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Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple Tomatoe

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mraider3
Helena, MT

September 27, 2012
3:37 AM

Post #9287620

What am I looking at here??? This is my first attempt at growing Cherokee Purple tomatoes and I have had several tomatoes which have this white patch of skin on them. The paper white patch as seen in the attached picture appears to be a layer of undeveloped skin. It is depressed somewhat, but appears hard to the touch. I have never seen this before and would like to know what it is and if I need to discard these tomatoes. Also, I am not completely sure these are actually Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I received some pepper seeds from the same company which were incorrectly labeled. The more ripe tomatoes from this packet of seed are turning red as they ripen with no hint of purple.

Thumbnail by mraider3
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Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

September 27, 2012
5:56 AM

Post #9287719

The white patch looks to me like what's called sunscald.

I can't tell from the picture if those fruits are or are not Cherokee Purple, but if the y ripen up completely red they aren't.

Cherokee Purple doesn't show any purple color at all, it's what I call a pink black, shoulders are usually green and fruits usually more beefsteak looking than what you show.

Black From Tula and Indian stripe are also what I call pink/blacks but Carbon and Black Krim are red/blacks. The difference is that the pink blacks have a clear epidermis and the red/blacks have a yellow epidermis.

Here are some pictures of Cherokee Purple from Google Images. Put your mouse pointer over a picture and a window appears telling you that it is CP and where the picture came from.

http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=757&bih=403&q=cherokee purple tomato&oq=Cherokee Purple&gs_l=img.1.0.0l2j0i24l8.1516.5969.0.13516.15.15.0.0.0.0.437.2124.2-5j0j2.7.0...0.0...1ac.1.aMe1r2f-lsU

You'll see some so called white patches on some of the above fruits but that's due to photography only and camera flash. I'm assuming the white patches you see you see on the fruits with your own eyes.

Sunscald can occur when foliage is sparse or after harvest starts and fruits get moved exposing them more to sun.

Carolyn
mraider3
Helena, MT

September 27, 2012
11:44 PM

Post #9288537

I'm betting sunscald is the right call. Typically in August I trim back the tomato vines and remove flowers to assist ripening. This may not be a recommend practice, but I have found it helps me in our short, cool season. Very few people will even attempt tomatoes in their gardens here.
I presume sunscald does not affect the quality of the tomato or any undesirable effects.

Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

October 1, 2012
10:38 AM

Post #9292277

As for BER or sunscalded fruits, you'll just have to make that decision yourself as to whether or not you think the taste has changed.

I don't eat BER affected fruits, but will cut off the top half of such fruits if I need the seeds. I also don't eat sunscald affected fruits, but again, each person has to make their own decision on this comparing BER and Non BER fruits of the same variety as well as Sunscald and non sunscald fruits of the same variety.

Carolyn

mraider3
Helena, MT

October 2, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9293709

Thanks Carolyn, I haven't decided if I want to eat these or not. Probably more of an esthetic choice rather than a taste issue for me.

I have noticed the same thing happening to my Indigo Black tomatoes. It is suppose to snow tonight so chances of these ripening outside is nil.

I find it interesting how some tomatoes are affected more than others by sun scalding.
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

October 2, 2012
3:32 PM

Post #9293936

At first I didn't recognize a variety called Indigo Black, but then I realized that the variety you were referring to is Indigo Rose, the first variety released from Dr. Meyer's lab where the project on creating varieties with high anthocyanins started.

From feedback I've seen from a couple of sites many folks don't like the taste of Indigo Rose. and it's not really black, so if they don't ripen up maybe that's for the better. ( smile)

Carolyn

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 2, 2012
10:09 PM

Post #9294319

Snow?
mraider3
Helena, MT

October 3, 2012
1:16 AM

Post #9294363

Out with the black, in with the snow...ya snow! Actually it's a bit late getting here.

The only question lingering in my mind about scalding is weather I'm doing something wrong here. I have been trimming back in August on my four primary varieties (Stupice, Large Sungold Select (OP), Black Cherry, and Sungold Select) without any side affects. My logic is that this process eliminates unnecessary energy going to fruits which will never have time to develop and gives the yet unripened tomatoes more sun to help them ripen. Possibly there may be a better way to encourage ripening in these larger tomatoes???
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 3, 2012
7:52 PM

Post #9295253

I know the foliage protects the fruit from the sun. I've read that digging a deepish trench around the plant will disrupt the feeder roots and cause the fruit to ripen but I've never tried it. Have you ever just picked them and let them ripen in the house in a paper bag?
mraider3
Helena, MT

October 4, 2012
3:59 AM

Post #9295422

I did try wrapping tomatoes in newspaper and that didn't work well. Digging a trench around the base of a tomato plant is something I have never heard of before. Worth a try.

Had a very hard frost last night. I spend the day and into the night picking what was left of partially ripened tomatoes. Our best luck is to just leave them in the plastic containers and process them as they ripen. The ones which are still showing green end up as relish and the green ones are vermicomposted.

The sprawling idea worked reasonably well for some of the tomatoes. Larger ones like the Cherokee Purple didn't fare well. Stupice is the largest tomato which does alright in our climate. Approximately half of these ripen and the other half as I mentioned make great relish.

I still have to trim away at these smaller tomato plants in early August to get any production and fortunately they don't seem to be affected by this sun scaldding. I will however try this idea of trenching around the base of some of these plants in August of next season. Thanks for the tip. Will keep you informed of the results.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 4, 2012
6:21 AM

Post #9295506

Good luck! Yes, please keep us informed. You definately grow under different conditions then I do! How long is your growing season?
Carolyn
Salem, NY
(Zone 4b)

October 4, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #9295709

Raider, as the summer season comes to the end the angle and intensity of the sun does not allow for sunscald to occur.

About hastening ripening. Lisa has mentioned the shovel one where you take a flat bladed shovel and cut down maybe 6 inches in a circle around the main stem.

Another easier method, to me at least, is to pull up on a plant while twisting it which also severs the feeder rootlets, but of course leaving the plant in place.

Carolyn

mraider3
Helena, MT

October 4, 2012
8:19 PM

Post #9296266

1lisac, season starts June 15th, however I can cheat by about a month with wrapped cages. End of season is a variable. Some years we get frosts at the end of August. Yesterday was our first really hard frost this year. Although day time temps are in the mid 40's, and night time temps are in the mid 20's right now I am still able to harvest some tomatoes which are covered with the 14ml opaque plastic painters tarp. I have on occasion been able to extend covered cage tomato plants by and additional month as well. My experience is the larger tomatoes don't do well planted out doors here. Stupice is the largest tomato which I can grow successfully with our cool days and especially nights. Due to fires and lots of smoke hanging in the valley this year we had quite a bit of added heat for more than a month. Typically we may get two weeks near the 100 degree mark. Sun goes down an temps instantly drop twenty or more degrees. Forty degree swings are common in a single day.

So why grow tomatoes out doors here? Because no one else does! Hoop houses and green houses are the alternative, but I love a challenge.

Thanks for the harvest hastening tips. Can't wait to try them out next season. I figure the best time to start is August 1st, since buds and blooms will never make it,

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