Tomatoes 2024!

I have tomatoes planted in five out of six gardens so far this year! I have direct seeded the tastiest strain I have found of Joseph’s promiscuous tomato project again this year. I think it crossed with my anthocyanin skinned tomatoes- in fact of the three sub strains I chose to plant again, one was a deliberate cross, one was orange cherries with an anthocyanin blush, and the third was larger orange tomatoes with an anthocyanin blush. I am also curious if any will volunteer from last year as it is the same garden this year. Will have to wait and see! How are your tomatoes doing this year?

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I’m growing many different tomatoes and the GTS promiscuous mix was tops in germination and early growth. Planted into the field last weekend, will report on how they do there. Fingers crossed that gophers don’t munch them, but I have backups.

My tomato transplants survived another week of cold temperatures here in Montana, and the direct seeded patches are still there! I would very much like it to dry out enough to rototill again and plant my final garden.

Ooh and yet another week left many of them with frost damage!




I started seeds in soil blocks and then planted the seedlings out. GTS 2023, Q Series, Wildling, Mission Mountain grex, Hummingbird F2, and EFN Red Ruby. I have scattered sunflower and other flower seeds amongst the beds as I tend to do, in order to form a green mulch.

All the tomatoes are mixed up and unlabeled. I’m only interested in the plants, and particularly am interested in whatever might volunteer next year.

I have been very busy with the Giving Gardens project so my tomato project fell a bit behind schedule, but the seedlings are all in the ground now. About 150 in total, crowded together mostly just to get them into the ground.

Mine are planted out and just starting to flower.

Frost damaged many, this week, and left about half unscathed. Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect frost. I’m not intentionally selecting for frost tolerance, but I did cull the hardest hit plants. They promiscuous tomatoes descend from the winner of my cold/frost tolerance trials, and from LA177 a high altitude tomato from the Andes, so they have fair frost tolerance to start with.

One of my goals is to have a population of outcrossing tomatoes volunteering in my garden. The last few years here in western Illinois zone 6a, we’ve had good moisture in the ground from snow melt and early spring rains. Then the rain stops when June arrives and we get hardly any rain until fall. If tomatoes can volunteer early and develop their root systems before the water table drops, maybe they could survive without irrigation.

Frost damage has mostly been recovered from at this point. A few direct seeded seedlings might die from it and that is ok as there are plenty right next to them that didn’t suffer the same fate. Transplants are starting to bloom. All six tomato gardens have had at least one round of weeding.