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Latest posts by Italophile

Seven year old tomato plant

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 17:23

Good grief. Seven years. I've heard of three years. Toms are perennials usually grown as annuals mainly because weather or disease kill them off during or at the end of their first season. Given ideal conditions - as George obviously has - they could go on as long as any perennial plant, though cropping will dwindle as the plant exhausts itself.


Posted: 29/05/2012 at 07:21

Some nice varieties on offer there, Bob, but the Pinks are a bit limited. There are some glorious Pink toms kicking around like Marianna's Peace. I think it pushes Brandywine for flavour.

It's the time-frame that's the key, I think. The "blacks" - that can produce some striking green shoulders - weren't widely available 40 years ago. They've became fashionable in the last 10-15 years.

A couple of my fanatical grower friends got back to me. They're in the U.S., the home of heirloom tomato fanatics, so their knowledge of what might have been available in the UK at the time is limited, unortunately.

Bob, I think you're on the right track with something like Marmande - even if it isn't the one - because it was more than likely a European vartiety.

Janie, if you're still around, do you remember where the tomato came from? A shop? Someone's garden?

And just to get a better idea of the green shoulders, do you recall it looking anything like this?

Or this?



bolting onions

Posted: 28/05/2012 at 12:41

Then you're suffering a bit less than half the frustration I am!


Posted: 28/05/2012 at 10:50

Janie, it has just occurred to me that vivid green shoulders often appear on what are termed the "black" varieties - toms that originated in and around the Crimea. Some of them are very dark-skinned, apparently (but not really) black, but some have more red. I'll look into how many were around roughly 40 years ago.



Posted: 28/05/2012 at 10:40

Okay, Janie, that's called red with green shoulders rather than stripes. Tomato terminology gets very technical!

It should rule out Green Tiger, too, or whatever it's really called, though GT isn't anything like medium-sized anyway.

I'll get back to you when I can.


Posted: 28/05/2012 at 09:20

I'd love to know what the question was.

bolting onions

Posted: 28/05/2012 at 09:18

Yes, onions are sensitive to the point of being neurotic. At the vaguest possible hint that they might be in jeopardy, the roots decide they'd better slip into reproduction mode and work on producing flowers, hence seed. I've had wildly fluctuating Spring temps and just about my entire crop of about 250 plants is madly trying to reproduce.


Posted: 28/05/2012 at 08:49

Tigrella has yellow/gold stripes rather than green. Are you sure about the colour of the stripes, Janie? And was it a red with green stripes?

If your memory about the size is right, I doubt it was Green Tiger because GT is closer to a cherry. I also suspect Green Tiger is an invented name for marketing purposes. Seeds aren't available via the usual commercial sources and it's sold "exclusively" through supermarkets. But the anecdotal evidence suggests that saved seeds grow true to type, suggesting it's not a hybrid, which is unusual for supermarket "exclusives". The tomato might well exist under another already established name. Tomato history is littered with the re-naming of established varieties for marketing purposes.

That you're talking about 40 years ago both helps and hinders the cause. It rules out a lot of the more recently developed bi-colours, but more than a few older varieties have also, unfortunately, disappeared.

I'll get onto some tomato fanatic friends of mine and see if they have any thoughts.

Talkback: Planting out tomatoes

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 12:09

Marigolds are reputed to deter all sorts of pests, but their main claim to fame is to repel root knot nematodes in the soil. They're wee wormy things that attack plants' roots. Nasty things.

sweet peppers

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 06:36

Okay, the others should follow. Frustrating things, peppers.

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