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Oddball tomato

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default Oddball tomato

Post by Chilli-head on 5th June 2013, 11:28 am

While watering my greenhouse tomatoes this morning I noticed something odd. I normally grow a few different varieties, and one of them this year is Harbinger. But one of the plants has always looked a bit odd. I looked over it this morning, at first glance taking in a lot of stems and thinking that there must be side shoots to remove, but no - they are all flower trusses. It has only reaches abour 3' high so far, but has six trusses - I normally only get 4-5 before the plants hit the roof and need pinching out. I await with interest to see how large the fruit get - perhaps it is a cherry type that has found it's way into the wrong packet ? (they are bought seed, and it does not look like any of the others I'm growing either, so not a sowing mistake). Perhaps, with luck, it will be a useful oddity.
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Chilli-head
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default Re: Oddball tomato

Post by Mike on 5th June 2013, 1:59 pm

There are two main sorts of tomato plants, "determinate" and "indeterminate". The difference is whether a fixed number of nodes between flowering points (and a fixed amount the plant will grow) and non fixed (with the plant able to to keep growing and this is the sort you pinch to make branch).

I have limited experience with "determinate" varieties as this is an area where "early blight" (alternaria) is almost always a problem. The determinate varieties are all susceptible but most indeterminate varieties resist as they can regrow leaves. For many sorts of tomato fruits you can get either but it's a problem when you want to make tomato sauces as almost all "paste" varieties are determinate. The solution is to consider "saladette" varieties as many of these are low water/high solids. Although very tiny, "Matts Wild Cherry" (a wild variety collected for use in breeding cherry varities but seed is available) works well for us. Extremely high acid/ high sugar/ high solids (taste as intense as a berry) and since we have been growing for years we have seed that results in larger, somehwhat stronger skins (though not as tough skinned as most cherries). You will never see these fruits in stores as the skins are far too tender. We don't actually make sauce, just remove the tops and freeze whole and then pop a handful or two into any sauce being cooked up.

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