Stupice Foliage Sparce?

Coconut_Head(5b)July 5, 2012

I have 6 Stupice plants among my 48 plants I am growing this year. They are billed to be an early and heavy producer of pretty darn good tomatoes. They are a potato leaf variety and this happens to be my first run with anything potato leafed (including potatoes themselves).

Now so far the plant seems to be living up to it's reputation. At this point, my tomatoes are in the 3-4 Ft tall range and just putting on thier first fruit sets. Most of the bigger varieties have several to nearly ten green tomatoes on the vine. The stupice plants have about 16-20 per plant and there are quite a few which are bigger than golfball size. I think stupice gets about as big as a peach, so I would say some are pretty close to being fully sized.

The only thing I am noticing is the foliage is very sparse? I was expecting a potato leaf variety with the broader leaves to be an even thicker canopy than the regular leaf kinds. To my suprise, most of the fruit are hanging right out in the open. Now I am florida weaving, so maybe this is effecting the canopy,but it still just looks sparser than the rest of my plants.

Anyone grown stupice before and noticed this? Or perhaps it's common with all potato leaf varieties? The plants are nice and green and healthy and they are absolutely loaded with fruit and new flower clusters.


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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


I've grown Stupice many times, even Stupike which is one of the versions bred in the Czech Republic and it always has a very vigorous foliage cover, always.

I also have grown probably several hundred PL varieties and with very few exceptions they also have a vigorous foliage cover with only a few being what you'd call sparse.

Actually I prefer PL varieties, but not ones that were originally RL, b'c I find that the PL varieties are less susceptible to foliage diseases and have suggested that it might be due to a thicker epidermis on the upper leaf surface.

But I have no scientific proof for that and some will agree with me that they too see less foliage diseases with PL varieties and some will say that they don't see that.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Interesting, I'll have to take some pics at lunch and share them, perhaps I am seeing something that is not there. Or more accurately not seeing something that is there. Maybe it's just that they have so many fruit that there is some illusion of less leaves?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Ok Here are some pics. It's a little hard to discern the foliage because I have two rows per bed. But you can tell clearly by the shadows on the ground.


Chocolate Stripe

Giant Belgium

Dagma's Perfection

San Marzano Redorta

Italian Heirloom - Also in this angle you can see the shadow comparisons from several rows. The stupice is all the way at the top bed on the left had side.

So is this anything I should be worried about?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:26PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

So your Stupice is PL, that we know. And it's being grown the same as the others you show, that's good.

But those Stupice plants sure do have foliage that looks kind of sparse, I agree.

The other main variable is if you raised the Stupice plants from seed, what was the seed source, if you're comfortable sharing that with us, as in traded seed,commercial seed site, whatever, or purchased as plants from a nursery or big box store or farmers market.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Glad you see it too! Ok, so all of my plants (Save 1 CP) were started from seed that I purchased from Tomatofest. I started them all in a flat in little rows and then transplanted into plastic cups. The stupice and Homer Fikes had lower germination rates than some of the others, but the ones that did germinate did well enough once I potted them up.

And actually, my Homer fikes which only 3 survived were very small when I planted them out and they were planted out weeks after the Stupice as I was still trying to hand sift dirt to fill my last two beds. The Homer Fikes though are just as big, if not bigger than the stupice and have decent foliage.

I think thats a different topic alltogether, but perhaps it's possible that there was some stress as a seedling that is still effecting them? It is weird though because they have so many fruit trusses. You can see the tops of the stupice plants there is a lot of yellow. I am a little concerned with the fruits getting sun scald.

One other bad thing is that they are on the furthest south/east side of the beds, so they only get shaded by thier neighbors in late afternoon.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Here is a possible scenario I just thought about. Being as this is the first year on these raised beds, perhaps I inadevertantly layered the cardboard thicker under that paticular spot, and maybe the plants are just having a hard time getting the roots to grow through it? It's just a little strang because they have so much more fruiting clusters than any other of my varieties.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:09PM
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