Cherokee Purple Shape

rweakley(8)June 3, 2012

I grew three CPs this year (first year). These seem to be having issues in shape and texture. Some are growing almost like saddles and have weird "sink holes" on the blossom end. My wife calls them tomato butts. Others grow in a saddle shape. They don't necessarily fit the description of cat-facing that I've seen, just weirdly shaped. My cherry tomatoes and my red slicers and paste tomatoes all have the normal shape designated for them.

Another issue is that some of the CPs are VERY soft on the bottom half of the tomato. Kind of reminds me of a guy I knew that got 2nd degree burn blisters. Tight skin, but you could tell it was full of liquid. The ones that do this have a very soft flesh. I have been slicing off that end and just kind of squeezing the flesh into my mouth; they taste amazing despite the texture. It does, however, render the thing useless for slicing.

On others the top half is a very pale yellowish color. The flesh underneath mimics the skin and has a lot of green veins.

I do get fruits that are the nice deep color with an attractive green shoulder. So I know at least SOME of them like what I'm giving them!

Is this variety finicky? I absolutely love the flavor, but am considering replacing it next year with Black Krims or something more slice-worthy. I like tomato on my sandwiches and other food staples, and these aren't cutting the proverbial mustard in that regard.

All suggestions welcome.



P.S. I'll get a picture of one if I can. I used them all up this morning in some pico de gallo.

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

From your description it sounds like it might be BER (blossom end rot) but with out seeing them no way to know for sure.

Catfacing comes in many different forms and creative styles.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:21PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

About your "saddle-shaped" CPs: Many beefsteak-types, looked at from above, are elongated: kind of stretched ("oblong") rather than circular. Frequently these end up what some call "V-shaped": looked at from the side, the longer ends are higher than where the stem is.

Are the pale yellow tops from all three plants, or only one (which might be crossed)?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:12AM
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It sounds like catfacing to me, too. There is no limit to the weird shapes you can get with that. Sometimes it is caused by cool temperatures and they will grow out of it when the weather gets warmer.

I'm having issues with catfacing on one of my plants, but not the Cherokee Purple, those tomatoes are really nicely shaped. It's actually producing the most tomatoes of all five of my plants so far this year.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I have tried to grow Cherokees before but this year I think I just might have some success. I started the seed myself (it was a purchased plant before) so that might be the ticket. Looking forward to this tomato that everyone raves about.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:09PM
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ya sometimes they look weird/ gotta tell ya though / my CP are doing better this season than theyve done in yrs

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:32PM
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I grew mine from seed as well, and all my plants grew very well at first, but the cherries grew big and bushy and shadowed the CPs. Not to mention the cages are too small and the tops got heavy and droopy. And the suckers have grown into the growing space of other tomato plants! The CPs seem to have stopped growing. I cut some of the growing tips off the cherries and once I get all the tomatoes off them will trim them down a bit.

Unfortunately recent flooding rains here in Pensacola have caused excessive splitting of my toms.

Next year I realize I need to space my plants out a bit more and give them larger cages to grow in. Also prep the soil a bit better and will try pruning a bit more, as I pretty much let all the suckers grow. Maybe I'll get better looking yields next year.

I got some pics of some of the problems, and will try to post them tomorrow. Thanks for the responses guys!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:47PM
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How far apart did you plant them?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:51AM
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I went out and measured today and they were 16-18" apart with the two rows spaced 22 inches apart.

Here are some pics of at least one problem I was describing. I will attribute the other to catfacing. I did plant them out at the end of February, so if cold affects that it must be it. I planted the seeds too early and they were outgrowing their seedling containers. I had some backup seeds started just in case a frost killed those early ones, but nothing happened, so I just let them grow.

But you can see some of the discoloration here along with the white splotches. You can also see that the blossom end looks pulled up on this side toward the stem with some of the green veins apparent. I have included a photo of it next to a healthier one for comparison.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:39PM
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thats way to close together / they should b 3 or 4 feet apart / thats what i do anyways /mine are loaded with maters already /got some fist size but then again they seem to b doing well here this summer

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 3:19PM
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harveyhorses(7 Midlothian Va)

I am not an expert, but it looks like something might have pecked it and healed all funny. My chickens have given me similar looking fruits, except dimple above it..
Now is the time for someone who knows something to pop in and say exactly.
They are close together, (mine ALWAYS end up that way despite my best intentions.) Fertalize, prune if you must, mulch, and water when needed. Just my .02.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:19PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I'm not an expert either, but I agree that the "white splotches" look like some sort of physical damage that has scarred over -- perhaps insects chewed on it. For whatever reason (presumably related to the scarring), that side of the tomato didn't fill out as much as the side away from the camera.

From what I've read, the stripes are seen on some CPs and not on others.

I haven't ever heard of a CP with the coloration of the lighter one. Are all the tomatoes with that coloration from a particular plant? If so I would suspect that plant is not a CP but either a cross or something else: probably a CP cross because of the striping.

Tomatoes ripen first on the blossom end. That may explain the bottom area being more liquid. Perhaps you should try eating them a few days earlier.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:42PM
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