Tomato Report: Varieties, Strategy, Harvest, Taste Test, Recipe | Late Bloomer | Episode 14
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Tomato Report: Varieties, Strategy, Harvest, Taste Test, Recipe | Late Bloomer | Episode 14

I’m Kaye and I’m a late bloomer. (whistling logo) You know how much I love tomatoes, but this is the last day in July and probably the last week of good production on my tomato vines. I’m gonna take you through my process this year, discuss my strategy, see how well it worked out, compare my nine varieties on my seventeen vines, we’ll do a taste test, and, we’re going to make Italian spaghetti sauce, so don’t you dare go away, ha, ha. I was determined to do things a a little differently this year, to save time and energy. For the first time, I had a grow light and heat mat for my seedlings. I planted only eight varieties of tomato seeds in 16 cells. The 8th was Gary O’Sena from my saved seeds. Now, I seeded these two trays under the grow light with peppers, and tomatoes on the 19th. And, look what we’ve got here. We’ve got some germination. They all germinated. (soft acoustic guitar) Here are my tomatoes. Sixteen…. down from about forty the last couple of years. I’m gonna move my tomatoes out into the, uh, temporary greenhouse. I got a greenhouse, which made transitioning to the outdoors much easier. But, soon, the tomatoes were too tall. Planting in the garden commenced from April 1st to April 15th. All tomatoes went in the ground. No pots. By May 27th, the six tomatoes on the back 40 were crowding out the potted peppers. (light acoustic guitar) The layer of wood chips required less watering. All tomatoes were on drip irrigation. These four steps got me off to a great start. Mid-June, the garden was filling up and loaded with gorgeous fruit. (birds chirping) First harvests were the volunteer red cherry my ninth variety. (acoustic guitar with a beat) We had June gloom till noon most days from mid-April till mid-July. This set the stage for an encore performance of powdery mildew. My single Black Krim was the first to set large tomatoes and the first to get hit. Blight wouldn’t be left out of the fun! I had sprayed my plants three times by June 25th. On July 2nd, I was at it again. Blossom End Rot is a problem I didn’t think I would have again. Because you’re either watering too much, too often… …and… you leach out the calcium in your plants. So, these are about seven feet off the ground, and, uh, they’re dark… And another thing that’s interesting, is these were all on the same plant but, they’re very different shape. My set-up for eight plants right at the fence, turned out to be a little cramped. Especially, because I had to use bird netting to keep the vines from extending into the sidewalk. I’ve just spent three hours on tomato duty. There’s a combination of issues on the plants, from blight to powdery mildew… Four days after I sprayed, things looked even worse! Still, by July 9th, I had a pretty decent harvest. Miraculously, the sun started shining in the mornings, and the tomatoes seemed to put the brakes on the issues and start delivering tomatoes. (jazzy blues acoustic guitar) (snip, snip, snip) This Berkley Tie-Dye has been sheltered by leaves. (snip) Observe the deep red. Tomatoes don’t have the color or the flavor when most of the leaves are removed. Considering the issues, I was very happy with this first big harvest. I added these Amish Paste to what I already had in the kitchen, and canned a few pints. Early blight was especially devastating to the Amish Paste spreading over to the Blue Berries on the Back 40, and virtually wiping out the four vines on tomato rings by the fence: Amish Paste, Berkley Tie Dye, and especially, the Black Krim. I only tasted a couple of wonderful tomatoes from this plant early on. I pulled the vine that day. One thing about focusing on cherry tomatoes this year, it’s a lot more labor intensive to harvest. So, the whole middle of three plants… collapsed from the weight. Ah, ha! I don’t know how I’m gonna sort that out. And lots of… sweet, cherry tomatoes… have split and fallen. If you bend them backwards, they just pop right off, but it you pull on them, the skins are very thin and they just… they just squish. Uh! Come on, come on, thank you. Oh, come on, come on… Ah! Oh, oh, oh, that hurts, come on… come on, one more… oh, one more, one more, oh! It’s not easy, ha, ha, picking cherry tomatoes. Accessibility is important, which is hard in a small garden. But the hard work paid off. This is my reward. (soft guitar picking) I followed that up with an even bigger haul five days later. There are still a lot of tomatoes on the vines, in spite of all the issues. Many of these will be given away. My focus this year was on smaller tomatoes, my thinking being they take less time to develop and ripen…and… maybe I can get a lot of tomatoes before powdery mildew cleans me out, ha, ha. Out of my nine varieties, I have seven represented here. And this,…is… the Butingghan… wild cherry tomato. It’s only grown in the IIocos Region of Northern Philippines. Now, these seeds were sent to me by my friend, Loren, who’s from the Philippines, who’s from there, but lives in Germany. And they don’t cultivate it, it just grows wild on bushes all over the place. And, she was able to get some seeds when she visited last August, and now they’re growing in my front yard in Los Angeles. How cool is that? Alright, let’s give these a try. This, this is a paste tomato, so, you know, it’s not gonna be probably as juicy and… un,…wonderful as… these two, but let’s, lets give it a try. I haven’t even tried one. Wow! Um! That is juicy and has lots of flavor. Um! That has a sharper flavor, very juicy, very flavorful. Now, the Berkley Tie-Dye which I love. Um! Hm! That has a darker, kind of smokier flavor, if you can call a tomato smoky. Now…. the story with these tomatoes is… it was a volunteer plant, hundreds of tomatoes, but, it got devastated pretty quickly with powdery mildew. And once a vine loses it’s leaves, the tomatoes just don’t have the flavor they do when they have leaves. Okay,… those are too far gone. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Moving right along, this is the blue berries cherry tomato. Um! Um! Um! Mm! mm! That almost tastes like it has the basil in it! Mm! Oh boy! Juicy, explodes with flavor… Um hm! Okay, now for the Sweetie. Which is… these two vines. And I’ll definitely be growing that again. Um! Wow! Um! Sweet, juicy,… this is the kind of tomato you could just have a whole lunch, just… ha, ha. Um! Wow! Okay, now we’ll try the Butingghan. (soft guitar picking) What an interesting flavor! Um! Wow! This is a splendid-looking Berkley Tie-Dye, so, fingers crossed that makes it to maturity. This is the Butingghan, and you can see it just grows like a big, thick bush. I’ll definitely be growing it again, even though it’s very labor intensive to pick those little cherry tomatoes. Another variety that was hard hit by powdery mildew was the Indigo Apple. And most all of the leaves are gone. I have a lot of tomatoes left to ripen. Here are my Amish Paste tomatoes. There are about ten pounds here. (peppy jazz guitar) Most of you can, but for those who do not can, this is what you do to prepare your tomatoes for canning. Now that’s what I call… a big paste tomato. This was my half pounder. (speeded up chopping sounds) (sizzling sound) (high pitched grinding sound) Ummmm! That smells incredible. (quick snipping sound) Haaa….. so, this recipe comes from Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery revised edition by Alan Hooker. Now, I’ve have had this for at least twenty-five years and I had the first edition before that. It’s a paste tomato, but it’s a juicy paste tomato, so I could cook this for another hour and it would be thicker, and it’s way too hot to boil pasta and have it that way, so I’m just going to give it the old taste test. Here we go! Oops! Oh! Little sauce on the face, ha, ha. Oh, that is so good! Wow! Um! Go to for the recipe. Bon Appetit! If you enjoyed this episode, please give me a thumbs up, and share with a friend. I’m Kaye, I’m a late Bloomer, thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time! (whistle logo) (bloopers) Let me just see what I need to say here. If you en…, if you, mm, mn, If you en, if you en,… okay… that wasn’t horrible… Um, hm. Haaaaaa… You know how much I love growing tomatoes (loud bird call) You know how much I (loud bird call) love gr… Can I get a word in? Ha, ha. (whistle logo) (high-pitched bird quack) (soft guitar picking with bees buzzing)


  • Jane Kelly

    It was great to see the tomatoes growing through the season Kaye, and actually quite reassuring to see the harvest you ended up with in spite of the blight (my outdoor tomatoes were completely wiped out). And as for the bloopers at the end – I can completely relate! Take care x

  • RealmanPwns

    That was a GREAT video! I had 8 varieties and 16 tomato plants total as well. I also managed to can 6 jars of Banana Peppers and have lots of tomatoes in the freezer for sauce. Shared on facebook and twitter!

  • Desmond Jordan

    Hi Kaye, I am going through some medical issues and stroll trying to keep up with business and family commitments so I am trying to find the energy and enthusiasm for make sauces from this years crop. I needed this type of inspiration. Do you ever freeze you tomatoes and/or ripen off green ones at end of season? I have found a banana with the green tomatoes in a paper bag works really well and really fast for the latter. My favourite large tomato is Cherokee Purple. Have you tried it? It is meaty and delicious. Also something called Juliet Roma Hybrid is an an easy and realizable small Roma. All the best Desmond

  • Eli Kelly

    Nice tomatoes Kaye! Looks like you did well despite the difficulties! Mother Nature is always a challenge no matter where you live! Cheers!

  • She Wolf

    Girl you are making me hungry with all those home grown tomatoes. I so miss my garden this year. So busy taking care of my daughter and grandson that my garden fell by the wayside. There is always next year.

  • Kim Myers

    LOVE your stove! and tomatoes! and show! I am in southeast iowa and struggle with the same tomato issues. I started tomatoes from seed for the first time this year and had pretty good luck. I tried a new to me heirloom sweet corn "Silver King" also. It was wonderful. If you are ever traveling in Missouri ๐Ÿ™‚ you should stop by Baker seeds for their spring festival. They have guest speakers covering a variety of subjects, booths, local artisans, heritage breed animals, and the seed store is open also. It was fantastic when I visited a few years ago. Andy and Barney (impersonators) were there too.

  • Epic Yard Farm

    LOVE IT! Thank you so much for the amazing report! Sweetie cherry tomatoes are like candy, one of my favorites! Amish paste looks so great!

  • Trenna Ingalls

    Despite the tomato troubles you had a nice harvest. This year I tried Copper fungicide on my tomato plants and I didn't have any disease. I sprayed them once a month and had great results. Keep up the good work and happy gardening !!!

  • yoomd1

    Hey Kaye. Been a while and I have questions. I was inspired by you to raise a Tomato hornworm. But a week ago he stopped eating. He's all brown and looks like he's gonna die. What do I do? Also I don't like being this person but I have a garden channel called experimental gardens and I was hoping you would sub and motivate me to start my first vid thx

  • Claudette Faglie

    Wish I could give this 20 thumbs up. Love this video. Now that you mentioned it, I think you're right… without leaves the tomatoes don't taste the same.

  • Charm City Balcony Garden

    So which one was your favorite? I think I want to try the sweetie, I love my tomatoes sweet. Also, what was that purple leaf you added at the end for the sauce. I was thinking basil but wasn't sure.. Your harvest looks wonderful kaye!

  • Gardeninggirl1107

    What a bountiful tomato harvest! Love the pasta sauce & your video is wonderful! Blight hit my tomatoes, mildew took the squash, my sweet potatoes & pumpkins are hanging on ๐Ÿ™‚

  • OldAlabamaGardener

    Welcome home! This video is one of your best! Even with the problems that tomatoes have, you did an excellent job in growing them. Thanks!


    Welcome back. Lovely video, this year I grew (already have a mild frost) 3 verities but from next year I am going to grow new verities that are not available here in Calgary. Already got some seeds and over the winter a few more tomato and veggie seeds are coming in.

  • filipesoares92

    Beautiful harvest, your videos always make me happy. I also had problems with powdery mildew but ended up having a lot of tomatoes.

  • MsMaliaBlossom

    I love these "stories" you do about a particular crop that takes us thru the season-from seed to table. Such a treat for us viewers and such commitment from you to tell these stories.

  • Loren's Garden

    Super๐Ÿ’“ Awesome ๐Ÿ‘ Thank U very much for growing our neglected wild cherry tomato. The technic of harvesting this tomato is , wait 'till all fruits from a cluster are all ripe ๐Ÿ… then cut the whole cluster. Thank you very much again miss Kaye for this video ,
    I feel so honored๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’šโค

    CHICKEN TIGHTS WITH BUTINGGAN (Bootinggun)SAUCE:( any var.can do)
    4 pcs. Chicken tights (opt.)
    500g Butiggan (Bootinggun) tomato(it depends on u how much you like)
    3 cloves garlic mince or crushed
    1 big onion sliced or diced
    Salt or fish sauce
    Pinch of black pepper

    Marinate the chicken only with salt for 20-30 min.
    Then fry them until golden brown.
    Remove the the fried chicken from oil.
    Saute garlic 'till a little bit brownish in color
    Then put the onion @nd pepper.
    If the onion starts to smell good, then you can put the butinggan tomatoes.
    Cook for 5 min.
    Then put tbe sauteed ingredients in a blender.
    Put the pureed ingredients back into the pan together with the fried chicken tights.
    Then put the salt or fish sauce for the taste and simmer for 10 mins.

  • charlie zicolillo

    Hi Kaye space your tomatoplants threefeet apart.Iam going from 20 to 15 plants next year.There will be three plants in each bed.Iam making tomatocagesย  out of pvcpipe and rebar.Each section will be 2feettall and 2 feet wide.The cages will be 8 feet tall.Each plant will have 4 feet between them,I will be able to plant something small between then.Trim off 2 feet from the bottom of the tomato.You will get better air circulation and from the spacing to.Kaye never cook sauce with the lid on.It makes acid when you lift it and water drips down.

  • OmgKittys78

    I had the same problems with my tomatoes this year. Mine ended up dying of end rot and blight. I only got a very small harvest. So disappointed. Trying to figure out if something's wrong with my garden bed or my watering cycle. Going to mix in some new soil and compost during the winter. I hope that will fix my problem. Hopping to have better run next year.
    You had so many tomatoes!! Congrats! Who do you give your tomatoes to. I have a overload of cucumbers. Thanks for the great video โค๏ธ

  • Andalbanon

    At the Farm, we grew a whole line of the "Indigo" tomatoes….blueberry, apple, et cetera….customers were split about 50/50 as to liking the flavor.ย  Universally, though, when comparing the indigo tomatoes to different cherry tomatoes, folks preferred the non-indigo cherry tomatoes.ย  We will not grow the blueberry again.

  • martysgarden

    Some very nice information here. I agree with the cramped,,,looks like it needs more oxygen to flow to stop mildew and issues. Great harvest and enjoyable video,,,Thanks
    Marty Ware (Australian Micro Farmer)
    ps: Growing the Tomatoes under the leaves is regularly performed on Biodynamic farms

  • Bryana Batchie

    Cool video, I just made a video of my family and I making homemade tomato sauce, I would be awesome if you can check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  • judeaaron

    what was the name of the Philippine tomato? my wife is a Pilipino and wouldย I would love to grow them for her.ย  love your videos. BTWย !

  • Michele Brodbeck

    My husband rolls his eyes when he hears the whistling introduction to your videos. I re-watch them so many times! I have tried or plan to try many of the varieties of tomato (and peppers) you've grown. I love your garden and would love to see the layout to see how I might maximize my space. I feel like a groupie, but I do love all the love you put into your videos (and your garden)!

  • SubstanceD91

    I love tomatoes and wanted to grow my own but I live in an apartment and it looks like they take up an awful lot of space… Can I do indoor potted tomatoes or would it be a waste of time? I have lots of herbs that are doing fantastic in doors but I think tomatoes may be different.

  • angela sheppard

    How did you like those tomato plant holders? I saw them advertised but thought they may be a bit pricey. Are they worth the money?

  • Kinan Secrets

    and i'm here watching your video with my big smile cause I'm too happy to see your tomatoes ๐Ÿ˜. You are soo inspiring me. Thank you kaye

  • Janice B

    I wish to have success like this with my tomatoes. I haven't had a lot of issue with disease. Some of the things I've tried are companion planting, basil, parsley, garlic. Trimming off any leaves when they first start getting funky or buggy, and making sure to trim off any growth below 12 in. Also, spacing, allow for plenty of air flow.

  • Jacquelynn Stroup

    My mouth is watery watching you testing those delicious tomatoes lol…how do you grow your tomatoes so high? My tomatoes are little plants, which type of tomatoes grow that high? Thanks

  • BB Gun

    Your videos have been a great help and inspiration for my garden this year. This is the first year I am trying starting from seed instead of greenhouse shopping.

  • Sharla Overton

    Growing ( trying to grow black krill this year .. any advice on powdery mildew and blight issues??? Had one regular get it last year… not really sure why…

  • Beshemoth

    I just found your channel yesterday, and I am LOVING it!! Everyone says tomatoes are easy for beginners, but like you I've had so many disappointments! I think this year will be better. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love seeing your struggles and triumphs!

  • Mumbai Balcony Gardener | Avid Life Observer

    Which tomato would you choose for paste or sauce between Amish paste , Roma and San marzano ?

  • Mumbai Balcony Gardener | Avid Life Observer

    I see this video oh so often , your pepper video too โฃ๏ธโฃ๏ธ

  • Arlene Trang

    I'm 80 now and started my flowers and veggies from seed 50 years ago. Used vermiculite in half gallon milk cartons cut lengthwise so they were about 2 inches deep to sprout only. Then I plucked the sprouts easily from the verm. and planted them in any container that held my good garden soil about 4 inches deep that i baked in cooky sheets to kill weed seeds and blended with vermiculite and watered with a dilute solution of Miracle grow. I used the heat provided by our TV, which was always on, (we had 5 kids) and the top surface held 4 or 5 milk carton halves which had saran wrap on top and a magazine for darkness. Checked daily for germination cuz w/o light they'd get leggy real fast. I had 2 grow lights in the basement for the next step. I kept the lights really close to the plants and they plants were never leggy but rather squatty and thick stemmed. Northeast Montana is cold country and nights even in summer rarely get above 60 even tho the days can reach 80s and 90s. Pop and beer cardboard flats lined with plastic made good plant trays and the price was right. Hubby did cobble together a leanto greehouse on southside of the unused garage with the old storm windows when we got new windows on the farmhouse his folks had built. Used a propane heater in it when the nites were frosty. Set the plants out in June that were started in March. All this to encourage you to use what u have and have don't give up on having a garden.

  • Bob Craig

    Hi Kaye, Farmer Bob here. Down in Zone 10, Vero Beach, SoFlo, all our summer tomatoes are a fail: Heatmasters, Phoenix, FL 91s, Cherries, all. Nothing "will set fruit below 70." I am planting again now, Nov. 12. Any recommendations? Can sure use your guidance, it's tough down here. Only thing that grows are habaneros and jalapenos. Even citrus not a real bear; pests and disease. Help!

  • janedoes55

    Kaye I love your videos! I finally fit my kids to try tomatoes! And only one likes it now. I absolutely love them. And easy them just like you do. ๐Ÿ™‚ those phillipine ones where can I find the seeds? I think my son would love it
    :p thanks for your awesone videos. I have learned alot. Nonnie

  • Neil Patrick Ramos

    I'm from the Philippines and I never know we have wild tomatoes. I love watching your videos very informative. Im also planting tomatoes kale and lettuce .

  • Edwin Thompson

    Kaye your tomatoes eventually cropped your issue with Blossom . End .Rot i grow Money Maker /Shirley/ Cuer – de .Bleu.. and Beef. steak… i all so grow a tomato from seed i brought back from Corfu.. Greece…with peppers and Chillies saved the seed like all gardeners do no idea what variety they are ..but taste heavenly…. going back to B.E.R… i cannot grow Roma out of all my tomato plants they are the only ones that are affected mystery because Kaye they grow in the same growing media as all the other tom plants no difference what so ever… some i grow in my greenhouse which is thermostatically controlled and out side in 3ft high raised beds none in actual open land {Ie dirt } can't kneel now Dr Selzter who replaced my knee joint said refrain from kneeling otherwise you will back in my Clinic so no kneelin Kaye is funny really all my gardening club members although are retired film actors actresses and producers/ directors all seem to suffer from some sort of arthritis or other that why we are called " The Crinkly Club Gardeners"okay pretty Kaye all my best wishes to you take care now xx….Ed

  • MNM 24

    Hi Kay! You have a wonderful garden there.. I love watching this kind of videos and I am thinking of doing it as well. Just a question Kay.. What did you use to shoot your video? Hoping to get a response from you. Thanks!

  • Darryl Hoover

    Try crushing up 4-5 "Tums" or "Rolaids" and add them to the bottom of your planting hole when you first plant your tomatoes. The added Calcium/Magnesium helps prevent the blossom end rot.

  • Darryl Hoover

    Also, try grafting your tomatoes, or buy them grafted, onto Maxifort root stock. The Maxifort root stock adds a lot of disease resistance to plants, improves vigor and yield. Johnny's and K-State university have excellent videos on grafting if you're not familiar with the process.

  • HalloHelmut

    Hi Kaye – is there any chance you would like to exchange seeds with me, a 27- year old from Germany. I have quite a few German heirloom tomato seeds that Iwould love to see find their way to sunny LA.

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