Re: Re[2]: [tomato] Difference of opinion

Margaret Lauterbach (
Fri, 09 Oct 1998 07:32:36 -0600

 I guess if you really do think hybrids
>taste better, enjoy them, but I would suggest finding atleast one heirloom
you like (and 
>with the hundreds of varieties that exist it isn't hard) and trying your
hand at seed saving.
>I bet you'll enjoy it!  
>     Kim 
Right on, Kim.  You'll never find heirlooms in a supermarket unless they're
locally grown.  Shipping is out of the question.  One bump and they're
history.  They're easy to can, though.  A brief dip into boiling water and
they practically peel themselves of their thin, tender skins.  Chuck has
seeds of over 300 varieties of heirlooms grown in Maryland.  Select one or
two, order seeds from him and acclimate them to your garden for a few
years.  I'm not going to grow as many varieties this year because I had
them planted so tightly there was scant air circulation.  Whiteflies more
than multiplied, leaving fruit feeling sticky.  Not a single tomato worm,
however.  Hornets cruised up and down the rows in search of little hornworm
larvae for their egg cells.  One sphinx moth (a would-be parent of a
hornworm) apparently did lay eggs in the tomato patch, exhausting itself so
that it climbed the stairs onto the deck instead of flying, walked most of
the way across the deck, then went antennae up.  

A few years ago Kay Lancaster said some of the sphinx moths were
endangered, and I couldn't see how tomato hornworms' parents could be
included in that species reduction, but since then I've had one hornworm in
my garden two years ago, and none last year or this year.  We do have a
large infestation of hornets, however.  Margaret