Large Tomatoes Grow in Segments
Here’s a good example of how large tomatoes grow in segments, a bit like oranges. This is Hill Billy Potato Leaf below.
Each segment needs to be pollinated, but when a segment fails to pollinate, the mature fruit grows into a strange shape – perfectly OK to eat, but would never reach the supermarket shelves!
The one in the pic is not fully grown and will look a lot more like a tomato in a few weeks time!
First To Mature
My first cherry tomato to mature this season was Red Alert, the first medium size – salad tomato – to mature was Orkado F1 and the first Large variety to mature was Oregon Spring.
Poor Weather Conditions and Resisting Disease
Although we had very poor weather for growing tomatoes in the UK until recently, the tomato plants that survived are now growing at a good speed. However, many growers, especially those who grow outside, lost their entire crop.
Much is made of blight resistance or tolerance, and the ability of a variety to resist certain fungal diseases. Disease resistance plays an important role in getting tomato plants through periods of wet weather to better spells and dry conditions.
Here are five new disease resistant hybrid varieties bred by Pro-Veg Seeds. One of which you may already recognise, and are well worth looking out for next season.
- Bitonto F1
- Terenzo F1
- Losetto F1
- Lizzano F1
- Siderno F1
However, this season I have delved much deeper into plant nutrition – especially additives, and have found that by keeping plants healthy and their immune systems high, plants have been able to resist many diseases they would have otherwise succumbed to – even the plants that have been growing outside remained disease free, in almost three months of continual rain!
I’m not saying that feeding the right stuff to tomato plants will prevent all diseases, but it certainly helps build resistance!
The Last Resort
Of course there’s always the last resort of using an anti-fungicide like Systhane or Bordeaux Mixture but that’s not an option for those who are growing organically.
I do hope that Serenade will be available soon in the UK. As a bio-fungicide it protects by covering the root zone and leaves with friendly fungi which protects against the fungi that cause disease – clever stuff!
There are some products that are used by those who grow hydroponically (without soil) that are similar to Serenade and are available in the UK – I’ll let you know more about these next week.
Anyway, I do hope that your plants are well (and you too!) and you’ve plenty of tomatoes to look forward to.