Sunday 28 July 2013

Variations on a theme

Can anyone explain to me why the fruits on one single plant can be so very different?

This is a photo of some fruits on a "Russian Black" tomato plant:

So is this. On the same plant, I emphasise.

And what about this for a wierdo?

As you can see, it is not just one fruit that is so deeply ribbed; it is the whole truss.

In the catalogue from which I bought the seeds, the fruits are shown as smooth, like those in the first picture above. Presumably therefore something has gone wrong. Are the wierdly-shaped fruits perhaps a throwback to one of the plant's ancestors? Maybe this is a hybrid variety artificially bred from different types? Or could unusual weather conditions be the cause? This year we had a very cold Spring, but now we have had a long spell of exceptionally hot dry weather.

But variations in weather have evidently not affected the regularity of these "Orkado" tomatoes:

Or these "Sungold" ones:

And these "Zapotec Pleated" ones are supposed to be deeply ribbed:

I'm thinking now about how the "Russian Black" toms will look when they are ripe. Like something from a science fiction film, I expect!

Finally for today, here is a pic of my first ripe tomatoes of the year - two of the little "Maskotka" ones. The plants are heavily laden with fruit now, so hopefully there will be many more of these to harvest in the near future.


  1. Weird - I'd send a photo to the seed supplier and ask them what they think has happened?

  2. Where's That's Life when you need it. Hope you and Jane are ok. Sending love x

  3. Some tomatoes will send out double or even triple blossoms initially (more than one blossom all fused together). Beefsteaks do this a lot. They can really play around with what a tomato looks like.

  4. My tomatoes are doing weird things as well Mark, especially the Black Russian - are they a heritage variety - I don't think they are as stable as modern hybrids.

  5. Not too sure about the tomato but looks like some sort of virus. Wonder if you should pick the affected ones or leave them? Hard to know.

  6. Those Tomatoes are okay to eat, Black Russians and some of the other oder heritage types tend to do that when there has been a cold start to their life. I've grown them for 4 years now and always I get some trusses like that. They are delicious! I trawled through your blog it is great! I am from down under (NZ) and it is so strange to see you harvesting stuff that I am just sowing. This post has made me get my skates on and start sowing my Tomatoes, broad beans etc.
    Sharon from

    1. Thanks for your reassurance about the Russian Black tomatoes, Sharon. Now that I know it is not unusual I won't worry about it.


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