.

Here is the garden today

And my little dog looks guilty, he just ate some tomato

And I am growing some new varieties to me , thank you Mr Bill, all the tomatoes are doing great!

Indian Stripe, you were right this is a great tomato

A ripe one

Creole

Plum Regal

And when I have a lot of tomatoes I always make a fresh tomato tart, this one has German Red Strawberry, Kumato, Huang, Angolan and it was delicious!

Silvia

Comments (76)

  • whgille
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks Dragonfly, it is always nice to hear your comments.

    Ykerzner, thank you and you are right, every space is used, something comes out something is already in and growing. I even utilized the space under the bananas, I will have a bumper crop of sweet potatoes this year,:)

    Getting some big ones today, I will be making 2 different tomato sauces.

    Hat tomato

    Silvia

  • dragonfly_wings
    13 years ago

    Silvia,
    My apologies...I feel like a bottomless pit of questions, but I'm inspired! LOL :^)

    I was just laying out, in my mind, my spring garden and thinking about varieties to try. Then another question popped into my mind - you grow many varieties in close proximity to each other and also save seed, so how do you contend with the cross pollination problem?

    Before reading this amazing forum, I would never have even known to consider that issue.

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  • star_stuff
    13 years ago

    Silvia, everything looks sooo delicious! I have a passion for cooking and baking, and there are endless recipes with tomatoes! Of course, eating a tomato straight off the vine is one of the greatest pleasures in life! Tomatoes are easily one of my favorite foods, ranking closely among cheese, wine...fresh bread...fresh peaches. Yum.

    I can't wait till my tomatoes ripen! Happy gardening!

  • whgille
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Hi Dragonfly

    I knew this question was going to come sooner or later, lol. I save the tomato seeds the way Trudi has in wintersown, you can take a look there. It works fine for me, I consistently get the same variety that I am saving. Anyway if that was not the case, I am only saving seed for me and friends, not for sale, I don't think anybody is going to sue me, lol.

    Now that I have a lot of seed to save and when I pick the tomatoes if I have about 10 of the same color and shape, that is hard when I bring them in the basket together, how can I identify them? Easy, I put the name in the tomato with a marker.

    I grow a lot of tomato seedlings also for friends that are first time gardeners and just out of curiosity I asked them which variety did better for them? And they all said the yellow. At the end, nobody remembers anything but only if they manage to get tomatoes and that they like it.

    And asking questions is the only way to learn, you are a fast learner.

    Hi Caroline

    We share the same interests, I love cooking for family and friends and I agree with you nothing can compare with the taste of a homegrown tomato! Yours will ripen soon, time flies.

    I made 2 different tomato sauces and let the tasters in the house decide which one was better. They all agreed on the best was a tomato chunky basil sauce, that I put in a homemade pizza with some grilled zucchini from the garden.

    Silvia

  • whgille
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I stayed up late yesterday in the garden picking tomatoes

    {{gwi:50014}}

    Silvia

  • az_pamperedchef
    13 years ago

    What a wonderful bounty Silvia! You certainly make growing easy, but I know it's not. In reading different posts, I noticed you lived in AZ for a while, may I ask what part or where?

    Keep up the good work!
    AZ PC

  • star_stuff
    13 years ago

    Wow, that is an incredible harvest!!! How do tell which variety is which? LOL

  • whgille
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    AZ PC

    Thank you, I lived in Phoenix for 10 years and I moved to Florida about 2 years ago. Before that I lived in many places...:)

    Lived in NW Phoenix and I know about the heat and the clay soil, lol. Just be happy dry is better than humid and clay soil even hard to dig is better than easy sandy and nematode, lol.

    I grew the best tasting tomatoes there in raised beds, the one I remember the most was Costoluto Genovese, I never could replicate the flavor anywhere that I grew, and of course I had so many varieties under the shade cloth. My front yard was xeriscape, nothing but cactus and their family. But the backyard was an oasis, gave me the best fruit ever! I still miss my fruit trees. Apricots and figs my favorites!

    Hi Caroline

    Thank you, I already separated all the fruit for seed saving naming them with a marker.:)

    The harvest is after I gave my neighbors the best looking tomatoes, every one that knows me got a basket.

    Silvia

  • az_pamperedchef
    13 years ago

    Silvia-

    I actually don't complain (too much) about the heat, it is what it is. This is my first year trying to keep 'maters that are not "cherry" going through the summer. The heirlooms that I have, all in containers, Cherokee Purple, Beefmaster, Orange Oxheart, Zebra Green & Mr. Stripey are all transplants. I have a wonderful collection of heirloom seeds. I call them a collection because I cannot seem to get them to grow beyond germination! I would be very interested in Costoluto Genovese if I could find it somewhere. I'll have to put my scouting shoes on. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and productive garden. It gives me hope. :-)

  • whgille
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    AZ PC

    You should try your hand at growing the tomatoes from seeds, it is so much better!

    I still have some costoluto genovese seeds but they are probably too old like about 10 years.

    Do they still have "the garden guy' on tv? he also wrote some books. If you do vegetable gardening also I used to have a very good book written by a woman in Tucson, I can not remember her name and I gave all the Arizona gardening books away. It is so well written and informative for that area, I hope that you find it, maybe the library carries one.

    I hope that you do great with your tomatoes.

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Hi Silvia, I am new here and also loved all of your pictures!

    I am just south of Sarasota and started my veggie garden just last year - newbie!

    I am amazed how green all of your vegetables are. My tomatoes have all kind of blight/spots and worms. What is your routine to keep your plants so healthy and disease/pest free?

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi Joix

    Welcome to gardening and the forums! you should join us in the Florida gardening forum, a lot of gardeners from Sarasota post there.
    To keep my garden in good shape I do daily inspection of the plants, this way I can find out any problem in the beginning and spray if necessary. Every season is different in my area, different bugs too.
    I only spray when is cooler, at this time when is so warm I don't. The plants are over 8 feet tall and producing more tomatoes than we can possible use, good time for sharing and oven dry them for later.
    In the beginning of the season for preventing disease I use Serenade, Neem, if I see worms Bt or Spinosad.

    Here some pictures of tomatoes this season

    Silvia

  • drmbear Cherry
    9 years ago

    Do you use fresh soil in all those pots every year? Seems like a lot. I suppose if you mixed finished compost into the "end of season" soil and created a safe way to store it for 2 to 4 years, then you could get away from needing to completely replace the soil each year - you'd only need 3 to 5 years worth and could rotate the soil instead of rotating the locations in the garden. That's something that is definitely worth considering. Until I moved to my current yard last year, I had been constantly challenged with having enough space for yearly crop rotations with the number ot tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant that I wanted to have in my garden. Having a year or two that my tomatoes go in pots like you have set up could help reduce soil born disease greatly.

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi drmbear

    I use fresh soil that I make it myself every season, twice a year in my location. After the plants are done for the season, I use the spent soil in my fruit trees. Where I live we have sandy soil that hold no nutrients and is prone to nematodes. I use raised beds for all my other veggies.

    Harvesting the best tomatoes to roast them today...

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Hi Silvia,

    My tomatoes aren't doing very well. A lot of them are losing leaves (leaves started curling and drying); eventually they completely die. I'll upload some pictures to show you what I mean.

    I talked to someone and was told June - Aug is too hot to grow tomatoes. I am just south of Sarasota and in zone 10 I believe. I was told tomatoes won't set fruit if night temperature does not drop below 70 degrees, which is the case in my area. So it's pointless to grow tomatoes in the summer months.

    How are you able to grow tomatoes in the summer? Do you have any issues with temperature being too hot?

  • joix
    9 years ago





    Notice the leaves starting to brown from the bottom, then eventually the entire tomato plant dries out. I have no idea why it is doing that. I am watering almost every day to try to keep it from getting burned from the sun.

    This post was edited by joix on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 1:06

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi Joix

    The most important thing to grow tomatoes in Florida it is the right timing, now it is the time to enjoy the last of the tomatoes and clean the garden, it is too hot and humid for most crops. In the beginning it helps to follow the calendar to grow veggies in Florida, later on you get the idea as to what works for you and your particular area. I am in zone 9b and will be starting new seedlings for the fall season after the garden is clean up. I am no expert, but at the end of the season (now) all the tomato plants look bad. Don't concentrate on fixing a spent plant with either foliage and disease issues, instead make plans for the new and next coming fall season and try to grow your own seedlings or get them from a good source. Ask questions, this is the forum to learn and practice in your tomato garden, great experts here! Wish you the best in your garden.

    I am enjoying the last tomato harvest, still have a few plants to clean...

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Thank you Silvia. It's good to know June-Aug are not good for growing anything. I need to pay more attention to the growth calendar, hehe. Learn as I go, I'll prepare for the fall and hopefully do better.

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Joix, this time of the year is great for the harvest of the fruits of summer, it is all on schedule and I will be cooking with plenty of avocados and figs right now getting ready. I already harvested blueberries, blackberries, nectarines, peaches, lychees, few plums. Will be harvesting atemoyas, red guavas, some citrus, red bananas, few mangoes. And my persimmon tree is loaded for the fall. I cannot complain!:)
    I clean 4 tomato plants today, one a Sungold, Sweet Treats, Neves Azorean Red, Amana Orange. There was a lot of fruit in the plants and I am doing oven dried tomatoes for the freezer. I still have a couple of plants to clean.

    If you like figs....this is from last July harvest

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Silvia, this is unbelievable! My mouth is watering!

    We moved to Florida just last year and planted our first fig tree last year. It has some fruits now, but is taking forever to ripen those little fruits. We also love lychee and got one last year. But it hasn't grown much at all. I am not sure how much longer it will take for us to see anything...

    Where do you get most of your fruit trees and tomato seeds/seedlings? I have been buying seeds from ebay. But since I am new, starting from seed is a trial and error process. I did not harvest much this summer. Will try to do better for the fall!

  • Deeby
    9 years ago

    Now THAT'S a BLT ! This was a neat thread. The Caprese salads look wonderful !

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Joix, the garden can produce something all the year if you time it correctly. When moving to a new place, the first thing that we do is plant fruit trees because they are the background and take longer to produce. A good place to shop in South Florida for tropical fruit trees is Excalibur, when you go there you will get a tour and sample the fruits.
    I grow my own tomato seedlings for me and the local community garden. Over the years I got some good varieties but I am always looking for new ones to try in my garden, a good place to get info on varieties is Tatiana's tomatoes and of course this forum and the experts, I always pay attention when they recommend.

    Thank you Deeby! you have to try the tomato sandwich next time, it is good and I put the link for you.

    Silvia

    Here is a link that might be useful: tomato sandwich

  • Deeby
    9 years ago

    Thanks ! As good as basil is with fresh tomato, this is the first time I've ever heard of putting basil in a BLT. Genius !

  • seysonn
    9 years ago

    Sylvia. you are an all around master gardener, not just tomato gardener.
    Now that you are cleaning up, lot of us are still waiting to take that first bite into a ripe juicy tomato. For me it might happen by the Fourth.

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Deeby, the basil in the BLT brings a new depth of flavor, you will like it.

    Thank you Seysonn, I like to taste all the different crops that my garden produce and try new varieties, new dishes, keeps the daily life interesting.
    When you love a tomato like I do, I will be watching all the harvests in different gardens and hope to see you enjoying your well deserved tomatoes, we are almost there by the Four!

    Silvia

  • pnbrown
    9 years ago

    Silvia, how are the plants doing now as the heat comes on?

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi Pat, the tomato plants are already on the way out, I am cleaning them up and some other veggies too. Few stayed like peppers, eggplants, winter squash and of course a lot of the fruits are ripening now, time to eat the avocados, make fig jams...the ornamental garden looks good too.

    Some of the last tomato harvest for the season, soon it will be time to start seedlings for the fall season

    Silvia

  • surya55_gw
    9 years ago

    Sylvia,

    Utterly lovely! You and your garden are both inspiring and bountiful. I stumbled upon your story, pictures and advice and can't help but let you know what I think. I live in NY and garden from my windows but I'll be keeping this link for future; hopefully one day I'll achieve my dream of moving to FL. Thank you so very much.

    Nerry

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Silvia, we should start a thread just for you! You are so responsive, it is hard to find.

    I have a few other questions that I am hoping you could elaborate.

    Can you talk about your soil mix? Do you do the 5-1-1 or some other type? I've been reading online and tried two different types of soil mix. I cannot tell if one is better, or if both are lacking. I have raised bed for vegetables, as well as containers. As I am new to vegetable garden, I think the soil in my raised bed is very poor and needs a lot of help. I am learning as I go.

    The other question is what is the best way to keep your seedlings healthy between now to September? I took some suckers off of my tomato plants and hoped to keep them alive until fall. Do you do that and how best to keep them healthy and not too big?

    Thanks again in advance.

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thank you Nerry! Everything in life starts with a wish and a dream, I am sure you will have yours fulfill one day, good luck in your future garden!

    Thank you Joix, we were all new some day in the garden, when you move you have to learn new things again because the conditions change.
    About the soil mix, I do use the 5-1-1 for the tomatoes and supplement them with fertilizers that I get at the hydroponic store.
    The beds do better when you add as much organic material as you can, mine have a mix of pine bark fines, peat moss, black cow and different fertilizers.
    The seedlings I start them indoors in a sunny window, when they come up I move them to the porch, with the heat they get leggy but after planting them deeper they are all right. And no, I don't use cuttings to start new plants just in case that they are diseased, it is better for me to start fresh.

    Tomatoes and other veggies in the porch

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Silvia, this is super helpful! And how cute are those little pots in baskets! Are these Styrofoam cups or some other type?

    You have some pots in tall plastic containers (back row), then some in shorter baskets (front row). Is there a particular reason for this? Also will you need to repot between now to September? I am worried some of them get tall and big.

    Good advice on starting from seeds. I should do that as well and not rely on cuttings. I have not been attentive enough, which tends to kill seedlings, especially when I try to start from seeds. It's also challenging if I need to be away for a few days. How often do you check up on these and water? I find that daily check up is a must, or they dry out or get scorched without me knowing...

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Joix, I forgot to clarify that the last picture is from some other time, I don't have any seedlings at the present moment because I am just cleaning the garden, after that I will start little by little, every week or so something gets started. All my seedlings are started in cups, 3 oz, 8oz, 16 oz. This way I keep it clean and don't reuse them and yes they are styrofoam, easy to make holes. The seedlings need care and attention and if you have to go away, maybe someone can take care of them while you are gone and if they don't survive it is fine too because you can always start more, if you grow from seeds it is very economical. I start the tomatoes in 3 oz, then transplant them to 8 oz and after that 16 oz, I like big seedlings for the pots to go in the garden, this way they have more chances of survival with the rains, heat and humidity.
    The tall plastic containers are good for the tomato seedlings, especially if I use a cover with see through material like the insect barrier, no bugs can get there and I don't need to spray till they are bigger and in the garden.
    Growing from seeds has also the advantage to grow different varieties that you might like, that is the reason that I also start another veggies for the fall season.
    If you start preparing now, you have a big chance to be successful. I usually start big varieties, medium and small, different colors, different tastes.

    Silvia

  • joix
    9 years ago

    Thank you once again Silvia! I just bought some seeds from ebay - I don't trust that the seeds from my own tomatoes will grow, haha I will be giving this a try exactly like you explained. I try to stay away from using too much plastic, so I'll try reusing pots from store-bought annuals. If I understand correctly, you use new cups to prevent disease issues, correct? Maybe if I make sure to wash pots thoroughly, I won't have too many problems.

  • solid7
    9 years ago

    Rehashing old thread, here... I'm interested to know, of all those different varieties, which ones grow best for you? Or even better - what is the best tomato that you have grown for your area? And by that, I mean, best compromise between taste, productivity, and disease resistance. I've been growing here in Florida with mixed results for a few years, and I'm pretty sure that I just haven't quite got the right variety just yet. I just want one "bread and butter" variety, and everything else can just experimental. That one tomato (that I can still stand to eat) that grows without problem still eludes me...

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi solid7

    I get the same question very often!:) and I like so many tomatoes that I could not just grow one and pick as my favorite, I just have too many to choose from. I think I can concentrate on what I like to grow for different purposes for cooking, preserving or just give away....

    Every season I grow enough cherries for salads and to oven dry them and saved them in the freezer for when I don't have fresh tomatoes. The big varieties are next, usually the beefsteaks in different colors to use them sliced in sandwiches, salads, salsas, sauces.
    Usually one of them is a hybrid, other one a heart, it changes. Every season I also try to grow a new variety for me and see how well it does and if we like it.

    This morning tomatoes

    Some of the big tomatoes this season are Penna, Neves Azorean Red, Big Beef, Amana, Pork Chop, Paul Robeson, Indian Stripe, Kosovo. Some of the cherries,Sungold, Sweet Baby, Smarty, Sweet Treats, Marizol, Green Zebra cherry, Jaunne Flame. The new for me this season are Indigo cherry and the dwarf Jade.

    Here are some pictures, they are all producing good and I like the taste.

    Neves Azorean

    Kosovo

    Smarty

    Sweet Treats

    Penna

    Indigo cherry

    And most people like Sungold, so I made a Sungold Caprese salad last Sunday for a party....

    If you tell me which varieties do you usually grow maybe I can give you my experience if I grew them before. In my garden today, the cherry tomatoes are ripening, soon the big tomatoes are coming up and with that I will be thinking about the harvests and the best use for them....

    Silvia


  • seysonn
    9 years ago

    Very nice plants as usual, Silvia.
    Just yesterday I cleaned up the remains of all my tomato plants. It will be next April ( 5 months from now) to start 2015 grow season.

    Seysonn

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thank you Seysonn,
    It is time for you to clean up the garden and prepare for the next tomato season. I was In Spain few weeks ago and they had a tomato season there, tomatoes were good tasting and had a good variety for sale at the markets. I had a chance to try a few dishes made with tomatoes, one that is popular was bread with tomatoes for breakfast. Some pictures for you from Spain

    Supermarket tomatoes

    A tomato soup

    The Botanical garden tomatoes

    My favorite market

    Silvia

  • solid7
    9 years ago

    The varieties that I've stuck with so far, are the ones that appear in the farmer's markets. (I figure those must be the ones that do the best in the area, right?)

    Purple Cherokee
    Mortgage Lifter
    Black Prince
    Black Krim
    Marglobe
    Indigo Rose
    Everglades Cherry
    Stupice
    Patio (got from a box store - best producing variety so far)

    Right now, my Marglobes are taking a beating from Fusarium. The potting mix is 100% brand new this year. Other than that, they are currently about 9' tall. But it would sure be nice if they wouldn't die from the ground up. :(

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Solid7, you must have different farmers markets in your area because around me I have not seen any of those for sale.

    I grow my tomatoes only in containers with a fresh soil each time. From the varieties that you have listed I have grown Purple Cherokee but I like Indian Stripe better, have not grown Mortgage Lifter or Black Prince, Black Krim depending on the weather it is good or not, I have not grown Marglove in a long time so it is probably not a favorite, I grew Indigo Rose when it first came out and the variety was not stable yet but it was prolific, I have grown Stupice and is not a memorable tomato for me, it is good only because it ripens early, the Everglades cherry or any currant tomato are good but you could not make a meal out of them, they are a novelty and prolific, I have not grown the patio tomato.

    We had a lot of rain in the beginning of the season and it was hot for a long time but now is cooler and dry, hope that is a good tomato season.

    Do you grow in the ground or containers? do you spray with fungicides? In my organic garden tomatoes take the center stage and I try to inspect them early for any possible problems.

    Silvia

  • solid7
    9 years ago

    Slivia - I only grow in containers, and I only grow organic. I've been experimenting with different containers, and I'm loving the DIY Earthbox knock-offs. Unfortunately, I have the same problems no matter how I grow - from hydroponic to conventional containers.

    I'd love to have some good tips on how to deal with some of the pests and nasties, as we are always crawing with whitefly. Like I said about the varieities I'm growing, the Marglobe is struggling with Fusarium. The stupice holds up well, but like PupillaCharites said, it's a blah variety. Agreed on the Cherokee Purple, super grower, but it does tend to bring on the powdery mildew - especially if we get a cold rain. (December is bad for this)

    The mortgage lifter, for big tomatoes, has been my best grower so far. It was an incredible variety, in both taste and growth.

    Any chance you'd sell/trade some seeds, Silvia? I'm really much more successful with hot peppers. Lots to trade, there...

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi PC- Thank you for your nice words, I also have a small garden but I like to grow a variety of tomatoes. In the beginning of the season, I sprayed a few times with Spinosad for the leaf miners, at this point when the plants are so tall and loaded with fruit, I don't spray anything.

    Solid7- Early in the season when we had heavy rains, I sprayed few times with copper. Keeping the plants strong and healthy is a good thing against the bugs. I tend to believe that a well taken care of plant can fight disease and bugs better. Right now I am not spraying anything and keeping on eye for any bugs that may show up, the eyes are the best tools that we have in an organic garden.

    Anything garden related I don't sell but I host garden parties twice a year for the gardeners that come to share food and trade plants and seeds, we just had one in October, they are a lot of fun! The next one will be around April, if you are available you should try to come and meet us all, we like hot peppers!

    This one was one of the many good dishes at the party

    Silvia

  • garf_gw
    9 years ago

    I am a little late getting started here in Miami. I have 8 out of 8 supermarket tomato plants started from seed despite having a massive amount of seeds on hand. I did this at the start of summer and planted 4 seedlings that almost survived the Miami heat. I still have one barely alive. They gave me quite a few good tasting tomatoes despite the heat. Now I'm going to try it in the growing season and see what happens. I will also start some everglades for good measure.

  • PupillaCharites
    9 years ago

    Thanks Silvia, You're definitely the Queen of Winter Garden (spring and fall LOL...) and I'm a supporter of your strategy which is somewhat similar to what I do here. Those garden parties sound like a most delicious event, I wish I lived further south just to go and sneak a pizza-ey slice of Jimmy's Tomato Tart. Mmmm that looks to die for.

    You do have a small gardening area, so I should have called mine a micro-garden, 16 plants spaced at less than 1.5 feet from each other and a huge due south property line neighbor's pet tree at mid-day that completely shades my yard without mercy all October through all March :-(. Now, it's a fight with molds as I'm sure you've seen too if you do much in shade.

    Thanks for saying what you do (or really, don't do) for the leaf miners. Sounds like you have less pressure than here because if I didn't do anything my plants would be completely mined brown in short order through the entire available growing season. There really is no good solution no matter how hard I knock my head against the wall. In the spring it is better because of the rapid growth as temperature increases. But now, it makes the plants miserable because there isn't enough light to keep producing in good form and the miners take it one more step toward the end by first frost in December.

    I wonder if Lake Apopka keeps you pretty "Frostproof" or if you could grow outside through Dec-Feb if you wanted to put a little more effort into it. It is probably just a good chance to clean up though and if I lived there I'd probably start my plants right after New Year, which is pretty convenient to relax during the hoilidays ;-)

    Cheers from a bit above Latitude 30,
    PC, who gets hungry every time I open this thread. Thanks for sharing your delicious gardening operation :-)

  • labradors_gw
    9 years ago

    For leaf miners, you could try BT which kills most caterpillar-types. However, I have found that it stinks to high Heaven and I'm not sure if I could bring myself to spray edible crops with it.

  • PupillaCharites
    9 years ago

    Thanks labradors for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I've tried it in the consumer Bt product Dipel, and it only was extra insecticide that the leaf miners scoffed at. My species, yes, I've done everything I can which started by identifying it, It is Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) a.k.a. the American Serpentine Leafminer.

    This fly is the size of a no-see-um knat and is totally immune to the effects of Bt. Besides I don't think Bt goes inside the leaf so it is protected like it is from most insecticides. There are many other types of leafminers but this is the rotton one for me. Some are moth larvae and those might be taken care of by Bt. Sadly not my tomato Number #1 foe :-(

    PC

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thank you PC, you do have a way with words!

    I am happy with my location, the lake Apopka for sure helps to have it nearby, also the trail and its vegetation. In recent winters we have been warmer than few years back where we had a lot of more frosts. I kind of like the idea of cleaning and planting again, get the chance to not get tired of tomatoes, try new varieties, less disease.

    Sorry to hear about your growing conditions, sun is very important for the tomatoes in our area, in Arizona I grew them under a shadecloth and afternoon shade, otherwise the skins would burst. Do you have citrus nearby? they get the leaf miners bad. Spinosad is good but you cannot overuse it because the crops get resistant to it, at least that what I heard. If I was you, I would make a mix of spinosad, neem oil and Dr Bonners soap. Spray regularly till the problem is solved.

    For the mold, try to prune the vines to one single stem to improve circulation of air, maybe is better less varieties and more space.

    Maybe one day you can make it to one of our garden parties, everyone try their best at cooking and bringing plants. Gardening is a great hobby and we have the nicest group of gardeners that get together and enjoy the day.

    Silvia

  • labradors_gw
    9 years ago

    Oh dear! A fly-type of leaf miner!

    I guess the only way to keep them off would be to grow your tomato plants under Reemay! What a pain!

    Linda

  • PupillaCharites
    9 years ago

    Hi Silvia, maybe they're kind words but you make it easy, over a Sungold Caprese salad LOL. The thread got so big, I'm reading it in pieces so forgive me if I say something you've covered. To tell the truth, I just keep coming back to look at the pictures ;-)

    When/how are you going to pull your plants this year? Do you take them to the end, or as you say force a break to lessen carrying any disease (and I say enjoying Christmas).

    I think we're going to have an early frost this year since that's the way it's been going. It'll definitely get us up here, but hopefully you'll be insulated around 3 hours to the south. Three hours, hmmm. If things work out I might just crash your April party!

    I'm actually going to try the mix with spinosad and neem, because you suggested it... The spinosad alone is worthless but I've never used neem, and need to look more into it, since it gets such good reviews. I have a highly refined horticultural oil called Sunspray that I've used for mites successfully which may be an ok swap, so I'll read up on the difference to be sure.

    I started keeping single vines, and you're right about that. At this point, I am letting the plants put out everything they can. It's not because I am happy with that, only because every single flower counts here and pruning and waiting as the Sun falls further won't get a few last clusters in. So it used to single but now they are an intertwined mess with lots of yellow ;-) October was a great month in general as it always is, but the party will be over as quickly as it started. September was a total rainout which delayed everything and why transplant date was Oct 3.

    Hi labs ! Yes a sort of summer fabric would be just what the doctor ordered. Sounds like a project for next year spring/summer. But for extending the season, the plants now couldn't take the hit in loss of light. Sometimes I think I should just get a grow room inside the house with silver wallpaper and a huge electric bill :-(

    Cheers!
    PC

    EDIT... about Citrus, nope that's not our source here but I bet it is a big deal around Indian River... we're too far north except for an ocassional pet tree in the yard for fun. There are two trees within 500 feet and later I'm going to sneak a look at them both just for fun. Better not to ask, since it might not go over well, if I say can I inspect your lemon and orange tree for leafminers I have on my tomatoes ;-))))

    This post was edited by PupillaCharites on Wed, Nov 12, 14 at 11:58

  • whgille
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Hi PC, looking forward to you crashing the party in April.:)

    I don't have an exact time to pull the plants out but I still have them in January, I use the tomatoes for the parties at my house around Christmas, the big tomatoes are just ripening now...

    January tomatoes from past seasons, with snap peas

    With phyllo dough and feta cheese

    Silvia