Re: [tomato] Advice on starting my nxt crop of Tomatoes

Doreen Howard (
Sat, 5 Jun 1999 20:59:08 -0500

I'll top you one, Catherine, on the subject of growers and O.P.s.  I had
terrific luck adapting Southern Night to the heat and humidity.  I raved
about the flavor of the determinate, potato-leafed black Russian tomato.  I
raved so much to Dr. Jerry Parsons in San Antonio that he convinced Dr.
Larry Stein to take a massive amount of seed I gave them and trial it in the
Winter Garden as a potential fall tomato for producers.  They planted 1/2
acre of Southern Night.  The short story is that Southern Night produced
perfectly and plentifully.  Jerry admitted the flavor was outstanding, but
he and Larry could not get growers to even taste it, let alone grow it.  The
color put them off, the tomato's irregular shape made it hard to pack in
cartons, they said, and the fact it was an O.P. with no inbred disease
resistance scared them.
Doreen Howard
-----Original Message-----
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Date: Saturday, June 05, 1999 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Advice on starting my nxt crop of Tomatoes

On 3 Jun 99, at 11:11, Doreen Howard wrote:

> Another tomato to try in the Houston soup is Texas Wild.  It's an heirloom
> that produces pea-size fruits by the bushel.

I'll second that one! It's tough cookie.

You mentioned Heatwave and Solar Set. Like you, I think they are
tasteless. A couple of days ago I had the "pleasure" of going
through a field of 6,000 Heatwave plants in the Texas Hill Country. I
talked myself blue in the face trying to convince the grower to trial
some open pollinated varieties. Got nowhere. Still, I can empathize
with the grower: it's the family's livelihood and everyone from the
Extension office to the other growers in the county all say "gotta
grow Heatwave".

But another market grower who has grown hybrids exclusively for a
dozen years has told me that he will trial a half dozen or so o.p.
varieties for his PYO (pick your own) operation next season. I think
he will do well with them, and once people get to TASTE a REAL
tomato word (and saved seed) will spread. Chuck's right when he
says there's no comparison between a hybrid and an open
pollinated variety in the taste department.

Catharine/Atlanta and Fredericksburg, Texas