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sheeshshe
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bland, flavorless tomatoes

I just ate my first beefsteak. I was all excited and stuff and then I bit into it. no flavor! it was bland and just completely flavorless. what a bummer, I was So looking forward to that! My chocolate cherry tomatoes have flavor. the yellow tomatoes don't have flavor either, and now whatever I picked and ate just now doesn't have flavor either. :x I "thought" it was a german johnson because of the color and I know those are tasty. (my 3 year old pulled the labels off my seedlings that I put on them, so everything got mixed up :roll: "

LindsayArthurRTR
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When I pick tomatoes on 100 Degree days, I've noticed they don't have much flavor...They taste like tomatoes cooked with no salt. Bland! If I take em in the house and let them cool down to room temp then try the same variety, they taste like they should! I get the same results from eating chilled tomatoes. Bleh :P

My pallate is temperature sensitive! lol

Are you pickin em and eatin em while they're hot from the sun?
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sheeshshe
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nope. this one was sitting in the house for 2 days. I wanted to make sure it was 100% ripe before eating it. (wasn't sure about its color 100%)

LindsayArthurRTR
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What kind of tomato was it?
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GardenJester
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beefsteak toms are the same stuff they sell in the supermarkets. It's breed to last longer and hold up better in transport, not for flavor. Personally, I don't see the point of growing varieties that can be bought at the grocers, kind of defeats the purpose of homegrown. Thou the exception to the rule are cherry tomatoes.

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rainbowgardener
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What makes bland tomatoes: Variety of tomato has a lot to do with it. Read some of the threads here about peoples favorite varieties for flavorfulness. I was disappointed in my first Early Girl this season and EG's do have a reputation for being pretty bland. But I have also noticed that the ones I have been getting lately, while not fabulous, are better than the first one was, so maybe it takes the plant awhile sometimes to get geared up for flavor production. Also overwatering can contribute to bland watery tomatoes. You need to keep the plants evenly moist, but not too much.
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sheeshshe
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that makes sense.

well, I said beefsteak because of the size... I think the one I ate was a german johnson, which I've had before and they taste good.

I do wonder if it was because it was the first one? I water all my plants the same amount, I have them on a drip system and the cherry tomatoes are bursting with flavor so I don't think its that...

LindsayArthurRTR
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The firsts off of my plants are generally meally and blah! If you don't like what youbuy in the store why are you growing that variety? I grew heirlooms for the first time this year and WOW did I get flavor! Some tasted like ketchup! Lol Some tasted like fruit! But most all of their first fruits were blah ;)
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sheeshshe
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I made a mistake, I thought a large tomato was called a beesteak. it is NOT a beefsteak it is an heirloom variety!!


it was mealy and bland. so here is hoping that they get better!

MikeP09
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I have noticed also that my yellow pear toms were pretty bland and also was my porter cherry. The best cherry variety was my yellow cherry (which ripens orange), wow!!!! So sweet and delicious!

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My first fruits of the year, especially if they are earlier than expected are usually disappointing so I often sacrifice them for seed saving. I try to plant a couple of early varieties a month before the rest of them so that they will be in full tasty production when the later beefsteaks put out those first fruit. Most of my big stuff is supposed to be coming on in a week or so, but alot of first fruits are ripening now and they are almost not worth eating...par for the course.

petalfuzz
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Yes, unfortunately I have had the same problem. My first fruits, especially the black ones are bland.

But because of the way I use my tomatoes, I don't just accept it. I will move on to tastier varieties. I absolutely must have good tasting ones from the beginning!

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applestar
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I have what may be a silly question about that...: If a tomato doesn't taste good, should you save the seeds? Along the same lines, if the fruit had BER or excessively green shoulders, cat faced, cracked, succumbed to anthracnose, septoria, blight, rotted rather than ripened on the counter, etc. Would the seeds from that particular fruit have more tendency to carry on the undesirable trait? (and I don't mean disease organisms, but genetic predisposition to be susceptible to the disease)

:?: Should you not save the seeds from the tastiest and the perfectest fruit :?:

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Gary350
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My first tomatoes of the season were a short on flavor but we were having lots and lots of rain. As soon as the rain stopped my tomatoes were loaded with good flavor. My first German Johnson tomatoes were not good at first but now they are real good. After the rain stopped the Beef Steak, Big Beef, Beef Master and Jet Star flavor got much better and they are my best flavor tomatoes. I have to put Beef Master at the bottom of the flavor list they are not as good as the Beef Master I had last year.

TZ -OH6
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All fruit on a plant are genetically the same all year long. Catfacing, BER, splitting, and bland flavor are due to environmental conditions, not genetics, and there should be no genetic variation from plant to plant for an open pollinated variety so any environmental/physiological effects on flavor won't alter the genes. It's not the plant's fault that it rained all of June or that soil potassium was low. Likewise there should be no difference from plant to plant in disease susceptibility...just bad luck from placement if one got hit with Septoria, blight, etc and another didn't.

That being said there is always a chance that some of your plants are from crossed seed so you would want to pick fruit from the ones that are true to type (not the one that has 12 oz beefsteaks when it was supposed to have 6 oz round fruit). If you do have more than one plant of a variety and one of them is totally messsed up with catfacing and the others have only a few deformed fruit then there may be something off with that plant so I would not save seeds from it, but I would not hesitate to save seeds from a catfaced fruit on one of the better plants.

The is some debate on whether or not a perfectly shaped fruit will have less cross pollination from bees because bees have to walk around a megabloom more than a standard bloom, and a standard bloom may be better at self fertilization, but if the fruits were bagged it doesn't matter. Personaly, after watching bees work I think that they're behaviour is pretty well suited to rubbing pollen onto a standard flower's stigma, and a deformed megabloom will make it more difficult.

If given a choice between fruit with BER, catface etc I would go for the perfectly shaped fruit simply because it is easier to work with getting the seeds out. I would avoid fruits with rotted spots because some of the diseases can be carried in the seeds, but proper seed prep will clean them up (described in the potato TPS post) if you have to use those fruit.

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sheeshshe
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great discussion!

well, I'm hoping that they get better as they go along. I HOPE!!


I have a really weird looking tomato that I need to upload the pictures soon.

so, if I want to save some seeds from a plant then I have to bag the blossoms before they open, correct? then I can take the bag off after the tomatoes start forming?

TZ -OH6
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You can save seeds even if you don't bag, just expect that a small percentage of the seeds may be crossed. I save seeds from both bagged and unbagged fruit from each plant because bagging is often unseccesful after the heat of summer arrives.

Yes, you have to bag before the flowers open for 100% safety because bees will get to the flower by mid morning the day of opening.

vermontkingdom
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I recently heard a senior horticulturalist from the national gardening assocication (NGA) talk about the importance of soil NaCl for tomato flavor. It's from extensive experimentation done at Rutgers and in Israel. Anyone have personal experience with this science?
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TZ -OH6
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I made a post with some links a while back

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=140319&highlight=salt#140319

Its not a traditionally well known thing, and commercial farmers certainly have not been concerned enough about tomato flavor in the past enough to salt their fields, so the horticulturist may have been pushing new information on the audience.

I used shells from salted peanuts as mulch this year on some plants and had unexpectedly flavorful tomatoes when I didn't expect it from first fruits, but they were cross growouts so I don't know what the flavor would have been without.

High soil sodium may be one reason California farmers get good flavor from Early Girl when they are dryland farmed, but for those of us in areas with moderate to high rainfall sodium leaches out of the soil quickly so we would definitely need to apply it at the right time.


It may also be a theoretical problem for organic gardeners.

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sheeshshe
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salt? really? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

tedln
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I prefer acidic, tart tangy tasting tomatoes. The same seed, in the same soil, sometimes results in bland tasting tomatoes and sometimes perfect tasting tomatoes.

The only thing common in taste for me has been fall grown tomatoes taste better than spring grown tomatoes. The tomatoes are usually smaller, but the flavor is more intense. The cooler the weather gets as winter approaches, the better the tomatoes taste.

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