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Tomato Variety Trial

posted Sep 16, 2010, 1:31 PM by Bob Whitney   [ updated Feb 26, 2011, 6:10 AM ]
Stiles Farm Foundation, 2010
Bob Whitney and Archie Abrameit

Summary: The population of Texas continues to grow but the majority of that growth is centered along the I35 corridor. Latest population estimates show Travis County with 921,000 people, Williamson County with 354,000 people and Bell County with a population of 258,000. This puts Williamson County with its rich soil and moderate climate in the middle of one and half million people, all who eat and want lots of good food every day. Recent trends in the US point to more and more consumption of locally grown food products and at the top of the list is a desire to buy locally grown vegetables, fruits and nuts. Farmer's Market interest is at an all time high and more and more cities want a Farmers Market for their citizens. The local community supports the growth of small farm agriculture that supplies nutritious and healthy, locally grown farm products.  Because of this interest there are more growers and these growers want information to make informed decisions on varieties, fertility, irrigation, harvest and more. This test evaluated 19 popular and new tomato varieties.

Materials and Methods: The Stiles Farm Foundation is a typical blackland soil and the test was planted in a Sunev series. PH of the site is 8.0; Nitrate was 15 ppm, 63 ppm P and 336 ppm K. Site was prepared in March. Beds were fertilized with 100 pounds of 21-0-0-24 in March and incorporated. Transplants were put in the beds on April 8. Varieties were planted 4 plants to a rep with 2 total reps per variety for a total of 8 plants. Spacing was 2.5 feet in the row and rows were 8 feet apart. Planting pattern is outlined in Table 1. Plants were drip irrigate
d on timed irrigations.

Scale is 1-10 with 10 being best. Ratings made on June 15, 2010 on both replications and the results averaged

Acknowledgments: A big thanks to Dr. Larry Stein who worked with Lone Star Growers to grow the transplants and then ship them out to counties for testing.

Table 1

Variety Planting Variety Results
Rep 1 Rep 2
No Variety No Variety No Variety Vigor Fruit Set
1 Christy 11 BHN 685 1 Christy 5 5
2 Celebrity 8 BHN 968 2 Celebrity 8 7.5
3 Solar Fire 15 Sunstart 3 Solar Fire 6.5 8
4 Applause 10 Sunstart
4 Applause 2.5 7
5 BHN 0941 12 Phoenix 5 BHN 0941 6 4
6 Tycoon 13 Belle Rosa 6 Tycoon 5.5 5.5
7 BHN 602 16 Tygress 7 BHN 602 6.5 7
8 BHN 968 3 Solar Fire 8 BHN 968 6 8.5
9 Tomasin 18 Heatwave Select 9 Tomasin 6 6.5
10 Katana 14 Sunshine 10 Katana 7 7.5
11 BHN 685 19 Sun Pride 11 BHN 685 7.5 7
12 Phoenix 1 Christy 12 Phoenix 5.5 7.5
13 Belle Rosa 17 BHN 0944 13 Belle Rosa 5.5 7.5
14 Sunshine 4 Applause 14 Sunshine 4 8.5
15 Sunstart 6 Tycoon 15 Sunstart 2.5 7
16 Tygress 5 BHN 0941 16 Tygress 7 7.5
17 BHN 0944 7 BHN 602 17 BHN 0944 7 5.5
18 Heatwave Select 2 Celebrity 18 Heatwave Select 5.5 6.5
19 Sun Pride 9 Tomasin 19 Sun Pride 8 8