Living in Harmony with Nature and teaching others to garden the natural (organic) way, with emphasis on practices that lead to NUTRIENT DENSE produce!

Harmony Gardens

Harmony Gardens
Bey Home designed by Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. 2002

Welcome To Our Site

Our intent is simple: to provide useful information on gardening, health and sustainability issues. We will include class and meeting announcements, gardening information, and book reviews. The articles that Calvin writes for Garden Thyme, the Master Gardener Newsletter will be included. We will try to make this site easy to use and relevant.

About Me

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Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States
Harmony Gardens is the home of Calvin and Doris Bey. As the name implies our goal is to live in harmony with the Laws of Nature. We are concerned about the environment, energy efficiency, organic gardening, alternative health, and sustainability issues. We love our Stitt Energy Systems Inc. energy efficient home, which received a First Place NAHB National Award for 2003. Calvin is a retired USDA Forest Service scientist. Each year he teaches classes in Organic Gardening in February and March and again in September. Doris is a retired RN. Calvin and Doris have put their energy efficient house up for sale (by owner). See first post for description, pictures, and house design.

August 7, 2011

Hot Weather Tomatoes

Just a short note and a few pictures of tomatoes growing in my garden in this HOT and DRY summer. Many gardens have failed completely in our area, and I don't pretend that this is a good year, but I have had good luck with a plum (roma-like) variety (Granadero, F1) tomato. Johnny's Select Seeds ( has them. They call them a 75-day tomato, with TMV, V F2, TSW, N, and PM qualities.

I planted them May 7 and began eating them by July 4th.... less than 60 days. Our spring conditions can be described as very wet, and then followed by consistently hot and dry weather -- no significant rain from May 24 until now (Aug 7).

Perhaps the unusual fact is that all my tomato plants are looking good now. They have had regular watering. While all my varieties have yielded some tomatoes, only "Granadero" continues to flower and and set fruit in 100 degree-plus weather. See the photos. We have picked 20 pounds per plant and there is another 30 pound still on each of the plants. With a change to more normal weather, production per plant could easily total 75 pounds.

With the VERY HOT weather I did try a new twist. In mid July, I covered the plants with floating row covers. Mostly, I covered the top and the west side of the plants. It provides some shade and serves as a windbreak to the prevailing hot winds. It appears to have helped. More details on production will follow.


Dawn Fisher said...

I like your idea of providing the shade cover (& photo). Is that just gauze yard-goods, or something special? And how do you anchor it for the wind? Thanks for all your notifications and advice, during this INCREDIBLE HEAT!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your tips on growing hot weather tomatoes. The only one of mine that is doing any good is a red beefsteak that I planted in a pot sitting next to my deck. It gets shade in the morning, noon sun and dappled evening sun.I water it twice a day.The tomatoes split a little,but taste good. I have an heirloom "Cherokee Purple" in a raised bed which gets full sun almost all day& watered well twice a day.It has had blooms but they dried up&it hasn't produced a single tomato. Hopefully now that it has rained and cooled a bit it will do something.????My asparagus & strawberries look good.

TheGreenVelveteen said...

I found your site today. Thank you so much for taking the time to post! I wish I had found it earlier in the season because we had so many trees and shrubs that were drought affected (plus, I am new to gardening and recently acquired 5 acres of neglected land - but I am loving what I accomplished this year!). I saved your watering recommendations... By far, they have been the most comprehensive I have been able to find.

On to tomatoes, since this is the post I am commenting on.... my Mortgage Lifters and Cherokee Purple produced this year, but others like Golden Jubilee and Green Zebra never set fruit. I saved seed from the better plants in hopes that next year they may be prepared for another tough summer. Hopefully, it won't be quite so tough though.

Can't wait to see future posts. Thank you so much again for taking the time. The internet can provide a lot, but a local expert is hard to find... I hope you know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Sincerely - Rochelle

Songbirdtiff said...

Hi Calvin! It's Tiffany from this year's MG course. Your home is beautiful! I'm really hoping to be able to take your class in March, it just depends on if I have someone to watch my kiddo.

Perfectly Green said...

I am also fond of gardening and in my opinion growing tomatoes from seeds can be fun and rewarding. But it is essential to use the right variety depending on where you wish to grow the tomato plants.

Garden 2007

Garden 2007
Heirloom "Country Gentleman" Corn