Tomato taste test 2020

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Cuttings

    Cuttings Super Gardener

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    Apples is apples right, wrong, it depends on what you want from said apples, eating apples, you want sweet, crisp apples, with a little acid (tartness), cooking apples that hold together, have a balanced tartness and sweetness, once cooked, with added ingredients, once the fresh emzymes are broken down in the cooking process, then Cider apples, you want a high acidic content, that helps the fruit ferment, and last as long as possible, so less sulphites need to be added, and the vinegary process is kept at bay.
    Each tomato variety is slightly different, and here we take a leaf out of the cannabis growers book, who do horticulture 101, know your crop, maintain the best quality plant, usually it takes 4 seasons, to produce the best plant, with the best quality seed, keep and maintain that seed quality, in other words, it takes four growing seasons to get the best crop using your own seed, using trial and error to get the best result. And the best result is starting from a good basic conditions, and adjusting from there, its no good changing your feeding regime, if your compost and feed has altered, and the only way you get there is by uniformity, once you have uniformity, you can get real results, then work to establish what feeding, watering, light regime you need. I dont think old seed is the answer, as older seed deteriorates, with each year, but bringing back the quality, through good practice and breeding.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      I've recently picked the last ripe fruit of a cherry tomato plant.

      Even with my poor taste I can say that some fruit on the plant tastes better than others, I dont think its something you can control if the same plant has fruit that tastes differently.
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        The taste does change as the season progresses. The first few take longer to ripen and are usually bland. It's only when the plant gets into it's stride at the height of summer that they are at their best, plenty of sunshine has a lot to do with it. I'm still picking now but the plants are gradually succumbing to the cold and damp, it's taking longer for the fruit to ripen and they are losing their taste.

        In the past I've used Molasses to increase the sugar content of tomatoes, which really does work. I had to stop as vermin were also attracted to the sweet smell and rats are the last thing I want in my greenhouse.

        I use an aspirin spray which improves tomato taste, the BRIX measurement goes up by about 1.0 compared to non-aspirin control plants. Very easy to do (one application of 1/2 tablet in early Aug) also confers a degree of blight resistance to the plants.
         
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        Seed just becomes less viable with age so germination gets more difficult. Gibberellic Acid can be used to encourage a very old seed to germinate. The DNA hasn't deteriorated though and the resulting plant will be identical to one that was germinated when the seed was fresh.

        I agree with breeding playing a major role. For example: a seed packet produced in 2020 and labelled "Gardener's Delight" doesn't mean it is has the same genetics as one produced 10 years previously. "Gardener's Delight" is a heritage plant, no commercial grower bothers with it, only amateurs. The German breeders have lost interest and seed stock is not monitored, not re-selected and not improved. When joe public gets poor result they blame themselves for under/over-watering, not feeding correctly etc.

        It's a different story for commercial growers, seed has to be certified and they wouldn't let plant breeders/producers don't get away with it if sub-standard seed was provided.
         
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        • Cuttings

          Cuttings Super Gardener

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          A packet of seeds for sale in 2020, are not produced in 2020,or 2019 if you read the packet they have a packed date.this is true for all major brands of seed available to the public.
          There are 2 major seed companies that breeders use to sell the seed globally I say 2, but they are now merged, Panamerica seed, and Kieft seed, who bank and distribute the seed. Seed produced in 2019, will be available to professional growers to purchase in 2020 and 2021, its then sold to the main brands, T&m, Suttons etc, who repackage, and distribute it for sale end 2021-2022, its then sold, repackaged and available in Wilko, poundland etc 2023. Some seed is not effected by this process, some like Impatiens, some Petunia, Tomatoes, are effected in germination success and quality, there are other smaller independant seed suppliers, and could only guess where they purchase their seed.You will find professional grade seed, composts, feeds are becoming more available to the general public, we sell lots of pro compost, re-bagged slow release, and soluble feeds to our customers, which gives me an idea, if you wish, in the spring, I will send you a packet of Gardeners delight pro seed, for free, use the best compost available, and experiment with germination rate, quality and uniformity of the plants, and taste, and write the results on the forum.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Very informative thanks @Cuttings. A long time ago I worked in the seed industry, for Hursts then Haslers on both their trials grounds and out in the field, my job was to look after our growers and ensure the stock they grew was true. I was more on the veg and cereal side than flowers. Most of our seed growers were in the Essex area (it being the driest part of the UK) and ranged from 1000 acre estates, producing cereal seed, down to nursery men who had a few rods. So in the 1970s we used to grow most in this country, although some of our tomato and flower seed were imported from North Africa and the states. We would clean and pack the seeds ourselves in the mill for commercial and retail. I've been out the industry for over 40 years so times have certainly changed!

            I would like to try some of your Gardener's Delight pro seed and report back on how it compares to my other varieties and strains. I'll ping you in the spring nearer sowing time.
             
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            • Cuttings

              Cuttings Super Gardener

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              Pm address nearer time, and I will pop in the post, the pack will contain 250 seed, so experiment and share them with whoever. Yes the seed industry has changed, most seed that has a higher risk to fungal infection like Lupins, come pre coated with a fungicide, seed like Marigolds come pre struck for very quick germination, and also individual seed coated in a soluble wax to stop multi planting with an auto seeding machine, and very small seed like Lobelia come pelleted, with 4-6 seed in a single wax covered pellet. Seed producers like those mentioned also have online libraries on individual seed (culture sheets), that are downloadable, and cover everything from heat, light, moisture control, at each stage, including finishing off.
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Will do. If you intend to grow some yourself I can send you the 2005 strain so you can compare too.
                 
              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                We did the same thing back then, using mercury compounds which is pretty lethal. A blue dye was added so it was obvious that it should not be consumed. An accident waiting to happen and it did in some countries who did not believe the warnings, treated wheat was used to make bread with disastrous results. It was banned eventually.
                 
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                • Cuttings

                  Cuttings Super Gardener

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                  I always like to experiment, and have been doing so, for some time, and comparing findings with a fellow horticulturalist, who used to work for a pro compost company, we would grow zonal pelargoniums in normal compost, 25% reduced peat, 50% reduced peat etc, etc, and compare results, as well as the different pro composts available, and the test subjects used to be on show at Ball Colgrave summer showcase with notes in a journal for other nursery holders to veiw, he also conducted tests similar to, and advised Which magazine with their multi purpose compost tests a few years back. I recently had a play with high potassium feeds on the market, including a feed available on a tv shopping channel QVC, so I enjoy experimenting too. Having moved into the current nursery last autumn, and getting a lot of work done on the place, I am looking forward to playing around with grafting, breeding, and other experiments along the lines of trixi, carnival, trio mio, summer bedding plant combo's, the cutting raised plants with 3 different colour Calibrachoa in the same cutting raised plug, but with 3 different bedding species, and perennial and bedding container and basket combo's and "recipe cards" so customers can take a card, buy the plants, and reproduce the container at home from the instructions on the card, and vertical garden planting plans, so you can create an effect on a wall planting, like a flag or logo/emblem.
                   
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                  • Glynne Williams

                    Glynne Williams Gardener

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                    Fascinatingreplies! As trying to find recommendations (as a non tomato eater!) this thread has introduced a very important criterion:- that of different vintages of seed for the same variety!! Showing my ignorance as never gave it a thought! Understood that ' self kept'' seed would be hybrids and therefore subject to change (cuttings obviously pure) but presumed that seed for sale would be as stated on the packet!!
                    Back to square one!
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      @Glynne Williams the RHS confirmed what many of us were finding the hard way, they have rescinded Gardener's Delight AGM (Award of Garden Merit).

                      From the results of their Trial of Cherry Tomatoes 2017, Gardener's Delight got a terrible verdict:

                      "Only one cultivar had its AGM status rescinded: 'Gardener's Delight'. Despite being one of the best known and most widely grown tomato cultivars, the Forum (judging panel) felt it was not a cherry tomato. Besides, this cultivar (perhaps because of its popularity and age) is too variable, with many different strains being sold as the same plant. The Forum felt that it is 'not what it should be or once was'"
                       
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                      • Scrungee

                        Scrungee Well known for it

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                        Did the RHS not use 'professional' seed and expensive compost to produce a superior crop then?
                         
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                        • Freddy

                          Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                          Taste test? Well, as expected, ‘Sungold’ was the standout when it comes to flavour. To me, ‘Sungold’ is the yardstick by which all others are measured. I also grew ‘Tumbling Tom Red’. Flavour was nothing special, although better than supermarket toms.
                           
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                          • JWK

                            JWK Gardener

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