Early flowering heirloom

Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
81
Reaction score
32
Location
Almonte Ontario
Hardiness Zone
5A
Country
Canada
So I've been hanging around here for 10 years it seems, always visiting through email links. I didn't realize it but I've made 73 posts on different threads. This however will be my first thread as I've noticed that there are some quite knowledgeable members here unlike some of the exasperating clueless clowns on many of the gardening groups I'm a member of on facebook who believe everything they see posted without actually doing their own research first. For example Epsom salts instantly cure BER and so do eggshells. But I digress.
I've been growing an heirloom indeterminate Greek tomato and saving those seeds for 30 years now. The tomatoes were first given to me by Greek immigrants that belonged to the cleaning staff back in the late 80's who brought them to Canada from Greece. They were instantly the best tomatoes any of us at work had ever eaten so I was quick to make sure I saved the seeds. I've never been able to determine the variety doing online research and all the Damianakos family could tell me was that they were Greek. Any varieties I've found online aren't the same, not potato leaf and not nearly as big or with shoulders. The closest I found was Batala but it is a regular leaf and Pink, not red. These beauties are extremely flavourful and super meaty which makes them excellent for any usage. They average over a pound with the odd one over 2lb. I grow them vertically using 8ft stakes and remove all suckers as was initially instructed by John. The only issue with them is that they have no natural resistance to fungal diseases like early blight. They are a very late ripening tomato that I usually don't get to harvest until mid August, last year being the exception for some reason where I had some ripe ones at the beginning of August. The only thing I did different was trying electroculture to see if it helped with blight which it didn't.
So the odd time I've experimented on the side with other heirloom tomatoes just to see how they compare. Andrew Rahart from Gaia Organic Seeds were similar and pretty good but still lacked the intensity of flavour. So earlier this year I got an email from Gaia saying that they had finally got some German Pink seeds. I did some research and decided to try some as they had excellent reviews. I actually traded the owner some of my Greeks for a pack of his Germans. His site says 70 days to maturity but other sites say 85 days which makes more sense to me for an old heritage heirloom. I had excellent germination and growth, after under 8 weeks they are 18" tall with nice thick stems.
This brings me to my question for any tomato experts here. I never get any tomato clusters starting on my heirlooms unless I wait until well into June before planting and by then they are a least two feet tall. However with just these German plants every single one has produced clusters at under 7 weeks and 15" which I find very strange. Nothing on my Greeks that are just as tall. Even the owner of Gaia can't explain it. For sure I will removing them once the main stem has grown more and I want to see if the plants will reject the flowers but somehow I doubt it. They were potted up to deep 4 1/2" pots on May 13 so it's not like they are root bound. The only ferts they get is half strength fish emulsion and today all 40 plants got an extra boost of half strength Super Thrive.
So it's not like I'm worried here as I will be removing them for sure but I am curious if anyone here might have any ideas why this might have happened. I guess it is possible that it's normal for this variety but I doubt it for a late maturing indeterminate heirloom which is all I've ever grown.
Cheers
IMG_1365.JPG
German Pink leaves.JPG
German pinkflowers.JPG
May29.JPG
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
1,570
Reaction score
685
Location
Tennessee
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Mine start blooming (actual flower seen) at 45-55 days after sowing the seed which is about 6.5-8 weeks so that sounds normal to me. Mine are usually in the ground before that but sometimes I hold my tomato starts for spares long enough they form blooms. I don't pinch off any blooms when transplanting.

I see you're in Canada so you're in a environment than me but I don't see any reason to worry about that.

Looks like your doing an excellent job taking care of them.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
81
Reaction score
32
Location
Almonte Ontario
Hardiness Zone
5A
Country
Canada
Mine start blooming (actual flower seen) at 45-55 days after sowing the seed which is about 6.5-8 weeks so that sounds normal to me. Mine are usually in the ground before that but sometimes I hold my tomato starts for spares long enough they form blooms. I don't pinch off any blooms when transplanting.

I see you're in Canada so you're in a environment than me but I don't see any reason to worry about that.

Looks like your doing an excellent job taking care of them.
Tks, it's not that I'm that worried it just seems so strange compared to any other heirlooms I've grown. Specially when the seed supplier found it strange as well. I still plan on removing them as this plant produces fruit up to 2lb and there's no way I can see the plant being tall enough with a sturdy enough stem to support several pounds of tomatoes so early in the season, plus it will take a lot of the plants energy to producing fruit rather than growing the plant. I may leave one or two on just to see what happens for future reference should I decide to grow them again. I guess the real question might be if Mannish was correct that it is a 70 day maturity which could explain the early flowers but as mentioned some other sites had them at 85 days. The plants aren't even producing suckers yet.
As for taking care of them I've been doing it for a long time now so yea I've got it down pretty good by now, even the little things like having an oscillating fan running for part of the day when under the lights really helps make for thick sturdy stems. Plus I try and get them outside as much as possible on warm sunny days so they are hardened off at an early age and I bring them back in each evening so soil stays warm. We still have single digit night temps but things are looking up over the next week so I'm hoping to do some planting by the weekend. I've found that planting them in cool soil doesn't do any good but if I wait for warmer temps they take off right away and quickly pass others planted earlier.
Cheers
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
27,187
Messages
260,452
Members
13,597
Latest member
Bleeckerclerk

Latest Threads

Top