How to make tomatoes more acidic?

wertach zone 7-B SCMay 13, 2013

We were talking tomatoes this morning at work.

One guy mentioned that Johns tomatoes were very acidic every year and I perked up. I didn't get to try them since I work in a different dept.

So, I asked John for details. He said he planted parks whopper and better boys. I knew that it wasn't the variety. He puts some calcium in the hole, a little 10-10-10, and some store bought cow compost. I can't see that making acidic toms.

Then I asked about his soil he said it is red clay. Maybe that is it?

I remember when I was growing up our toms were very acidic and we had red clay. It was like a brick when it was dry.

After I married, Dad and Mom moved to where I am now and the soil is a little sandy and his toms weren't as acidic, even though he planted the same variety's.

Could that be the answer?

Since I'm not going to haul in 40 truckloads of red clay, does anyone know of a way to raise the acidity in toms?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Assuming you already know that the "acidity" of flavor is totally subjective then I'd ask John at work a couple more questions. Well water or city water? How often he waters (is he more "dry farming" than most)? And what other fertilizers/soil amendments he uses through the season? Does he have any idea what his soil pH might be?

Since clay normally retains water much longer than other soils he maybe able to reduce his watering substantially over what would have to be used with other soils. That would have the effect of intensifying flavors - whatever they maybe.

Just a guess.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:03PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Try Break O'Day or some of the older varieties. Carolyn calls them assertive.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:24PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Yes, Helen I do, but not Break O'Day.

Ones perhaps likeSilvery Fir Tree, Purple Calabash, Noire des Cosebeauf, yes, I do call the taste assertive and not acidic b'c the actual pH of MANY varieties has been tested and there's very little difference of pH inside the fruits.

A few low acid ones are known, Jet Star F1 is the best known one and some call some of the pastel ones low acid but they aren't, it's just that the higher sugar in them masks the normal internal pH.

The primary determinates of taste of any variety are determined by the specific genes that they have.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 6:07PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I thought this was an interesting thread about acid tomatoes:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:02PM
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