VARIEGATED TOMATO FOLIAGE OBSERVATIONS —
In my experience, there is a tendency in the gardener to want to give the variegated plant the VIP spot in the garden — best sun (less green = must need more light), better spacing for more airflow, best view from the house and paths — but I think there is a definite tendency in Faelan’s First Snow (FFS)
to lose the ability to grow new variegated leaves when weather turns scorching hot. My undocumented general impression is that plants that get too hot turns greener faster. I think the ones that get some relief from the hot sun responds by growing more variegated accents.
I’ve wondered if this is because the pale areas with no pigments suffer more from lack of sunlight resistance.
My crosses that have developed more intense variegation than my selections of FFS also lose ability to grow the intensely variegated features, and I feel like the ones that are more closely planted or that get shaded are continuing a better show ... but they can then become more prone to fungal diseases. It’s a delicate balance....
I’m watching closely to see if the segregates that are showing purple/pink in the variegated stems and leaf veins are expressing antho, and are capable of sustaining the sun exposure / heat and continuing to grow variegated new foliage.
I was going to wait to post these until I had a chance to take some more pics of the others, but it doesn’t look like I will be able to get out in the garden tomorrow either, so.... Here are some more progress photos of the variegated tomatoes since the summer heat arrived (mid-high 80’s and 90’s high... tonight will extend the heatwave ... lowest 74°F, back up to 80 by 3am and steadily rising to heat index of 99 from 2-3pm) —
One of the Shimofuri F6 — in HaybaleRow bed which doesn’t get morning sun until about 8 or 9am, and is in the house shadow by 5pm. Sun to this short plant is starting to be blocked by the taller corn in the morning until the sun is higher in the sky as well. Showing reduced variegation but still good striping in the stems but top-most leaves (where the sunlight reaches & get hot) look almost solid green —
This is one of the unID’d volunteers in VGA bed. It’s the shortest, surrounded closely and over-topped by other volunteers that have outpaced it, but I’ve been making a point of culling and pruning Other leaves growing in its direction. This bed is nearly full sun but is shaded by the house at sunrise for maybe 2 hours and is in shade about 2 hours before sunset. (This time of the year, sun exposure from 7:30am to 6:30pm).
Highly variegated, but the newest/top-most leaves are somewhat sparsely variegated in comparison —
- It appears to be terminating in determinate growth.
This one shows the best example. It is planted just on the other side of the fence and was given the room to grow suckers. There are 3 main stems. This is a bad angle but here is a photo with the significant leaves circled and magnified.
- Red circles - full sun-hot
- Yellow circle - part sun-warm
- Blue circles - part shade-cooler
- White circle - lower on plant, representative spring variegation
(tap/click for full-size/detail view)
Here is the same photo without the distorting magnified circles