It seems too early to begin planning for what tomato varieties you want to grow next year. Businesses are thinking about it and you should too. Keeping records of what you grow and how successful you are is important to future success. Growing too many tomato varieties will become overwhelming. You will be more successful with fewer varieties. You can give each one more attention.
For the novice or beginner, select five types to start with. Two or three for eating and two for preserving. And maybe one or two to experiment with. If you consider two varieties as experiments you will not have high expectations and will learn much more. We experiment with more varieties every year now. We have a desired outcome. In our top five are ‘Sun Gold‘ from Johnny’s, ‘Big Beef‘ also from Johnny’s , and one more from Johnny’s ‘Pink Beauty‘.
For years we used seed from different sources. Using seed from a reliable source is important because you don’t want to waste your time. To be successful, model success. We use Johnny’s almost exclusively now because of reliability. Quantity discounts are considerable as well. Using seed from prior years give marginal results as we have found and generally discard any unused seed. We have kept seeds from our favorite varieties to grow the following year.
Plant location is important so think about it now. We have grown tomatoes in the same area two years in a row but most would not recommend it. We take other precautions so we do not think we are affected as greatly. Consider sun availability, drainage, wind direction and breaks, and nuisance animals for your location. We had to fence off our main growing area as deer trample anything in their path.
Too many plants are always started on FiveDollarFarm. We end up selling or giving many away. It is better to have too many than not enough in our opinion. We have plenty of room in our greenhouse so we generally don’t worry about how many plants we are starting. As they grow and continue to need more room, transplanting will quickly take up a significant amount of space. We go from seed trays to 4 inch pots after about 2-3 weeks. This gives us a nice hardy plant when it’s time to harden off and plant out.
Until recently I never kept notes on what we were doing in our garden. Now I write extensively about my observations. As my friend Tony says, “A life worth living is a life worth documenting.” Experiment, play, have fun, and be joyous in the harvest that is given to you.
Peace, love, and farming.