Friday the Sweet 100 Tomato!
Jim Zamzow is at it again. Ten years ago, Jim attempted to grow the tallest tomato grown in the Pacific Northwest. This year Jim wanted to beat his previous record for height and fruit. Jim likes to name his tomatoes, and this year he's chosen a Sweet 100 tomato named Friday. We'll document Friday's progress every week as Jim shares updates on feeding, pruning, fruiting, and any challenges that arise during the season. So keep an eye on Zamzow's Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even our Youtube for new updates!
Tune in every Friday to see how Sweet Friday is doing!
Reflecting on the Season
This year Jim set out to break his record by growing a twenty-foot tomato. Friday may have only reached twelve feet, which is short of the mark. However, like most endeavors, it's a journey, and you find success bysetting out to accomplish something. Jim is constantly looking for ways to grow organic produce at levels that rival and even outperform the use of chemical fertilizers.
By the end of the season, even though Friday didn’t grow 20 feet, over 3000 tomatoes were produced which sounds successful to us! Despite having high yields, it is good to reflect on all the factors at play along the plant's journey. The height of the plant could have been affected by several things; primarily, we had a cool wet spring, followed by an unusually hot summer so those variables directly impacted development. The weather created a shallower window of ideal growing conditions for the year.
In addition to more extreme conditions, Friday had a lot of unharvested fruit through the season which allowed for perfectly ripened tomatoes but at the cost of height because a lot of the plant's energy went into developing fruit. To change this, we could harvest more readily next year, and we can trim branches to stimulate continued growth.
Now that the season is done, Jim will spend some time composting and reconstituting the soil with organic matter which will help increase the quality of the soil for next season and maybe even plant some green manure. We can’t wait to see what tomato Jim grows next.
12 Feet Tall & 1,865 Tomatoes!
We've been following Friday for almost 5 months! We are getting close to our first fall frost, which means Friday doesn't have much time left. Friday probably isn't going to make it to 20 feet, but 12 feet isn't half bad. You might say better than half? Anyway, growing to 12 plus feet and producing almost 125 pounds of tomatoes completely organically is something to be proud of. Let's see how much more Friday has left before the end of the season.
Friday seems to be slowing down on the vertical growth. But she is still productive. Over 1,350 tomatoes have been harvest. and she isn't slowing down. At about an ounce per fruit thats almost 85 pounds of naturally grown organic tomatoes and counting.
What does Jim have planned for all those tomatoes?
It's time for our Friday update! I wonder what Jim is gonna do with all those tomatoes. Garden salads, salsa, or maybe a fresh Caprese salad? No matter what Jim has planned, I am sure they will taste sweet.
Still Growing 1 Inch a Day!
Friday isn't growing as fast as she was a month ago. But she is still very productive. Jim estimates there are probably over 1,000 tomatoes now! Can you imagine all the salsa!
Friday has made it up to ten feet tall! The average first frost is around October 14th, giving us about 42 more days lef tin the growing season. It might be asking a lot to get another 10 feet in that time. At least there will be plenty of tomatoes to eat!
Well, almost. Friday has made it up to 111 inches. That's nine feet three inches! Friday is so close to being ten feet tall. This summer heat is producing tons of fruit. Jim has reported that he has harvest over 500 tomatoes! The amazing part is, this has been done without any chemcials.
102 Inches and counting!
Friday isn't just growing skyward. By Jim's count she's put over three "Sweet" hundred tomatoes!
Almost Halfway There!
Friday continues to build up steam! With regular feeding through foliar application of compost tea, and a solid base, Friday has great potential.
Friday is 7 Feet Tall!
Jim's latest report is that Friday has hit 84 inches tall! She's been growing about two inches a day. You could almost watch her grow. Jim said she probably needs to get up to three inches a day to hit 20 feet before frost. You can see all the fruit that Friday is packing on. Jim has been applying Compost Tea through a foliar application weekly to encourage her to keep growing.
Up to 70 inches! 8/5/22
Only 57 Inches
Jim sends us the photos with a little bit of info most weeks. This week I got to speak with him in person. It's a joy to speak with Jim when he is passionate about something. He loves growing tomatoes. Jim noted that as he talks to people, they will say, "my tomatoes are taller than that." Jim makes the point the difference is the base. The work he puts into the soil at the beginning will make a huge difference in it's final height. So we'll see how tall do you think Friday will get?
Friday has been working hard, and the harvest has begun! Jim harvested Friday's first fruit this week! Things are looking up.
Ready, Set, GROW!
We might have taken a little break. But Friday, the Sweet 100 tomato has not! Jim reported that all of Friday's branches have been tied to the vertical supports and has now grown to 41 inches. Things are looking up for Friday. When do you think we'll see the first fruit?
How's It Growing?
In the last seven days, Friday has grown ten inches! Jim is beginning to tie the suckers up to the vertical supports. Once Friday has these branches tied to each support, Jim will remove any new suckers. I think we'll see a lot of growth in the coming weeks!
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Weathering the Storm
The heavy storms during the weekend didn't seem to bother Friday. She came through unscathed and looks pretty happy.
Friday has been in the ground for 28 days now! It's been 21 days since our last height update. Despite a heavy storm, Friday has enjoyed some warm days, and she is starting to grow. How tall do you think Friday is now?
Here We Grow!
Despite the up and down temperature, Friday is still growing. Last week Friday measured 21 inches. In just the last week, Friday has added another 6 inches! That brings her total height to 27 inches.
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It's Warming Up
The temperatures are beginning to stabilize, and Friday is feeling pretty good about it! Jim has left Friday tucked in with some frost protection, just in case. The official height is 12 inches!
Twenty-foot tomatoes will need a lot of food. This week Jim is preparing the soil around Friday for future roots. As Friday get's taller, roots will grow out from the plant in search of more food. Jim worked compost and four pounds of Tomato Boom into the soil surrounding Friday. Over the next few weeks, this compost and Tomato Boom will break down and wait for Friday's roots. Jim opened up the top of the frost protection this week, but the rest will remain for just a bit longer.
This week we get a special video update from Jim! We are finally getting some stable weather, so Jim decided to remove Friday's frost protection. Jim spent some time cleaning up any weeds and showing us some plans for Friday. Do I see some flowers? Jim wants to know. When do you think Friday will share her first ripe tomato?
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To grow a tall tomato, you need to think ahead. The overall height is only one factor to consider. Tall tomatoes are also heavy tomatoes. The mass of the plant's stems, leaves, and fruit can reach well over 100 pounds! Jim's rebar-enforced tomato cage stands 20 feet, and the heavy metal should support the tremendous weight. As "Friday" gets taller, added support may be needed to keep the cage from swaying from side to side.
Friday, the Sweet 100 tomato, was planted Friday, May 13th. Jim used 1 cup of Dr. JimZ Tomato Boom, then watered Friday in with 1 TBS of Chicken Soup for the Soil in a gallon of water. Friday was started from seed 6 weeks ago in Jim's greenhouse. Looks like Friday is off to a good start!
Friday got some added frost protection this weekend. Even when the temperatures rise above potential frost, Friday will benefit from their blanket. This frost protection will help warm the soil so Friday can get growing a little faster.