# of tomato plants

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by mi2bugz, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    We are getting ready for our first attempt at gardening and of course it will be tomato plants. We are also going to attempt year round gardening with covered hoops for protection.

    * what are the best tomato plants for year round gardening in a southern area (Texas)?
    * how many plants per person should I plant for fresh and canning? (I read 10 per person!)
    * if I want them to grow at different rates so we can have a later harvest, how far apart should I plant them (do a few plants a month)?
    Sorry for so many questions but there is so much information on the web and I am looking for people practical opinion from experience and not someones opinion because they are trying to promote or sell me something ;).

    ~ Nicole
     
  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Some of your question is only dependent on your family's style of using a particular crop.

    For example, here in the bitter cold north, I find I use a large canning jar of spaghetti sauce a week. So to make it through the winter/spring (when my cooking changes to grilling and using fresh more than canned), I need at least 18 large jars of spaghetti sauce. In order to make 1 jar of sauce, it takes about 6-8 tomatoes, depending on size. So - each plant yields different quantities of tomatoes - plum tomatoes work really really well for salsa's and bruchetta. Big boy or that type of variety yields great sauce making tomatoes. I like Mortgage lifter for sauce also, as the fruits are incredibly large! Those are very tasty for blt sandwiches and on burgers too.

    If you're looking to make more salsa type items - a small jar of salsa only takes 2 tomatoes!

    Also, what will you be using with the tomatoes? Peppers? Onions? Both of those are also very easy to plant and grow - and you'll need them for any of the above uses!

    Not sure that helps you - cannot speak to the whole 'gardening in tx' idea....never had to do that. Good luck! Just jump in and learn from your mistakes!
     
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  3. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Just popping on here to say that I've lived in Waxahachie, TX myself! What are you doing for soil? Not sure where you are getting your seeds but rareseeds.com is an excellent resource for tomato questions. They sell heirloom seeds but give a great description of each variety which can help determine the best plants for your area. I believe you can get their catalog for free. Good luck to you! [​IMG]
     
  4. LeviS

    LeviS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2012
    North Dakota
    Do you have a recipe for your spaghetti sauce? I've been doing a little looking into it and its hard to find anything where you use your own tomatoes to make it. All the recipes want the cans from grocery stores.
     
  5. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Sure I'll share my recipe! It too uses a few tomato based items which I buy canned out of sheer lack of time. If I had time to make tomato paste from scratch....oh, what I could do! But, I don't, so I buy pre-made. I know there are ways to make tomato paste - but for now, this is what works. (Yes, I'm concerned about the BPA they're spraying into canned goods. Especially acidic things like 'maters....but that's another post!)

    Into crock-pot (or stock pot if want it faster) place the following:

    2 diced medium sized onions
    2 minced garlic cloves or a whole heaping serving spoon of pre-diced in water
    10 cups tomatoes (peeled, diced, SAVE THE JUICES from the cutting board - messy, messy to do, but oh so tasty!)
    16oz canned tomato sauce (I think it's now a 15oz can) - can make own, I buy
    24oz canned tomato paste - can make own, but I buy this too
    1 cup beef buillon - I use a product called, "Better than Bullion" and do not add water, if the sauce is too thick, I add water at end
    4 Tbsps parsley, dried
    1 Tbsp brown sugar
    2 tsp oregeno
    2 tsp basil
    1/2 tsp black pepper - if you want spicy sauce substitute 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed

    If in crock pot, on low for 2 or 3 hours should do.
    If in stock pot, on medium for 30min or so should do
    If in pressure cooker, 15-20min is enough

    Can also add 2#'s cooked ground beef if you wish a meat sauce - then I add a bit more water, as you'll need it in there!

    Without beef, this yields 4 Qts of tomato sauce, or 3 qts and a dinner!
    With beef and extra liquid, I've gotten 5 1/2 Qts with this recipe.

    Enjoy!
     
  6. LeviS

    LeviS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2012
    North Dakota
    Thanks for sharing! :) I'm going to take a swing at gardening this year and hopefully, if all goes well, I'll be able to give this a try!
     
  7. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx

    That is so true about it will depend on family usage...I didn't think about that :(. So if we use a lot of spaghetti sauce I guess I better do a lot of plants. I got different seeds to try out and see what works best for our different uses.

    We will be doing onions and peppers also because we love salsa!

    Thank you for the ideas on how many tomatoes for the sauce and salsa. I at least have a place to start!
     
  8. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx

    So far I like it here. We have been here about 6 months. We are going to be doing square foot gardening so we are starting with a soil mix I read about in the square foot gardening book.

    Thank you on the seed info. Going to check it out now!
     
  9. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    But remember, different years have different yields for the same variety of plants! That's the frustrating part to me....

    Our "mortgage lifter" heritage tomatoes rarely let me down. Typically, each plant will produce somewhere between 30-40 HUGE tomatoes. Seriously high yields.
    But some years our "Big Boy" tomatoes from the local grocery store will yield similar numbers - 30 fruits per plant, some years only about 12 fruits per plant. I've never figured out the difference!

    Our square foot garden beds are 8' square raised beds. I can plant 4 mortgage lifters in a bed like that - they're very large plants. But I can plant a dozen Big Boy variety, as the plants are not that large.
     
  10. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We live fairly close to your area. We've grown Florida 91 tomatoes with great success. They are very heat tolerant and do well throughout the Texas summer/fall. We planted two plants that yielded plenty of fresh tomatoes for our family of four. -that being said, I would definitely plant at least six plants for canning. Two plants covered the 4 x 4 raised bed in which they were planted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

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