Beefsteak Tomato

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Durgan, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    http://www.durgan.org/2%20August%202006%20Beefsteak%20Tomato/HTML/

    http://xrl.us/pwzc

    Tomatoes are starting to ripen. This is the second beefsteak ripened to date. It even tastes like a tomato. All my tomato plants have larger than usual fruiting bodies.

    Field ripened tomatoes are not like the picked green, perfect forms one finds in the supermarket. These garden ripened tomatoes have a completely different taste. In fact, I cannot eat store bought, hydroponic or otherwise tomatoes. The texture and taste is off, but the appearance is perfect. Modern N.A. marketing at its best..

    Most of my plants suffer from some leaf curl, which I attribute to possible overwatering when first planted. Too fast vegetation growth without a sufficient root structure. Next year I will supplicment some calcium in the soil to try and correct this minor problem, and not water so deeply.
    Durgan.
     
  2. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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  3. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    I hear you!!! Got my first ripe tomatoes this week. What a difference!!!! I'll take all the little imperfections for the superior taste. Funny isn't it, how the imperfect ones would never be acceptable in the grocery store.
     
  4. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Too many people too far removed from the land. I remember the first time I got exposed to homoginized milk. I thought it was disgusting, now I accept it. If one has never had a properly grown tomato how would they know? If a tomato is perfect in form it had to be picked green as a general observation.
    Durgan.
     
  5. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Or the new mandated pasteurization of pressed apple cider.... yuk! I spend the fall season sneaking around the back doors of orchards for the off-the-market good stuff!!
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Fine. As long as you are aware the risks.

    Durgan.
     
  7. |sloth

    |sloth Member

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    Hi... I saw you scoffed at another users bounty by saying their tomatoes looked small.. I thought those looked GREAT! Your plants look over fertilized and stressed.

    What is up with the leaf curl? Do you use chem. ferts? Did you lock up the N with a sugar tea??

    Big tomatoes are nice, but I like any clean happy tomatoe! Size matters not :)

    I just wish my plants would FINISH, sigh..
     
  8. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I was chaffing about the size. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Actually it was an attempt to get some dialogue going in this forum. It appears most viewers are reluctant to comment. You are right even the small tomatoes taste the same as the large ones.


    Leaf curl is probably caused by my watering practices, trying to give the plants too much help. It also may be a calcium deficiency. I will run controls next year to determine the problem. Too fast a growth without sufficient root structure to absorb calcium seems to be the official explanation, or there may not be sufficient calcium in the soil. I detect no problem with the fruit, but I may not have observed any fruit change due to not knowing what to look for.

    I use no chemicals. I rely on the compost for fertilizer, and sometimes add a bit of 777 in the spring when rototilling as insurance.
    Durgan.
     
  9. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    I'd be interested to see what you find out. I planted 3 tomato plants early in the season, and the rest later when I usually plant. The 3 early ones had significant leaf curl at first (but we had a tremendous amount of rain). Then the summer dried up and they seemed to improve. The second batch never curled. I've had calcium def. problems in the past, but ended up with blossom end rot on the fruit. I don't see any evidence of that this year on my (or your) tomatoes.
     
  10. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Only one of my tomatoe plants had some blossom end rot and this is Brandy Wine , which is a heritage tomatoe. The rot is on only on a few of the last fruits, which I removed. I have grown Brandy Wine in the past, and this year is the best, but still not to my liking. I will eliminate it in the future.

    Much vegetation, suckers, are removed from my plants. If I let them go the vegetation would fill the area. During the early growth period it is necessary to remove the excess almost daily, due to such tremendous growth.

    I do associate leaf curl with water. It is difficult to determine exactly how much water tomatoes require. A lot of guess work is required.

    Next year the determinate type will be tried. Almost all my experience, such as it is, has been with indeterminate types. I have seen commercial fields with quality, heavily laden tomatoes plants, which I assume are the determinate type, since they are not supported.

    Durgan.
     
  11. |sloth

    |sloth Member

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    :) Well, I thought you were just being overly proud of you larger tomatos :)

    Anyway, good to here you stay off the chemicals. Do you use biological control for insects then?

    I garden almost completely organic. Seems to work ok, just having to pick off catepillars from early summer veg. brocolli gets old...

    As for the toms, here are some possibilities:

    Leaf roll, or leaf curl, is a physiologic distortion that may develop with periods of cool, rainy weather. It cause the lower leaves to roll upward and become thick and leathery. Leaf roll does not affect plant growth or fruit production and requires no treatment.
    ( http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Pests/Diseases/tomaprob.htm )

    Nonparasitic leaf roll is considered to be caused by an irregular supply of water or severe pruning. It is a temporary disorder in which the edges of the tomato leaves roll upward and inward, even overlapping when conditions are severe. Most leaves on the plant are affected but the condition is temporary, with the plant assuming normal growth habit within a few days following pruning or irrigation.

    Exposure of tomatoes to herbicides, will also cause leaf roll.

    When certain tomato varieties are grown for maximum fruit production they often develop a physiological disorder called leaf roll. Symptoms are most prominent on lower leaves. Leaf margins roll upward until they touch or overlap and leaves are firm and leathery to the touch.

    Factors often associated with this disorder are heavy applications of nitrogenous fertilizers, root pruning (due to close cultivation) and supporting and pruning plants. Leaf roll does not noticeably check plant growth or yield.

    ( http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1156.html )

    So I forgot the link for the middle 3 comments. But it looks like it is an 'ok' disorder that is mostly related to water, but as I was thinking, also could be too much N trying to force huge production..

    On another note, what other techs. do you two use to finish stubborn toms? I do the no water for a week in warm weather and try to 'scare' them to finish as I put it. I understand plants realize the lack of water and try to finish seed production (their one goal in life). This means the fruit needs to be ripe.. Anyway, happy gardening guys/girls!

    |sloth
     
  12. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    I don't do anything. I just wait patiently. :-) They usually start to ripen in August and finish with the frost. (usually sometime in October for us). If a killing frost is forcast, I pick any remaining green tomatoes and let them ripen inside. Last year we had some (grape) tomatoes that lasted in the house all the way till New Year's Eve!!! That was a record for us. Normally, they will start to go soft. I'll cut up my regular (and plum) tomatoes and freeze for winter recipes (like chilli, yum). It's a nice flavor in the middle of the winter. I haven't attempted canning yet, but I just bought some jars so maybe this will be the year!
     
  13. Teri

    Teri Member

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    Much vegetation, suckers, are removed from my plants. If I let them go the vegetation would fill the area. During the early growth period it is necessary to remove the excess almost daily, due to such tremendous growth.


    I don't know which to pluck off...the farmer who I bought my plants from said to pinch out the little leaf that grows in the vee of the branches - but that seems to be where the blossoms grow from!? I am at a loss! I don't have a ton of room for the plants to grow to any size they want.
     
  14. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Removing suckers from Tomato plants.

    http://iemeim.notlong.com/ 1 April 2008 Pictures explaining the method.

    Suckers are removed from tomato plants to prevent; crowding of the fruit, to increase the size of the fruit. If a sucker is allowed to grow it will produce a stem similiar to the main stem, and the fruit will be extremely crowded and sometimes difficult to pick.

    One or two suckers can be allowed to grow if desired, but they should emanate from the area above the first cluster of fruit.

    The suckers should not be removed until they can be clearly identified as such. Avoid removing suckers from the main header area due to possibly confusing suckers with the header or a fruiting branch.

    Two weeks before the end of the season remove the main header. This will allow the remaining fruit to enlarge and ripen. The plants will often get 4 to 8 feet high, and will need support in most cases.
     

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