My tomatoes are coming along nicely but I'm afraid their days are numbered. It's October 1st (already?) and the average highs for the week have been in the 60s which won't last much longer. I planted Brandywine (Heirloom), Champion VFNT and Better Boy tomato plants in the spring. As you may recall from a previous post the Brandywine plants came from eastern WA where it's very hot and dry and took some time to get over their shock concerning our mid 70 degree summers. The Better Boy is supposed to be a great tomato for Seattle weather and initially started producing fruit about 3 weeks earlier than any other but overall they haven't done a whole lot. The ripening of the fruit hasn't gone well and even now I still don't have ONE good tomato from that plant even though it still has a lot of green fruit on it. Some are turning orange now so we'll see. The one plant that's turned in a great performance is the Champion VFNT which came from behind and has kicked out more ripe fruit than all other plants combined (I have 6 total). It continues to grow and ripen fruit even now but I cut them off due to energy wasted on trying to grow fruit that will never have a chance to ripen only keeps the fruit that does from finishing.
Over the winter I'll be experimenting with aeroponics and I've decided that at the rate the Champion makes fruit ONE plant will produce more than I will ever need. All three of my varieties are Indeterminate Tomatoes meaning they continue to vine and make fruit indefinitely as opposed to having one large crop at a time. To me the idea was that I'd rather have a continuous supply of tomatoes than a pile I can't eat fast enough then nothing. I'm still interested in the Brandywine but it's clear that it's not an outside tomato plant for the Pacific Northwest.
So my plans are to create a home brew aerogarden in the garage this winter and grow one Champion and maybe one Brandywine until I get it all figured out. I can always find a use for tomatoes (ketchup, pasta sauce, tomato juice, tomato paste, BBQ sauce etc...) and sometimes it takes a great deal of tomatoes to make the product. If nothing else I can give them away because tomatoes in the middle of winter run about $2.99/lb. I don't think I'll have a problem getting rid of them. Stay tuned as I'll be posting about the aeroponics later. I'll also be growing all my herbs in it as well.