[tomato] Re: One wilting tomato plant

Pat & Alex (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 13:37:25 -0700

Hi Marlynn,
I have no experience with cutworm -- will have to look that one up and
see what it looks like and what kind of damage it does. Anything you
could tell me would be most appreciated. Last year I saw my very first
hookworm on my Better Boy plant and researched till I found out his
name, etc.

In the meantime, I didn't quite have the nerve to dig up my yellow pear
and replant it, since the last time I tried doing that the plant died
from shock. I did a compromise follow-up on Chuck's advice (Thanks,
Chuck) this morning by removing more leaves (all of the wilted ones
except for the growing tip). The plant seems to be holding its own for
the moment, but it's too soon to tell.

I actually have fewer tomato plants this year (17) than last, for a
number of reasons, partly because I wanted to add more herbs, cucumbers,
and zucchini to the garden. Next year I think we will enlarge the
garden, but we didn't have time this year.

For cherry tomatoes this year, I'm growing yellow pear (I hope), red
pear, yellow currant, yellow nugget, sun gold, better bush cherry, sweet
100's, and supersweet 100's. There is another which might be ruby pearl
or might be red currant. I'm not really sure as I gathered the seeds
myself from some tomatoes I had. They are tiny and a little on the tart

The yellow pear is actually not my favorite by taste. The sun gold and
golden nugget have more flavor. But my friends and family would be
disappointed if I didn't have some pretty pear-shaped tomatoes on my
table. The yellow tomato is relatively new to our area. After seeing
some yellow tomatoes in Gourmet magazine several years back, I searched
everywhere to get some for my garden.

The red pear also does not compete in flavor with the supersweet. They
(the supersweets) really are the best, so far. Have you tried sweet
millions? I may send for some seeds for next year. 

Only the better bush is new to my garden this year. I was going to have
green grape as well, but my seedlings wilted -- the first time this has
ever happened to me. The green grape is slightly larger than the others
and very mild. Supersweets are what I grow the most of -- four plants
this year.

My supersweets have a tendency to crack if I leave them on the plant too
long, so I try to watch the timing on harvet. I have a terrible problem
with cracking on the sun gold and end up eating most of them right in
the garden. The golden nugget don't seem to have the cracking problem. I
grew them last year for the first time but planted them late so didn't
have much fruit. They're a little larger than the sun gold, more to
yellow than orange, and have a pleasant flavor.

I like to have a variety of cherry tomatoes, though my husband won't eat
the yellow ones (He doesn't find them tomatoey enough -- "real" tomatoes
are red.). Although I do prefer the red, especially the supersweets, the
yellow ones are nice and with the color contrast it makes a very pretty
presentation to just serve them chilled in a bowl as a picnic side dish
or as an appetizer with a dip. We live in bluecrab country, and I find
chilled cherry tomatoes a nice addition to the crab feast along with the
traditional corn on the cob. I also keep a bowl (of the supersweets) in
the fridge for my husband and I to snack on.

It will be a while before I have any tomatoes to eat. There is some
well-formed fruit on the red pear plant, the sweet 100's are beginning
to form fruit. The rest of the cherry tomatoes are still in the flower
stage. Will let you know how the better bush (cherry and beefsteak) turn

Which zone and part of the country are you in? What are you growing/have
you grown besides the supersweets and sun gold?

And a question for Margaret -- Are the OP varieties you mentioned (I
confess, I'm not sure what open pollenation is) large tomatoes or are
some cherries? I do agree with you about the "hybrid" seed issue. I
gather my own seed every year and am often told "that's not supposed to
work", but it's fun to experiment and so far the results have been good!

I'm getting long-winded here! The iced-tea break is over -- better get
back to the garden.

Zone 7, Maryland