Earliest Beefsteak

digit(ID/WA)August 20, 2012

Treating ALL the tomato varieties about the same in one long, long bed isn't such a good idea. I'm staking the plants this year, along with a modified Florida Weave effort.

I immediately ran into a problem with very robust cherries at one end. They have been kicking out a few ripe fruits since July and are really starting to ripen lots, right now!

And, then there was this Casey's Pure Yellow plant.

This is only about 1/3rd of the plant just to show that fruiting truss. The little plant was so weighted down with tomatoes before I could get started with my string that I was going to either tear it apart trying to tie it up or leave it to more-or-less sprawl.

Actually, it was a tiny Thessaloniki right down in the center of that plant that was the first "beefsteak." I don't know what got into that plant - I've never had a fruit off that variety beating out all the others. And, it was all of the size of a ping pong ball.

This Casey's Pure Yellow is going to ripen 1, 2, 3 and just keep going! I'm really quite pleased with how it is trying so hard to ripen the earliest Beefsteak.

I know that areas to the south had a very early and warm spring so things might be different this year. How are things in your Tomato Patch??


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david52 Zone 6

This is one of those years I'd just as soon forget....... Absolutely hammered by curly top virus all summer long, I keep pulling plants. Not just the tomatoes, but cucumbers and beans were wiped out. On the positive side, I planted quite a few, so even pulling 60-70%, I still have 20 healthy plants left.

I tried several new varieties - one of interest is 'Cold Set' a determinant with slightly I was able to save seeds from J.D.'s Special Ox Heart before the virus got 'em all. Currently, the only Ox Heart going strong is "Ludwella's Ox heart", but only two out of 8 plants remain.

Thessaloniki seems to have resisted the virus, and while I haven't been paying all that close attention on viral resistance, I do know that it has been my best producer the last 4 years running, so maybe I need to pay better attention.

I still have 10 or so "OTV Brandywine" that are huge and doing what I would expect for a massive beefsteak. That part of the garden dodged the bullet re the virus. Eaten three now, and not bad at all.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:47AM
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We enjoyed eating that ripest Casey's with our sweet corn dinner.

They are very pretty! It weighed right at 8 ounces. That fits with my idea of a beefsteak (my standards aren't high ;o).

Fruit size seemed to be all lined up in order of ripening this year. First came all of the cherries. Then, all of the plums. The Early Girls showed up next - they are too small to be beefsteaks.

BTW David, I think we have Craig LeHoullier to thank for the OTV Brandywine. And, Craig going on quite a bit about Casey's Pure Yellow was what prompted me to order the seeds. It is suppose to be a "mid-season" variety but I picked 3 ripe tomatoes off that plant and some of the Early Girls have produce, like, one.

I luv a productive tomato plant! The Woodle's Orange are even more loaded than Casey's.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:59PM
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david52 Zone 6

If this Casey's Pure Yellow is up to your high standards, I'll swap you some fresh seeds from OTV. If the day/night time temps are high enough, and it sure looks like it this year, OTV is best tasting tomato I've ever grown.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I looked at your temps, David. Yep, your overnights tend to have a few less 60's than here. But, a 70? We aren't going to have one of those either.

salad course & dessert . . .

Casey is Jeff Casey in Airdrie/Calgary. He has a nice online catalog. Now, what should I do about it being orange and not yellow?


Here is a link that might be useful: Casey's Heirloom Tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 2:48PM
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david52 Zone 6

That is a beautiful tomato. A couple dozen OTV's are turning pink, and in a few days, I will see if I can post a picture.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:41PM
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david52 Zone 6

As promised:

Note the characteristic golden shoulders:

And what it looks like immediately after that first surgical cut on its way to BLTdom:

And just think, there are about another hundred of these guys out there on the vines.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Not many seeds, good thing you've got another hundred, David . . ! And, you've had them for a number of years, correct?

"Golden shoulders?" So, is this kind of an orange-red tomato?


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:12PM
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david52 Zone 6

Steve, if you've grown oxhearts, many of them will have a golden top - its like that.

They do taste good this year. :-). I've grown them for at least 15 years now, but some years, the taste is better than others.

I was squeezing the seeds from 5 tomatoes today, and can verify seeds are few and far between. I have 12-odd plants going, isolated on the far side of the property, and I'll harvest some more seed every time I pick.

The BLT was good. Whole wheat toast, Best Foods mayo, 3 strips crisp bacon, and basil instead of lettuce. My daughter thinks she'll have on for dinner.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 6:47PM
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