Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tomato News

I've updated you on my Sungold experimental tomatoes in the past, but I barely talk at all about my potted tomatoes. Today I'll talk about all my 'maters.

A couple of my Miracle of the Market tomatoes look like they may start to turn soon. The big one on the bottom hasn't changed color so much as it has started to change in texture. I have two pails of these tomatoes. They seem to be very prolific. Each spray only sets two or three tomatoes, but they keep sending out more blooms. I have over 10 tomatoes set on each plant with lots of flowers still blooming. It grows very weirdly. When a spray of flowers comes out of the stem, it ends the stem. The sucker down below at the last branch starts up just like it was the original stem. So it doesn't grow tall very quickly like most inderterminants do, but it doesn't stop either like determinants.

So far none of my small black tomatoes (Black Cherry- above, Chocolate Cherry and Black Moor) are ripe. The first two are rather disappointing in fruit set. Not many sprays have set. The plants are big, but they aren't doing much. I'll get some, but not an abundance of tomatoes.

Black Moor is much more prolific. It was described as a small 1" elongated cherry. These are almost 2" long and pear shaped. They are not the bite sized little tomatoes I thought I was trialing. I would have to cut them in two to put them in my salads. Then I found my problem. They are 1" across, not 1" long. That makes more sense. I hope they taste good though since there are a lot of sprays of fruit and lots of tomatoes on this plant. The one drawback has been some blossom end rot. I have had problems watering my potted plants. If I don't do it on time they droop rather sadly. So I can't say the BER is really their fault. I'm just as much to blame. However the other plants are getting the same treatment and I've only had one tomato with BER on my other plants (Miracle of the Market). I picked off about six tomatoes that had started rotting. I think I'll still get more before it is all over. Even with that, I think these will be much more prolific than the other small blacks.

Early Ssubakus Aliana is the last of my potted tomatoes. She was described as being a yellow egg shaped tomato. She is a bit rounder and shorter than I expected. But she is putting on a lot of fruit in huge clusters.

I so can't wait to taste them all. Tomatoes are one of my biggest joys in the summer. Now on to my Sungold F2s.

It is official. The Sungolds really are hybrids. I have two plants (Gabrielle and Debra) that have reddish tomatoes. The other four are all the typical Sungold color. So one of its parents had red tomatoes. The size and shape of the tomatoes don't vary much from plant to plant, so both of its parents were probably cherries. I only have six plants so it really isn't a good statistical sample. If my math is correct I have about an 18% chance that any particular recessive trait doesn't show up in my plants. The best part about a Sungold and even an F2 Sungold is that they are prolific. The photo above really doesn't do the plants justice. You can't really see the haze of flowers and fruit in that photo. The fruit especially blends in. It does give you an idea of their prolific nature though. The fruit is everywhere. I hope it ripens fast or it is going to take down their cages. And yes there are cages somewhere inside all that foliage. They have been overrun.


  1. I love the lush tomatoes. When they're happy, they're really happy!

  2. Tomatoes are my favorite crop too. You are going to have lots of luscious tomatoes.

  3. Oh, Daphne! Those tomato photos are beyond beautiful -- and enticing. You are going to have a grand crop.

    Hang on for the storm headed our way. I'm hoping our poor gardens can weather yet another assault of wind and rain. I'll be thinking of you and your tomatoes...

  4. You'll need to start a salsa business with all of those tomatoes!

    It's a little discouraging that Blossom End rot is showing up so early. You are not the first gardener I've heard say that. But given probability and statistics, I think you'll still have an enormous yield.

  5. Wow, Daphne I can't believe how many blossoms you have on your Sungold plants!!!

    Your photography is just gorgeous! What kind of camera do you use? I'm thinking about upgrading. I love my Canon Elf, but it's getting old... and one of my sons would just love to have it.

    May you have a sunny weekend!

  6. Those tomato photos look very promising, Now we just need summer to come! My black cherry do not have a very large fruit set either and no ripe ones. The sungold that I started shortly after I asked you about them are doing okay, I hope they produce something after being started so late. The blossom set on your sungold's is amazing.

  7. Stefaneener, So far so good.

    Keewee, I do hope so. I want to make salsa. I wonder if I can make it from all my cherries.

    June, It has hit like the dickens hasn't it. More wind and rain. I hope the peas that I tied up stay there.

    Sally, that is what I really want. I want to make salsa (I should be trialing sauce tomatoes). I've been harvesting lots of chilies; my garlic is out; my onions are getting bigger. Now all I need are tomatoes. I still don't know if it will work with cherries, but I have to try. BER always shows up early here. I always have it before the tomatoes start to turn. Then I start giving them eggshell tea and they improve. I found another tomato (Miracle) with BER so I have to get out the eggshells again.

    Toni, I used to just use my Canon Elph. My husband informs me that it is just two years old (I didn't know he had replaced it on me from the old one. I didn't use it all that much then since I didn't have a blog). Now I have another. I use my husbands Nikon D200. I've only used his macro lens. I'm a bit intimidated by changing the lenses (being very careful to not get dust in there). I have only used it on automatic so far (but manual focus). He tells me with five minutes training from him, I can make my photos a lot nicer. I prefer using my little Elph. I can throw it in my pocket and leave it on the paths when I'm not using it. I have to take care of the expensive D200. I did use it for the close ups of the tomatoes. Shots like those just don't come out as well with the little Elph.

    Dan a mild summer would be nice. Sun would be best. I love having rain every now and again but I do want a bit of sun. BTW the Black Cherry has just started to turn now. Yippee. And you can't go wrong with sungolds for yield. They do set so many flowers. I just can't believe it every time I go outside and look at them.

  8. Thanks for running this experiment. How did the Sungold F2s taste, and how much taste variation was there? I'm trying to decide whether to save seeds from my F1 this year.

    1. They varied widely in taste. Some were pretty bland and some pretty good.