Oxhearts Without Wispy Foliage

susanlynne48(OKC7a)February 3, 2013

I would love to grow a heart, but am very reluctant. Several folks in Oklahoma have tried, but with the "wilt leaf gene", they typically do not do well in our intense sun and heat, suffering from sunburn because of the lack of foliage cover.

Do any of you "heart" experts and growers know of a heart that bears heavier foliage than most hearts do in general?

Thank you,

Susan

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Susan, the wilt leaf gene has nothing to do with the specific foliage that any heart has.What it refers to is how long foliage of any type takes from when it's wilted to becoming non wilted when Given water,

I t was someone , now deceased, who owned a seed site who said that the wilt gene was associated with the narrow sparse wilty looking foliage that most hearts do have, but that was wrong and just got spread around the internet,

There are some heart varieties, a few, that do not have that sparse looking foliage and I used tokeepe a short list of them, but no way could I find that list now.(smile)

OK is not the only place where the intense sun can be a problem, but I know of some seed vendors in New Mexico and CA who produce their own seed with similar sun problems and they don't seem to have that much of a problem with the hearts as I recall,

Link below about the wilty gene.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Wilty Gene

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:24PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Orange Russian 117 does not have particularly wispy foliage, as I recall.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:23PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Have to agree that OK doesn't have a monopoly on summer heat and sun exposure. :) It is no different than here yet we are able to grow hearts with no more difficulty than any other type.

Folks always seem to prefer blaming the variety or the type for problems rather than recognizing that the real problem is the growing conditions - or lack thereof - provided that is the real issue. They can be fixed.

Yes many hearts have less foliage but they sure don't need to be pruned like many do and when planted a bit closer together a thicker canopy is created. They can also be interspaced between other larger indeterminates for more cover. And there is always shade-cloth rigging, heavy mulching, changed locations to provide afternoon shade, and earlier planting to get earlier fruit set.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:36PM
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Kevinitis(5)

Bull's heart has regular foilage an not wispy, if I remember right. It was a good eater for me last year, a decent yeild of large pink oxheart tomatoes with excellent flavor.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:35PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Some of the "heart" tomatoes with non-wispy foliage seem to be crosses with other tomatoes. Ponder Heart doesn't look like it has wispy foliage. And Tatiana shows Little Lucky Heart as a potato leaf.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ponder Heart

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:46AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Thanks to all of you who actually "did" respond to the question in my post, rather than attempting to 'splain that we, in Oklahoma, have not cornered the market on sun and heat, as if I didn't already know that.

Little Lucky Heart, Orange Russian 117, and Bull's Heart, sound like great possibilities. I do plant early actually due to our short growing season. We do have 2 seasons, thankfully.

Susan

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:36AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you don't want that type of information then I would suggest you just post the questions and not preface them with claims like

"they typically do not do well in our intense sun and heat, suffering from sunburn because of the lack of foliage cover"..

You would be amazed how many gardeners actually believe that their weather growing conditions are unique. Theirs alone, and post such comments routinely.

Others will naturally respond to such inaccurate claims in the hopes of helping the mis-informed gardener to better understand the real issues.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:41AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Yeah, whatev.....

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:12PM
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mule

Susan, just a little north of you and I have always had trouble getting much from most "heart" types. OR117 was a repeated bust here. I was lucky to get one fruit out of several plants each year.

The only heart that has done exceptionally well here, that I am pretty sure you can find, would be 'Belarusian Heart'. It produced like crazy here. I found the taste to be just average. Its foliage was a little thin but I didn't have problems with scald.

One that does well here and is rather a marginal heart in shape is "Kosovo". Much better flavor and good foliage cover. I'd suggest that one.

Growing west of about 94ðW longitude is different than growing in the east. They may deal with heat but they have far more humidity and moisture. We tend to have more sun (less avg cloud cover) and we certainly have more wind. I found easterners simply do not understand what effect wind has with little or no trees to buffer it has over large geographical areas rather than some acreage cleared fields (a few Upper Mississippi and Ohio valley parts east of 94w will and possibly coastal areas).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:58PM
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fusion_power

I will echo the suggestion of Kosovo which I find to be an outstandingly good pink tomato. It does not have heavy foliage cover, but it is adequate. If you can find seed, Heshpole and Tastiheart are potato leaf tomatoes that also carry the wilty gene. The potato leaf traits produce thick dense foliage which negates the effect of the wilty gene. Both are good flavored tomatoes.

DarJones

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:14PM
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mule

well I guess if one is growing in that red stuff meant for tennis courts and pottery the foliage would be weaker

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:20PM
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mule

This post was edited by mule on Thu, Feb 7, 13 at 18:22

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:21PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Wow, thanks to y'all for the recommendations and helpful information regarding your suggestions! It is very much appreciated. I'll check out these varieties. I know I can find Kosovo; I see it listed on several seed sites, but the two you mention, DarJones, I don't recall seeing so will do a little digging and let you know.

Thanks once again.

Susan

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Kevinitis(5)

I must admit I don't have Oklahoma heat here in Utah, but our summer was hot for the area at an average of 100 in June and 105 through most of July. Perhaps the main difference was that we get a periodic cooler day, after which I see fruit set. Nevertheless Bull's heard did set fruit better than most of my other varieties. It was one of the first ones I picked too so it was a little earlier than the others.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:16PM
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eko42(SoCal Z9/Sunset 19)

Hi Susan,
I live in Southern California and in the area where I live (inland) the summers are very hot. Kosovo is on my 'must grow' list every year.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:07AM
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formerly_creativeguy

I won't speak to the foliage concern, being an eastern gardener myself... but Kosovo has been an outstanding producer for me with excellent flavor. One of my "must grow" varieties. Glad to see so many speaking highly of it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:04PM
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