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Mutant Tomatoes...

The home balcony is a lab where I make weird experiments...

Bang! I got home from a weekend away and found tomatoes everywhere. The variety 'Balconi Rote' is specially bred to grow well in small containers. The skin is soft and the flavour is so-so, would definitely grow again just for the way it looks...

And how does it look? mutant dwarf plants with odd roots growing out of their stems like fingers and a heavy crop of fruit. They look like regular tomato plants that some one has drawn badly.

See these weird growths? are they arial roots? or fingers? and if they are roots why are they green?

The small plants are looking ragged as they are putting all their energy into making fruit, and soon will be on their way to the compost heap.

What I did right:

Sun, plenty of it

Right variety for size of container (dwarf)

resulting in a heavy crop

What I did wrong:

not enough water

What cannot be controlled:

The way the leaves die back as the plants focus their energies on fruit

The mediocre flavour

What could make them better next time?

More regular water

Also, the taller tomatoes grown from seeds taken from supermarket fruits are doing well:

Getting the seeds? it's easy: take a rotten tomato, smash it up in a glass of water, strain through a sieve lined with paper towels. Leave the paper towels with seeds on them to dry out for a week or two, then tear up the paper towels and plant them, paper and everything, into soil.

And what about care? the dwarf variety requires little care except to keep watered and remove the tired looking leaves that appear later in the Summer.

The taller tomato varieties need more care: remove side shoots (the small upright stems growing in the 'arm pits' of the plant between the larger stems) as they appear and stake up the main stems. I learned the hard way what happens if you don't tie your tomatoes onto a firm support- the weight of fruit snapped the stems on one of my plants and I lost a whole bunch of fruit.

Feed all tomato plants about twice a month with a liquid feed, they love it.

And the most important ingredient of all is sun!

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