featured graphic for the start of tomato season locally during COVID-19

Tomato watch: Astonishing! Two of five seedlings have already set fruit

Our tomato watch this year is astonishing.

Two of five seedlings have already set fruit — Black Zebra and Jelly Bean Yellow.

And that doesn’t count the volunteer seedling in the nextdoor neighbor’s planter that is likely from seeds carried by birds or varmints. Both households are waiting to find out what the fruit look like.

Two other seedlings, San Marzano and Indigo Rose, have already bloomed.

Only Amish Gold languishes without flowers. I lay the blame on its location getting less direct sun.

I did not expect fruit to set until after Memorial Day. I will have to force myself to be patient to see if the fruit mature, languish, or drop off.

According to the World Tomato Society, Black Zebra will produce small slightly flattened globular fruit mid season. That it has already set fruit is out of character!

The same source tells me that Jelly Bean Yellow will give me basketsful of oblong fruit — which I already knew to my delight. But it is also supposed to be a mid-season producer, 72 days to maturity.

Again, the World Tomato Society provides information on San Marzano, including the charming detail that the variety originated in a town near Mount Vesuvius and has been relentlessly bred for use in making tomato paste — if the varmints will leave them alone! Also mid season, so the flowers are early.

The World Tomato Society says that Indigo Rose was developed by Jim Myers at Oregon State University and was “the first tomato in the world that has anthocyanins in its fruit, a naturally occurring and powerful anti-oxidant found in blueberries.” I love the heft of the fruit, and its taste. Yet another mid-season producer that is over-achieving.

The World Tomato Society seems not to have an entry for Amish Gold, so cribbing from its sibling Amish Red gets me similar information on maturity: mid season!

All our vines are indeterminate, so they’ll just keep growing and producing until overnight temperatures consistently drop below 50 °F.

1 Comment

  1. Love your tomatoes! You’ve got the green thumb touch!

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