Hybrid vs. heirloom, what's wrong with having both? This year I decided to try tomatoes in pots. I meant to have just one plant but I couldn't help myself. I was unsure of how much fruit I would get off my one heirloom, Cherokee Purple, and isn't it fun to eat little cherry tomatoes as you're working in the garden? So I succumbed to temptation and bought a cherry tomato plant too, Sweet Million (I'm assuming it's hybridized off the Sweet 100 but am not sure).
So here's a snapshot showing my Cherokee Purple plant. It's in a "self-watering" container (you have to put the water in a little spout). The kit also came with organic potting soil and organic fertilizer. It said you could put two tomato plants in it but I used my better judgement and went with just one. Am I glad I did! I'm now to the point where I have to decide whether to start cutting it back at the top. Some folks say that sacrifices flavor. But one big windstorm might topple the whole thing and then I'd be sacrificing all of them (although it seems very heavy so I'm hoping not).
This plant seems to be true to what I've read about heirloom tomatoes - they can produce lots of vegetation and sometimes sparse amount of fruit. But the sparse amount of fruit is said to allow for greater taste. (I think I really prefer having fewer fruits anyway since two of us can eat just so much.)
So what about my hybrid Sweet Million? Well, it didn't come with organic soil and fertilizer but I put it in a good size pot, added some Ladybug organic potting mix and shared some of the C. Purple's fertilizer with it. The plant was a little leggy when I bought it but I pinched it back. I also gave it the same light conditions. Hmm, doesn't look so good, does it?
I've had a few cherries off it and they tasted okay. Not as sweet and thin-skinned as the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes I grew for the last two years but not bad really. But the plant looks pathetic! So what did I do wrong? I really don't know. From just looking at it you might think it has spider mites or something but it doesn't. Any ideas? I think this plant will be heading for the compost pile within a month. Shape up or ship out I say!
I leave you with Cherokee Purple tomatoes #'s 2 and 3 for the season. And there's two more to pick tomorrow before we head out of town!