Lazy Ox Farm

  (Alton, Missouri)
Tomato variety trial notes, etc.

Veggies for a Hot Summer Garden

We didn't intend to do hot summer garden trials this year, its just one of those things that happened to us. Gardens were failing all around our area, but we ate well and had an abundance to share. So, we thought we should share our successes with other folks who live where summers get blisteringly hot for a couple or three months. I'm not talking about you Florida and Gulf Coast folks. You are a breed apart. I'm talking about lower Midwest, Upper Texas, Oklahoma, Inland California, Upper South, Mid-Atlantic, etc.    

Tomatoes were not a groovy thing this year. Oh, we had some varieties that did okay. But, none of them thrived, that's for sure. So, we are not going to talk about tomatoes. Here is a list of what did extremely well for us:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Okra, Cow (Southern, black eyed) Peas, Eggplant, Yard Long Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Melons, and Watermelons.

There's some pretty good eating in there. The yard long beans are really fun and beautiful, and produce well during heat that sends pole beans packing. We will have seed of one variety that we think is outstanding for next year.

Okra takes getting used to if you did not grow up in the South. We find it is delicious when stir fried with some of those sweet peppers and yard long beans. Cooking it quickly on high heat and a little oil keeps the slime from making an unwanted appearance. It is crisp, hearty, and yummy. No need to deep fry it. I'm getting hungry. More later...





Tomatoes for Hot Summers

You never know ahead of time what type of summer you are going to have. Had we known we would have record breaking heat and drought we would have done a heat tolerant tomato variety trial. But, last year we had unusually cool and wet, so who knew? Our temperatures rose into the 90's and 100's in late June, and did not drop down into the 80's until very late August. Nights were mostly in the 70's. We were hot, and so were are tomatoes.

Of the 60 or so tomato varieties we grew, these were the stand-outs: Juan Flamme, Homestead, Anna Russian, Nyagous, Thai Pink Egg, Sun Gold F1, Super Sweet 100 F1, Juliet F1, White Beauty, Speckled Roman, Rose de Berne, Black Cherry, and Green Grape.

These did okay, and were worth growing: Abraham Lincoln, Legend, Orange Banana, Speckled Roman, Black Zebra, Arkansas Traveler, and Amish Paste. 

And here is the list of "don't bother" if you have hot, hot summers: Ananas Noire (We have not harvested one single fruit!), Reisentraube, Isis Candy, Marmande, Old German, Pineapple, Bush Beefsteak, and Prairie Fire. Some of these grow exceptionally well where summers are moderate, but don't grow 'em in Texas!

More on Tomatoes Varieties

Ahhhhh, tomahhtoes! We love them. We can't get enough of them. They are piled all over our kitchen counters waiting to be processed into seeds and sauce. We have little plates with drying seed covering every horizontal surface that isn't already covered. We live tomatoes this time of year.

The current stand-outs from our tomato trials this year are Japanese Black Trifele, Nyagous,  Anna Russian and Reisentraube. JBF and Anna Russian are the heros of our late summer garden, pumping out plenty of beautiful fruits when most varieties are slowing down. Honestly, it took them a long time to get going, probably because of our record breaking heat and drought. Most of our tomatoes spent the better part of August sulking about the weather.

Japanese Black Trifele is a "black" tomato - really brown/red with green shoulders. It has a unique shape - like a little pouch drawn up with a string. The flavor is sweet, rich, and juicy. The greenish shoulders are very firm, which I believe discourages the fruitworm and the grasshopper - the scourges of our late summer garden! 

We grew Anna Russian in an attempt to identify our "Joe's Pink" variety, which was given to us without a name. It is a pink oxheart, but not even close to Joe's Pink. It is very similar to Cuor di bue, another pink oxheart we offer. They both produce plenty of medium large to large, pink, juicy, and very sweet and flavorful fruits. They are so similar, we will probably only offer one of them as a plant, but both of them as seeds.

We are out of room for today. More later!
















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