Vanisle_BC
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Notes & 2 questions about my tomatoes this year

Here (SW coastal B.C.) it's been a very dry summer after a cool wet spring. Here's how my tomatoes look late August.

Varieties new to me this year:

- Cherokee Purple: Not early; Fairly large fruits, some (the earliest ones?) double & a bit ugly, almost catfaced.
- Feuerwerk: (NOT Firework): mid-season, large fruits. Slight leaf curl but not like P. Borghese (see below.) V. flavourful, tangy.
- Gray's Sweet Cherry: Early, sweet, delicious. Cherry size. But quite a thug. Multiple long sprawling vines, 6ft plus; some double "suckers" from leaf axils. Fruit clusters do not terminate but grow on to make new vines. This sounds similar to the one Applestar has called Matt's Cherry -?? anyway too much work (for me) keeping it in check. (Photos)
- Silvery Fir Tree: A "dwarf" shrub tomato with unusual foliage & good-size fruit. Mid season; First fruits have good flavour, tangy.

Old-friend varieties:

- Ailsa Craig: I broke the leader. Now growing well, from what were side shoots/suckers. Bearing fruit, not yet ripeninjg.
- Camp Joy aka Chadwick's Cherry: A favourite; dependable golf-ball size sweet cherry. Long spreading vines but easier to control than Gray's Cherry.
- Latah: Always the first for eating & good "neutral" flavour.
- Longkeeper: Always last to become inedible (Xmas tomatoes above 49 north!)
- Principe Borghese: Doing well but has serious leaf-curl; noted before but worse this year (V. dry summer.) Lots of water makes no difference.
- Sweetie: I guess I mislabelled the seedling; it's looking more like P. Borghese :(.

Questions:

- What causes leaf curl as seen on P. Borghese (photo)? Neighbouring varieties unaffected.)
- Upper parts of my Gray's Cherry vines are showing "bumpy" stems. (photo.) What is this?

P.S. Can someone please tell me how to insert photos rather than attach them?
Attachments
P. Borghese leaf curl
P. Borghese leaf curl
Bumpy stem
Bumpy stem
Non-terminal fruit trusses
Non-terminal fruit trusses
Double suckers
Double suckers
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Notes & 2 questions about my tomatoes this year

I think you can only do photos as attachments here.

The leaf curl is called physiological leaf roll. The leaves roll upward and lengthwise and get a bit leathery. In hot dry weather, it is a way for the plant to conserve moisture, not lose so much by transpiration from the leaves. It is a normal process.

The bumps on the tomato stem are also a normal process. They are called root initials, adventitious roots, or tomato stem primordial. Tomatoes have the unusual property of being able to form roots from any stem that is buried. So if you would bury your tomato plant deeper, all those root initials would grow out into roots. Because of this, any time you transplant or repot a tomato plant, you should bury it deeper than it was before. It will root from the buried stem, which will give it a bigger root system, which is a good thing.
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Vanisle_BC
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Notes & 2 questions about my tomatoes this year

Thanks, rainbow.

Good to know that the physiological leaf roll is normal in hot weather. But it does look alarming.

I hadn't noticed those root initials before - either due to my lack of observation or they're specially prominent on this plant. When I started growing tomatoes I didn't take pains to bury lots of stem at transplant time. Then I "learned better" and began laying them in a mini-trench with just the growing tip poking up. That went well but recently I realised I had never noticed any advantage in doing that. So this year I just planted them more "normally" and I honestly don't see any difference in vigour etcetera. If there is one it's not significant (to me :) ) At one time I intended keeping detailed records of year-by-year yield but it didn't happen - too much bother. I'm wondering, though, if the deeper bury might reduce the incidence of leaf-curl. That would fit with my observation that in my garden it's worse this year - when I didn't deep bury - than in the past when I did.

From what you say, do I gather that a tomato plant will grow from just a piece of buried stem - like grapes or (shudder) Comfrey?

I've found that the photo attachments can be shifted around after uploading, within the edit window, to place them at various spots within the text.

Thanks again for your information.
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

Ksk
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: Notes & 2 questions about my tomatoes this year

Deeper roots would help the curl a little if there was water reaching those deep roots. Another benefit of deep roots is stability for the plant as it grows. I find the curl increases in dry windy weather as the leaves try to hold water being evaporated from the wind or blazing sun. The plant is reducing the surface area hit by wind and sun by curling leaves. You might notice it is generally a bit less curly, assuming no pathogens, in the cool of the morning or twilight or an hour or 2 after watering. I notice the leaves underneath curl less and those on top that are more exposed curl more.

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