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Ordered Sunsugar and Japanese Black Trifele Tomato Plants

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

On the OSU Blue thread it was mentioned that they were bought as plants from Hirts Gardens at Amazon. I buy all sorts of things at Amazon but had never thought to look for plants. But I have bought seed from Hirts. So overcome with curosity I had to go look. I did find the OSU Blue plants. I also found lots of other vatiety of tomato plants (I was only looking at tomatoes). Well, I couldn't stand it!!! I ordered a four pack of SUNSUGAR and one of JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE. Yes, I know it is really late to be planting tomatoes here. Mine here are already at the tops of their 3 foot cages. But like I said, I couldn't stand it, I had to try them.

I read the reveiws at Amazon and they are very mixed. Some people rave about the Hirts tomato plants, others were disappointed in the packing, one got the wrong plants, one got shipped in March instead of May. Not enough negatives to put me off and enough positives to make me feel it would be ok. And now I have to find room to plant 8 more plants when I already have lots of tomato plants here already.

I tried Sungold for the first time this year and I absolutely love it. But I only have one plant and have only had a few tomatoes so far. Already I had planned to have more plants next year for sure. I have read that SUNSUGAR is even sweeter, I couldn't resist. And then I looked thru all the varieties of tomato plants they offered and was just really intreaged by the JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE looks and description. Did a web search and found that some people thought these were the best tomatoes they have ever eaten (many people) while others hated them. Since taste is personal and they are so different from anything I have ever tried, I definately wanted to have them for myself. Honestly, nothing to loose. If I hate them I can tear out and toss the plants. But I just think I will love them.

It is very late to set out plants here but the seedlings can grow quickly and still have plenty of time to produce. At least I hope so.

Comments on experience with Hirts welcome and comments on SUNSUGAR and JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE deffinatealy wanted! Thanks!

This message was edited Jul 8, 2012 4:24 PM

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Rita, over the years Hirts has NOT had a good reputation at all but lately, see the Garden Watchdog reviews here at DG, they seem to be doing somewhat better. I know quite a few folks who will never buy from Hirts again, especially for hot pepper and tomato seed. And why should they when there are many other great places to buy same.

My suggestion is that if you have to have plants that you go to Hicks Nursery in Westbury on Long Island for they have a terrific inventory of tomato plants for some great varieties, but they certainly wouldn't be selling them this time of year.

And if not Hicks, then consider Selectedplants run by Darrel Jones in Alabama, can find via Google, for a HUGE selection, reasonable prices, superb packing and service.

From feedback I haven't seen too many folks who praise Sunsugar F1, so see how you like it. Many do like Japanese Black Trifele, bred in Russia, and it comes in several colors. Why it was named Japanese no one knows. LOL


North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Thank You Carolyn. I did read the reviews for Hirts at Amazon and they were mixed so I knew that I was taking a chance but decided it was worth it. They already sent me a shipping notice and the entire order with shipping was about $22.00 so honestly not much to loose in terms of money.

As I said it was an impuse buy, I just had to have them. As for Hicks nursery, I buy there all the time. Can't tell you how many things here are from Hicks, shrubs, perennials, annuals and veggies. All my veggie starts I buy at Hicks as their selection is amazing. Well, I do end up buying some from Home Depot too. I already have all my tomatoes here. Honestly didn't need more but......

SUNSUGAR sounded great to me. I want to compair the taste of SUNGOLD, which I have, and SUNSUGAR. Next year I can go with the one I like the best or buy plants of each, whatever I like best. The other one I just had to try. I hope it turns out well.

Will report back on this thread when the plants arrive which should be soon as they are shipped.
Thank you for the link to Selected Plants as I was not aware of them.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Rita, FWIW, I have both Sun Gold and Sun Sugar this year. Love both of them. Sun Sugar has been a real producer and is thinner skinned (slightly). Maybe it differs for us here in the south. I bought a couple of plants at our Botanical Garden plant sale just to try. Don't know the source of their plants, but usually local or close, so it could be from Darrel Jones stock. I had already started my Sun Golds from seed but my plants were a little smaller at the time. If you have the space, give them both a try next year and see what you think. I've had a great year with all my tomatoes. Will post pics some time when I get around to it, but my Cherokee Purples are about the size of grapefruit this year and double-deee-licious.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

OutsidePlaying, great feedback. Thank you. I don't have to wait till next year to compair SUGOLD to SUNSUGAR as I already have SUNGOLD growing here now. My first time for SUNGOLD but I have already eaten afew that got ripe and LOVED them. As they say SUNSUGAR is sweeter, I wanted to try them also and have my own taste tests. I would not be surprised if they both end up as ones I get each year over and over.

I was ouside in the garden today moving some daylily plants from the back of a gardenbed as I have to plant the tomatoes in the back there. Have no place else as I already have tomatoes planted in my veggie gardens. But I could see that if I moved about four clumps of daylilies then I would have space in back of the front ones to plant the tomato plants. One has to get creative when one is out of room!

I already have Juliet tomatoes growing in back of another daylily bed so I know it will work. Gosh those Juliet plants are just loaded with green tomatoes but nothing coming ripe yet.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Watered everything I moved and I am now happy as I am ready to plant those new tomato seedlings as soon as they arrive. This is what happens when you are out of room and buy things on impuse. Have to move plants in order to make room for more (different type) plants!

I did want to say that I love to grow tomatoes in the garden each year but grow hybreds. Rarely heirlooms. This year I am growing CHEROKEE PURPLE whuich is doing well for me but past years have grown heirlooms very poorly. Any strain of Brandywine doesn't produce hardly any fruit here and I have tried it many times. Tried BLACK KRIM and that really stood out for me by all the fruit cracking and then rotting before it could get ripe. Never again! I do like GERMAIN QUEEN and it does welll. I don't have it this year, didn't see it at HOME DEPOT were I usually get it. Maybe didn't look hard enough.

Not that I have any complaints with the flavor of heirlooms but they failed to impress with preformance. I guess I am off track of the original subject here.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Rita, we had about a half to 3/4 inch of rain late Sunday afternoon. I had picked a bowl full of Sun Sugars and a few Sun Golds and Sweet Millions, knowing it was about to rain and I'd have to pick again Monday. Well, let me tell you I had a basket full yesterday afternoon! And more Cherokee Purples and Better Boys too. Plus a couple of Lillian's Yellow that I can't wait to try. Because of the weather, I am picking some of mine a little early if they look almost ripe to keep them from cracking on the vine. The weather has been so hot and dry that even with irrigation they are showing signs of cracking pretty early. I think I mentioned that most of my CP's are grapefruit sized. I still have some that are more orange-sized, which is what I'm accustomed to. I can't believe it myself and they are juicy too. It's salsa making time tonight I think. I've already roasted some and put a bunch in the freezer for sauce.

Good luck with yours!

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

OutsidePlaying, all those tomatoes you picked sound yummy!

I have a nice amount of large (not grapefuit size!) green fruit on my Cherokee Purple and then some tiny fruit sets so I am very pleased. This tomato gets such prase for taste from just about everyone that I know I am gonna like it. I bet your salsa turns out absolutly fabulously delicious!

I have two BETTER BOY plants myself, loaded with fruit and the WHOPPERS and BIG BOYS also. Plus the EARLY GIRL have fruit starting to turn color. Lots of fruit on BEEFMASTER which I am trying for the first time this year but not ripening yet. Lots of Fruit on SUPERFANTASTIC , VIVIA ITALIA and also JULIET. These three are all new for me this year, never tried before. But again, no ripe ones. Have ripening friut almost ready to pick on FOURTH OF JULY and SUGARY and have been picking fruit from PATIO and BETTER BUSH, both of which are in containers. Also from one just named GRAPE. And then I get afew SUNGOLD ripe to try each day and boy I wish I had bowlfulls of them.

You can see from my list that I am not into heirlooms. But I just KNOW that CHEROKEE PURPLE will be back next year.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I always grow Better Boys because I like the acidity of them. Just a personal preference, and they are good producers for me. I'm not a big fan of Early Girl, even tho they are early. I've not tried the others you have. I should try more but if a variety doesn't do well for me twice, I don't give it a third chance. Many heirlooms have not produced enough to warrant the space in my garden, even though I did like the taste fairly well. Have not tried Black Krim.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Well, I tend to bring back favorites each year plus try some news ones also.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Here they are as they arrived today. First picture SUNSUGAR. Second is the JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE.

The Sunsugars look fine. A little overgrown and about what I except from ones sitting in cellpacks so long. Some yellow leaves but I will cut them off.

It is the JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE is am worried about. They have all these dark spots all along the stems. The leaves do look very healthy.

I e-mailed Hirts and asked about the spots, we will see if they answer.

I was so concened that I cut the stem of the worst one and looked inside. No brown veins running up, all healthy green tissure. I am wondering if this is brusing or a tomato desease. I soaked them both in a Dracon solition as I could swish the entire plants in the solution as they are not planted. Soaked the roots too.

So am I safe planting the rest of the JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE as I cut up one plant?

Thumbnail by newyorkrita Thumbnail by newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

So I just got an e-mail from Hirts saying that I have a refund for my damaged plants and I can re-order if I want. I want to know if the plants are safe and have no desease. So I e-mailed again and told them to go out and actually look at the plants in their greenhouse and tell me what this is.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Take the monetary refund in cash or check, not credit, and do not reorder.

Both plants look terrible to me and the Japanese Trifele one could already be infected with something, possibly one of the two most common fungal foliage pathogens whhich can show stem lesions, but I think you would have seen the lesions on the foliage first.

Why reorder when they sent out such leggy bad looking plants in the first place. But you knew, I'm sure that ordering plants this time of year is not a good thing to do.

Right? ( smile)


North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

OK, I will bag them and toss them. Thank you for the advice. I do not want to spread desease to my plants already here.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Well, I looked around on line and found two sources for JAPANESE BLACK TRIFELE tomato plants. One is Laurels and the other is Territorial Seed Company. So I will be prepaired for next year and order them over the winter for next spring. I really want to try these.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I think you'll be a lot better off waiting until next year, Rita. I'm not an expert in your zone, but it sure wouldn't work well here.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Rita, what plants a company offers for one year may not be the same that they offer for the next year.

So perhaps a backup plan is needed?

I don't know why you want Japanese Black Trifele, which is not a variety from Japan, and comes in many colors as bred in the former USSR, but there are lots and lots of excellent so called black varieties out there just waiting for you.

It seems as though you want only plants and I guess that means you aren't able to grow varieties from seeds or don't want to, and I can understand that as well..

But again, I would HIGHLY suggest looking at the varieties that Darrel Jones offers, for several reasons, and again what you see for this year, now past, may be different from what youll see him list for 2013.

And there's much more info about tomatoes in general to be had from his site as well.


North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Carolyn, thanks. I do plan on waiting for next year. It is too late for this year anyway by now.

I do want plants as I am not set up for seeds. Yes, I know a cheepo shop light and set them up in the basement. But I might HAVE to go for seeds as I really, really, want the some of the New Dwarf tomatoes and I don't think they will be offered as plants.

And I really want SUNSUGAR for next year also. I guess seeds would be the backup plan.

Honestly I never have had any of the black tomatoes except for BLACK KRIM. THAT was a total disaster for me, fruit cracked and then rotted before turning ripe. Will never get that one again. But otherwise don't know anything about the black tomatoes. Am growing CHEROKEE PURPLE for the first time this year and it is going well.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

I just remembered that I suggested you go to Hick's Nursery on LI where you live and know about already and I sure would check with them in the Fall at which time they should know which varieties as plants they will be offering for 2013. It would be a LOT easier for you to drive your plants home in comfort, trust me on that. LOL

I'd do that if I were you before even checking out Selected plants, as I also posted above, and certainly either of those before considering Laurel Garza's site or Tim Johns Territorial Seed site. Yes, I know them both especially Laurel since she started her commercial enterprise from knowing me at a message site where I no longer post and haven't for many years, as I do Darrel at Selected plants, who posts at Tville where I do and as several other here also do as well.

Each message site has a different flavor to it and there's room for all as I see it.


North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I would much rather just go get my plants at Hicks. But I had gotten it in my head to try these really offbeat types. Now Hicks has a fabulous selection and heavy on the heirlooms. So maybe I should forget any that I can't get at Hicks and think of something else. Its not like they don't have lots and lots to choose from. Checking in the fall to see their list of 2013 tomatoes is a great idea.

And I am thinking I just might do some seeds. Heck, can't be THAT hard to start a tomato plant. Volunteer plants come up on the compost pile all the time.

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