Undersized at a little
over six weeks old. A lack of rain this May/April so far has
prevented the rapid growth I was hoping for that we got last
year. Nothing is better for fast growth than plenty of natural
rainwater and sunshine. Note the leaves on the Stupice at right,
this is a potato leaf tomato. The good news is we are expecting
rain the next 3-5 days and that should promote some good growth.
Above: Siberian on left, Stupice on right.
Update: June 1st:
What a difference 3 weeks makes! Strong rains
balanced by lots of Sunshine have propelled growth from what
you see above, to what you see below in just 3 weeks. Both the
Siberian tomato plant on the left and the Stupice tomato on
the right have small tomatoes emerging already. I fertilized
June 1st, approx 1 month after transplanting. I have tried not
to water them too much as the rain has done a lot of that for
me, but soon, I will be forced to water every day, or every
other day. I will be keeping track of the moisture in the soil
with a moisture meter. I will also soon be adding rock mulch
to the top of the soil to keep the temperatures cool in this
hot 6b climate zone in the Tulsa area. All images open larger
in new window.
Siberian tomato plant on the left, Stupice tomato
plant on the right.
Young Siberian tomatoes, and young Stupice tomatoes.
Update: July 2, 2010
Siberian and Stupice tomatoes started coming ripe
around the first of July, both around the same time. No clear
winner. Production seems fairly well with the Siberian producing
more and the Stupice producing slightly bigger fruit. Even so,
the fruit on the Siberian is smaller than expected, only about
1.5 inches in diameter.
The humidity has been horrible this year but there
have been more than adequate rains for this time of summer.
The heat index has been well above 100 for many days. Both plants
are tolerating the heat very well, which is great considering
they are traditionally for colder climates.
The Siberian plant is really short and I imagine
that a micro farm could grow lots of them, if there was a market
for smaller tomatoes.
Watering & Care: Watering
once a day, usually in the evening, when it hasn't rained or
isn't expected to rain that day. Watering at the base of the
plant, until the water starts to fill the container and is running
out the holes in the bottom.
Left, Siberian Tomato plant. Right, Stupice
Tomato plant. Images open larger in new window.
Update: July 18th
The Siberian tomato is producing more fruit. Both
are standing up to a summer with a very high heat index. (temp
plus humidity). Watering once a day unless it rains.
Taste Test: According to my wife,
who enjoys fresh tomatoes about as much as I like making/eating
tomato sauce, the Siberian has a superior flavor over the Stupice.
She describes the Siberian as having a mild, subtle flavor that
is a little bit sweet whereas the Stupice is very strong and
Her parents arrive from Romania next week and
I'll be offering up both tomatoes to them for a taste test as
well. So far this year.
Not much else to report.
Right, Siberian. Left, Stupice. Images
open larger in new window.
Update August 10th, 2010
As many of you already know, this summer was one
of the hottest on record. In this part of Oklahoma, I remember
reading/hearing that it was the 2nd hottest summer on record
in 100 years. To characterize it better, the temperatures stayed
above 100 for more than 2 months with only a handful of days
where it was below 100. Furthermore, the heat index was regularly,
most days, above 105.
It was pure hell on earth and I am glad it's almost
As for tomato gardening, it was almost a pure
waste. The first crop of early tomatoes came in nice and strong,
but there was no second crop. The Siberian's and Stupice were
more productive in the heat than the Bloody Butcher and Gregori's
Altai, but eventually they succumbed to the horribly high temperatures
as well and tomato production was practically non-existent across
Because of this, I have very little to report.
Although it's difficult to compare last year to this year, (last
year was hot too, but nothing like this Summer), it's my opinion
that my overall tomato crop of early season tomatoes was better
last year with the hybrid's Early Girl and Jetsetter, than it
was with the heirloom varities this year. I think hybrid's often
get an undeserved bad wrap since it is generally believed their
seeds cannot be saved. However, hybrids do serve a valuable
purpose in the traits that are selectively bred into them, which
help the gardener have a more productive growing season. Heat
tolerance, fast growth, higher productivity, taste, - hybrids
with these traits bred into them can often mean the difference
between canning 10 quarts, and 40 quarts of tomatoes.
Despite laying a rock mulch on top of the soil
the temperatures have been too much for the Siberian and Stupice
Update: September 1st.
The rest of August we were still plagued with
extremely high temperatures and I am calling the season over
with for the early tomato varities. Next year, I'll be reporting
on some heat tolerant hybrid varities such as the Spitfire,
Sun Leaper, Sunmaster, Solar Set, Solar Fire and Heatwave. I
will also include and report on some other early season tomatoes,
as yet to be decided.