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Strange Tomato Affliction

This past Summer I planted "Black from Tula" a variety of black tomato. I planted 5 of them, 1 in a pot and 4 out in the garden next to 2 or 3 rows of different heirloom tomatoes. The first few pickings were good, the taste and size were all as was mentioned by other growers.
Then one started to get sickly and produced very few tomatoes and by the end of Summer they were all afflicted except the one in the pot but it had its own problems.
The plant's themselves were half the size of the other heirlooms which were doing so well that I had to prune them. But this is what the tomatoes started to look like by the end. They didn't get as big as they should have and were very heavy and dense. The outside appearing ripe but the inside was underdeveloped and looked mushy like a watermelon.
I figured maybe they had cross-pollinated with the other heirlooms? Or Tula's just don't do well here in Kentucky but I figured I could eventually adapt them to this climate.
Does anyone know what could have caused this?
The one in the pot never did produce any tomatoes not one, it bloomed but they just fell off. I noticed later that it was covered in a little white dots or bugs, reminded me of dandruff. No idea what that was or what could have caused it.

image

 

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,431

    Hi Odis - I've not grown Black from Tula, but I have grown other heirloom beefsteak varieties and many or even most of them are dense and fleshy inside just as your picture.  The size you show looks fine to me - Tula is described as having smallish 3" - 4" fruits. 

    I don't know whether Tula is usually a large plant or whether there was a problem with the growth.  When you say the plants were sickly - can you tell us more?  Have you any photos of the leaves and stems?

    I wonder if the plant in the pot was too dry - at the roots or even if the atmosphere was too dry and hot for the flowers to set fruit?

    Italophile is a regular contnributor here and is very knowledgeable about tomatoes - hopefully he will be along and can shed more light on this for you.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Odis, it would help, as Dove suggests, if you could expand on "sickly". The photo isn't very clear, unfortunately, but the inner flesh and pulp doesn't look nearly dark enough for a black variety.

    As for plant size, heirloom plants are always capable of variations, even including fruit size. Hybrids will grow identically but heirlooms, with their pure genes, are capable of hiccups. 

    If cross-pollination occurs, the results will only manifest in the next generation. If, say, the cross happened this season, you would have to save this season's seeds and plant them out next season to see the result.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,431

    Hi Italophile image

    As I don't know this tomato I've had a Google and several sites describe it as 'not as dark as  some other 'black' tomatoes, and indeed from the pics on this site

    http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/1540?itemname=BLACK+FROM+TULA  it really doesn't look very black at all.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Hi, Dove. I've seen them a lot darker than that. This is the problem with the so-called "black" varieties. There are a lot of them and there is a lot of mis-naming. In fact, some tom experts think there are a lot fewer different "black" varieties than is claimed, with many of them the same variety with another name.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,431

    Or possibly grown from cross-pollinated seeds? 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Not necessarily. The varieties have all the hallmarks of heirlooms, it's just that so many of them appear to be absolutely identical even if differently named. And many of their histories are impossible to trace, beyond the ubiquitous "seeds originally from the Crimea region".

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,431

    I had planned to visit Russia this year and bring back some tomato seeds - however son and his wife have split so my plans to 'bond' with her tomato and pepper growing Babushka have come to nothing image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    image

  • OdisOdis Posts: 6

    I wish I had taken more pictures something I intend to do more of next season. There were very little leaves on the plants and what was there was withered and dark looking, even after watering.

    The tomato in the picture is too small and the skin is far to thick. The outer edges are the only part that looks to have developed the center was too hard and 'meaty.'

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    It's a mystery, Odis. See what happens next season. And take plenty of photos! 

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