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applestar
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Gixx, I'm really sorry that this happened. :( I hope you are seeing progress in your efforts to knock them down. :bouncey:
If nothing else, you may discover excellent disease tolerance in some of the varieties/lines of plants you are growing. I hope so.


So my 2nd tomato harvest this winter will be very soon (kindof happy to note that it will very likely be before mid-Jan I said ealier) -- The one little faint blush on the left shoulder two days ago has already spread this much:
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Jumps right out at you in the green foliage :D
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In the mean time, the tomatoes in the cat-free bedroom upstairs has been discovered by what I believe are spider mites despite the daily misting. At first I couldn't believe they were spider mites -- and I'm not calling them red spider mites which is the usual indoor suspect because these don't look like what I recognize as red spider mites. But they have been leaving the classic tiny white spots visible on the top of the leaves. (Donomater f2#3)
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The trouble is when I turn the leaves over, I see no red tiny spots which should be the red spider mites, but infinitesimal microscopic, barely discernible black specks that are much tinier than red spider mites. When I rub at them with my finger, they don't streak red, but do come off as black non-streaking specks.
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Nevertheless, I've started spraying them off with soapy and plain water. Hopefully this will control whatever they are. :evil:

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gixxerific
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Bad news there Apple. I know you know your pest and disease pretty well but could it possibly be flea beetles? Hopefully you can get it under control. Donomater is not having a good run so far, I really need to see what comes of this F2.

As far as me the battle is being won unfortunately I'm not the one winning. :cry: Still losing plants but I think it has slowed or maybe it's just that I'm running out of plants. :lol: -wall-

You have a good point about finding which ones have disease resistance. Though even some in the same ling are left and right on this. I have some doing pretty good while the one or two next to it is on the verge of culling (same variety).

Good news is Balkan Tiger F2 is in full turn now and I saved a green fruit from Aces High F5 that is prbably ripe by now if not it will be real soon. That plant was culled a week or so ago. I will keep plugging along, what really makes me mad is I have to remove ALL the soil I have which is a LOT!!!!!!!!!! and have to buy more as well as trying to sanitse my area for this years starts.

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diatomaceous earth

Apple,

Sorry about the bugs! And being indoors (?) there won't be any natural predators.

Perhaps you could dust the leaves with diatomaceous earth. I would use food grade myself, but any would do, as it washes off before you eat the tomatoes. DE can be dusted on with any garden duster, but you may want to use a new one that's not been otherwise contaminated. Food grade DE would not need to be washed off..... :o

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Thanks! I think they are two spotted spider mites. They look like tiny black specks because their bodies are transparent or light green/color of the leaves and what I'm (barely) seeing are frass and the larger infinitismal dots are the two black looking spots which are their digestive pouches containing dark green juices they've sucked up from my tomato plant :evil:

I've thoroughly sprayed with soapy water twice today but still found active mites tonight :x dusting with DE is a good idea. I'll try tht in the morning. :twisted:

Gixx - ouch! Re: having to get all new seed starting mix :(

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2nd Sophie's Choice fruit looks ready to pick! :D
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...and a Zarnitsa is starting to blush :oops: (:wink:)
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There is another, larger fruit on a Zarnitsa by the window that may also be breaking color, but I have to get past an avocado and another Zarnitsa plant to see better.... :roll:

I've been harvesting these salad greens and it's ready for another cutting:
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...and thinning these radishes will supply great addition to the salad
8)
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gixxerific
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Looking good Apple. All is not lost here I come with updates. :lol:

This is Caught In A Mosh F3. Uhhhh.....Antho is a go go! :-/

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gixxerific
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I managed to get fruit of off Balkan Tiger F2. There are a few more ripening as well. It is a very dark pink I believe. I forgot to check the skin cause I was too busy eating it. The flavor was good considering the plants condition. The one pictured is a blunt heart you might say. This was the first fruit, the rest on the plant are definitely heart like the shape Josh had. It seems solid no stripes.

The plant is fighting its way slowly but surely. If it were in the garden thus better conditions I really think this would have outpaced this disease much better and probably given a good crop.

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gixxerific
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Well here is what I came up with from one plant of Aces High F3. The plant died due to disease. I harvested the green fruit and let them ripen off the vine. I did not get a taste them they were a bit over ripe but they had a good tomato smell.

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applestar
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Look at you with all those ripe tomatoes! Didn't you start later than I did?
...and in spide of the problems too. :mrgreen: 8)

That Caught in a Mosh is a looker. I hope you have that one under the superduper T-5's ...and don't forget the mirror trick to shine the light everywhere (I hope tht works under indoor conditions too)

The larger Aces High s a double, right? The lobed fruit shape reminds me f Costoluto Genovese, but much bigger. x-section slice would look/looks beautiful on a sandwich it would be a shame to cover it with the second slice of bread.

I took another picture of Zarnitsa fruit. I'm obsessing, I know :roll: but the blush had spread since ths morning :>
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We ate the Sophie's Choice today:
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It weighed a fraction over 3 oz so still no more than a saladette size. Not sure if I'll be getting those 4-8 oz fruits.
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It's a very TANGY tomato -- almost lemony with strong acidity, but with great tomato flavor tones. My daughter who gives high praise to dark and pink tomatoes -- Black Krim, Haley's Purple Comet, Pruden's Purple, Black Cherry, Brandywine, and other full flavored tomatoes and snacks on sugary Sun Sugar and Matt's Wild Cherry concluded that out of (1) plain vs. (2) salted vs. (3) good sprinkling of sugar, sugar made it taste like the good tomatoes.

Zarnitsa is continuing to :oops:
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applestar
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Zarnitsa is almost ready 8)
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...and for maybe later this month or next month, this Donomater F2 is very prolific: :shock:
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...and my first attempts to breed tomatoes. We'll know in a few days, but I *may* have botched the pink-yarn marked one. ...well, there are more blooms to practice on :wink:
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I pollinated those Zarnitsa's with Black Krim. 8)
Yesterday, I emasculated/removed anther cones from an immature Sophie's Choice blossom and pollinated it with Donomater F2 today.
Marked with a Pink STRING:
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Zarnitsa fruit needs just a little more time, and the 2nd one looks like it might break color any time now:
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I missed the first blushing of this Black Krim which must have happened yesterday:
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-- it's the fused bloom and it didn't get as big as I was hoping for, but I'll take it :()

:? I hadn't been paying attention to this plant for a few days and seceral leaves were infested by aphids. This one is in a bad spot where any time there is a thaw, ants find their way in along the baseboard/window frame and bring aphids to pasture out. :evil:

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Jardin du Fort
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ants "pasture out" aphids?

applestar said
This one is in a bad spot where any time there is a thaw, ants find their way in along the baseboard/window frame and bring aphids to pasture out.
well, this is the first time I have heard of this colonial practice! I suppose it makes sense, but I had always thought of ants as opportunists, not as wranglers who drive their charges to new pasture. So you're saying that the ants actually move the aphids from their "storage" herd location (wherever that may be) to the green pastures of our garden, in order to have a better food supply? Amazing! :o

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I did that with cukes last year. Had some mini whites that had a bunch of female flowers but no males. So I walked over and plucked a male flower off the boston pickling cukes and proceeded to pollinate the mini white cukes with it. And it worked, but I did not save the seeds. I probably should play around with breeding plants, might be fun to see what you get. Hey do you think it is possible to do like a 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 tomato or pepper plant? But with grafts/cuttings like they do with fruit trees. Wouldn't it be cool to have like 3 varieties of tomatoes that mature in succession. Have an early, mid , and late season all in one. This would probably only be worth it though in areas where they can grow year round outdoors.

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JdF -- it's true. I've actually seen them -- usually a small party of shepherd ants -- on the move with aphids in their mandibles. When I sprayed them with soapy water, they dropped their charges and ran! :twisted:

punk -- I hear you can actually graft seedling tomatoes -- I think with 2-3 pairs of true leaves -- with krazy glue if you have steady hands. For people who are not up to micro-surgery, pencil-thick stems can be grafted using laundry clothespins, or so I hear. They do sell special clear clips for the purpose -- two sizes depending on the diameter of the stems being grafted.

Mostly, they graft to special variety rootstock which are not good eating varieties but confer vigorous root system and some resistance to soil borne diseases. But I think it might be fun to experiment in the way you described.

I think I would have to lay off caffeine for 72 hrs to attempt something like this though. :roll:

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So, much to my chagrin :oops: the variety I've been calling "Black Krim" throughout this thread has turned out to be NOT Black Krim. :oops: :oops: :oops:

I had the first inclination a while back when I noticed that the fruits didn't look like the other varieties.... This one realy looked like they have CLEAR skin:
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...then I FINALLY noticed that these plants seem to have POTATO LEAF foliage:
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BLACK KRIM is REGULAR leaf and has RED fruits (with green shoulders) -- in other words, YELLOW skin.

If you go back and look at the various photos I posted, you'll see distinct differences in the way the fruits have looked, green unripe to blushing, compared to Sophie's Choice, Zarnitsa, and Donomter F2 fruits, all of which have RED/yellow skin fruits.

So, what variety is this? I believe it's SPUDAKEE -- POTATO LEAF strain of Cherokee Purple (hence "spud" in it's name, though it's also because this strain was developed by "Spudleaf" Willie). PURPLE and PINK fruited tomatoes have CLEAR skin.

This made for an useful review in learning to recognize tomato leaf shapes and fruit colors. :wink:

...but now I'll have to go back and edit every single post (and this Post has landed on the 8th page of the thread.... ) :roll:

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Good luck Apple either way you come out a winner though.

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Alright Gardenfreak fresh tomatoes in Jan you have to be doing something right. 8)

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I have a plant outdoors in the ground and it grew pretty good but seems to be dormant now. Has several full size tomatoes, smaller ones, and flowers. Today I noticed one of the bigger side branches cracked. I removed it and planted it into the ground. Do you think it has a chance to be a new plant?

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Tomatoes are very easy to propagate from branches. Just keep it watered. Tomato gardeners call that "cloning".

It's great to see other members growing their winter tomatoes. I'd hoped to see more folks jump in. :D

Here is the first ripe Zarnitsa fruit with the next in line coming along nicely:
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The 2" saladette size red one should really have been picked yesterday but hopefully, it's stil good today.

Here is the fused bloom SPUDAKEE :?: and a single bloom sib:
(...BTW I have been told that these plants' Spudakee-ness is still in question and I should wait until I do a "scrape test" on the epidermis, which I gather is scraping the flesh off the skin and holding it up to the light) 8)
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Scale is deceptive without a reference object -- the "bigger" fruit is actually rather small ... only bout 3" across the long way and dreaming about how big it COULD have grown if it was during the main growing season OR if it had been given a much bigger container to grow in :bouncey: ...ALMOST ready to pick. :D

P.S. during the summer months, I would have put this plant in at least a 10 gallon, but more likely a 15 gallon size container instead of the 1.75-2 gal container it's in. For winter growing, I'm determined find varieties that will perform adequately to satisfactorily in 2 to maybe 3 gal at the most containers. So this has been a good experiment. I WILL save the seeds though, like I do with all my fused bloom fruits. :wink:

P.P.S. the little red checkmark on Zarnitsa's label indicates that I added a fat earthworm from the vermicomposter in this pot. :()

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:lol: Daughter picked and ate Zarnitsa fruit when I wasn't looking. :lol:

...I'll have to wait for the next one to taste. :wink:

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Not that I would do this experiment, but I'm thinking this post should be a sticky.

Eric

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gixxerific
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Not that I would do this experiment, but I'm thinking this post should be a sticky.

Eric
Good idea though this will happen again next winter. So there will be new adventures in a new thread. Hopefully we can get more people to join in.

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gixxerific
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yes Apple the "scrape test" is as you said. You should be able to tell if it is clear or yellow. Which as we know makes the difference betwen pink and red or between purple and black.

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Thanks Gixx.
We ate the mystery tomato yesterday. And let me tell you these fruits were incredibly yummy. I was concerned that in low temp and less light, flavor would be lackluster, but not with this variety (whatever it is :P ).

Tomato-loving daughter ate most of them, but I snagged two small pieces and she shared one piece with DH. She normally salts all her tomatoes, but I gave these to her unsalted and she ate -- more like gobbled :() -- them up without a comment, which sort of suggests Black Krim with it's reputation for "salty/no salt needed" flavor.

The fruits were small as you can see, but if I could have a productive version of this -- well three at once with 4th to follow today or tomorrow isn't bad at all for THIS harvest, but the rest of the fruits on this plant are 3-4 wks away I think -- that would be ideal. I've decided to put "productive" "loaded with fruits" "good cropper" etc. descriptors higher on my winter indoor variety criteria.

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-- one reason we had to eat them yesterday was that the fruits split after I watered the plant as you can see. Now I'm wondering if this might be Cherokee Purple. :roll:

I tried the skin scrape test but may have not done it correctly. Here are a couple of photos. What do you think? Yellow or clear?
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...I had trouble with the scraped skin rolling up, so I tried sticking them to the window :lol:
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We will probably have the 4th mystery tomato (yes I'm counting the twin fruit pictured above as two fruits :wink: -- and there was a 4th fruit behind the cluster that you couldn't see in the picture) and a Zarnitsa (2nd fruit pictured above) today. So I can do another skin scrape test using a refinement to the technique I learned, and can also make a comparison.8) Then there is a fruit that is on a plant marked Zarnitsa but is looking more like Sophie's Choice which should be ready to eat in the next couple of days. :D

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ETA -- just now realized that even though I was pushing aside foliage to take the above picture, I was so intent I completely missed yet another Zarnitsa that looks almost ripe -- maybe two more days. These Zarnitsa fruits are globe shaped, evenly colored, and about 1.75" diam. The above flattened fruit is probably about 2.5" in diam. -- it *could* be a fused bloom fruit though....

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gixxerific
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Hard to tell from the pics but I'm leaning towards clear skin. What do you think?

Window, Nice!

Maybe if you can find one of those examination lights for X-ray's that would be the ticket. :lol:

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I'm still not sure.... :?

...I think it's time to take another look at entire plants :wink:

Winter Wonderland -- all tomato plants except Sophie's Choice are approx. 26" tall and I'm topping them now. SC is about 22".
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3 of the Spudakee/Black Krim plants:
(1) Topped at 4' high:
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(2) and (3) Two plants on either ends of the bench -- upper branches trained on strings strung across :P. There is a Sophie's Choice in the middle.
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...oops cut off the developing fruits at the top -- here's another view:
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Wonderful, applestar! Just out of curiosity, what room in your house is all this stuff in? I just keep thinking, if I were going to try this for this coming winter, where would I put it all?
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Currently ripening fruits 8)
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Very :() but I'm positive we can do better! In a way, I can't wait for next winter! :> :wink:
Last edited by applestar on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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We posted at the exact same minute :) See my post above your latest (gorgeous) pictures.
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Gotcha! :wink:
rainbowgardener wrote:Wonderful, applestar! Just out of curiosity, what room in your house is all this stuff in? I just keep thinking, if I were going to try this for this coming winter, where would I put it all?
What room? What room DOESN'T have "all this stuff" :lol:
...majority are in the Family room -- I tell myself that they clean the air and provide oxygen. :wink: With all the lights, no one bothers to turn on the normal incandescent lighting for the room anymore. Kitchen window is always dedicated to edible plants in the winter. I also have them occupying the best SE facing windows in the upstairs bedrooms.

:mrgreen: :flower: ...well, yeah... nutz:

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LOVE IT!! Your killing me here though. I am about down to just a few plants. After the disease things went south fast. About time to get starters going too so I want to clean the area up first, I can't have a disease follow me outside. :shock:

I see you are using a window as well. I notice that helps a lot even in my case. When I am home and bring them up to the good south windows they perk up and take off a bit. If I could turn my house 180 degrees I would be set. Even a greehouse would be put up.

But as they say "Loaction, Location, Location". I am struggleing with mine, for winter at least. I have some ideas, there is always next years "Winter Dwarf Thread" right? :wink:

Oh yeah you got something coming to your mail box, leaving today.

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{Thank you, Gixx! :-()}

Sorry this is going to take up a lot of space, but I wanted to review the matter in question, so I'm quoting a couple of my own posts:
applestar wrote:So, much to my chagrin :oops: the variety I've been calling "Black Krim" throughout this thread has turned out to be NOT Black Krim. :oops: :oops: :oops:

I had the first inclination a while back when I noticed that the fruits didn't look like the other varieties.... This one realy looked like they have CLEAR skin:
Image

Image

...then I FINALLY noticed that these plants seem to have POTATO LEAF foliage:
Image

Image

BLACK KRIM is REGULAR leaf and has RED fruits (with green shoulders) -- in other words, YELLOW skin.

If you go back and look at the various photos I posted, you'll see distinct differences in the way the fruits have looked, green unripe to blushing, compared to Sophie's Choice, Zarnitsa, and Donomter F2 fruits, all of which have RED/yellow skin fruits.

So, what variety is this? I believe it's SPUDAKEE -- POTATO LEAF strain of Cherokee Purple (hence "spud" in it's name, though it's also because this strain was developed by "Spudleaf" Willie). PURPLE and PINK fruited tomatoes have CLEAR skin.

This made for an useful review in learning to recognize tomato leaf shapes and fruit colors. :wink:

...but now I'll have to go back and edit every single post (and this Post has landed on the 8th page of the thread.... ) :roll:
applestar wrote:(...BTW I have been told that these plants' Spudakee-ness is still in question and I should wait until I do a "scrape test" on the epidermis, which I gather is scraping the flesh off the skin and holding it up to the light)
applestar wrote:I tried the skin scrape test but may have not done it correctly. Here are a couple of photos. What do you think? Yellow or clear?
Image
...I had trouble with the scraped skin rolling up, so I tried sticking them to the window :lol:
Image
Yesterday, I took my mom to Whole Foods where they had Kumato tomatoes from Mexico in 1 lb packages for $3.99. Even though I'm not given to buying tomatoes or conventionally grown produce from south of the border, recently having been reminded of Kumato as a tasty hybrid tomato and being so easily influenced, I bought them. :roll: Mine had 5 and mom's had 6 fruits in the package.

So, with a known BLACK/yellow epi tomato at hand, I did a comparison.... (drum roll please....)
.
.
.
TAH DAH!
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Not sure if it's showing up as distinctly as to the naked eye, but the skins in the center have distinct pink color to them. You can sort of see it better with the sun shining through in this picture:
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...AAAAND I am growing SPUDAKEE! :()

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applestar/gixx ... Either of you want to weigh in on this thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... ht=#286078

Your experiences would be directly relevant to OPs question about indoor tomatoes.
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I'm waiting for the OP to read this thread and comment, :wink:

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I wanted to quickly mention this -- then I'm going to go have lunch. :D

I said back on the first page of this thread (I think):
applestar wrote:Not so much "indoor" tomato but container size is also a directly affecting factor. When we're starting them in spring, we can keep them in small containers because we know we're going to plant them out in the ground later and then they'll jump exponentially in size and vigor. It's easy to think you can keep them in smaller containers in the same way as long as they are not really pot bound (and we're familiar with how big the plant would be to get to that state) but if you uppot ahead of the roots reaching the sides of the container into much bigger containers, they respond by growing much stronger.
I've been assured by an experienced tomato grower that typically, cherry and saladette size varieties will produce intended size fruits even in restricted containers, but larger fruits varieties will immediately demonstrate their displeasure by shrinking their fruit size. :lol:

This summer, I'm going to try growing a number of dwarf varieties that have been bred to grow small plant height but produce larger fruits same as their genetic parents in containers, though I think the breeders were aiming for 5 gal minimum container size. I'm also going to try growing extra early to early maturing, PRODUCTIVE varieties of all fruit sizes (and colors 8))

I've decided to plant them in a shadier bed that I was puzzling over what to plant in -- which normally wouldn't be considered for tomatoes -- to see if they will fruit. And I'll start the better producers out of the bunch in late summer for next winter's indoor garden. 8)

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Lighting does make a big difference.
This is what the Winter Wonderland looks like with sun pouring in from the window when the light is not on:
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During the winter, the sun rises a little south of true East directly into this ESE window and, because the sun's arc remains low in the sky, shoots slanting sunbeams, past the bare branches of trees beyond our property, across the full length/width of the plant table made of IKEA desk/table top supported by an organizer unit on one end and a sturdy quilt rack on the other end.

During the summer, the sun is too high by the time it crosses this window and the sunlight doesn't reach much past the windowsill and what might have are blocked by the tree leaves -- most of the table remain in the shadows and it is used for other purposes.

My kitchen window is oriented in the same direction.

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applestar
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Wow this thread was almost halfway down the page! I guess I haven't updated in a while. :o

Here is first DonomaterF2 to start blushing (I noticed it yesterday)
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(yeah this one is in my daughter's room and when it strted leaning, I grabbed one of her old belts to strap it to the Mango tree so it doesn't fall over into the supplemental light. :lol:)

sepeters
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Wow! That's amazing! Everyone will be buried in snow and you'll be enjoying fresh, homegrown tomatoes! 8) How awesome do you feel right now?

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applestar
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Here are today's update photos of some of the downstairs tomato trusses :D
Spudakee
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(yeah this one's stem fell over and kinked fom the weight -- I provided support with a spiral slit drinking straw, ...so of course it bent where it wasn't supported :roll:)
Zarnitsa
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DonomaterF2
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Another Spudakee (this one's next 8))
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Another Zarnitsa (and this one)
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Sophie's Choice
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Upstairs, besides the blushing DonomaterF2 pictured in the previous post, another productive DonomaterF2 in a 2-1/2 gal container has 10 green fruits and another handful of blossoms that have set fruit.

-- So how am I feeling? Well, "awesome" isn't exactly -- but I'm definitely enjoying this. :()

This morning, I had a tuna salad made with alfalfa sprouts I grew in a jar and dried oregano from last summer's harvest, and added diced red ripe Sophie's Choice tomato (that flattened tomato above was definitely not Zarnitsa but Sophie's Choice -- I must have mislabeled it). It was a 2" Saladette size and grew in a 1Lb cardboard oatmeal box (the kind Quaker Oats comes in, though mine was Country Choice organic multi grain and 1Lb2oz). Sophie's Choice has full bodied tomato flavor but is tangy and tasted great this way: I didn't have to add lemon juice.

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