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Today I will be blogging about the tamaters I planted this year. I had a much better year than last year, at least until they became sick with a very rare tamater disease - more on that later! I planted from seed four different types of cherry tamaters, a regular type of tamater (Better Boy) and two tamater plants I bought at a plant shop in Satwa - he called them "Local Tomatoes" - whatever that might be. At their peak I had 25 tamater plants all healthy and doing fine with fruit at various stages.
Just a little tamater info before we get into what I grew. There are many different types, shapes and colors of tamaters but all tamaters fall into only two kinds and/or are affected by the following:
- A Tatmater is either a Heirloom or a Hybrid. Basically you can take the seeds from a Heirloom and plant it and get the same tamater again but this is not the case with the Hybrids. You will get a tamater plant and maybe some tamaters but it will not be the same type of fruit the seed came from. This has created a tamater war - with both sides arguing about which is better Heirlooms or Hybrids - you can find some of the discussions and pro & cons between the two types here, here and here.
- A tamater plant is either a determinate or an indeterminate type. The most simple explanation of the difference between determinate and indeterminate type tamaters plants is that determinates is a bush type that bears it's fruit all at more or less the same time, while indeterminates bear their fruit over the course of a growing season. Indeterminate varieties are the type that grow longer vines and require support in terms of staking or caging during the growing season. For more information about the difference between the two types just click here, here and/or here.
- Temperture plays a big part in the fruiting of your plants. Of course, here in Dubai and most of the United Arab Emirates we do not have to worry about frost so the lower end of the temperture scale does not concern us as much as the higher end of the scale. I read somewhere (I do not think I imagine this) that it is the night time temperture that determines the fruit production. Hope I am right on this. As long as the temperature runs between 13C-35C you have tamaters but it is better if the temperature is between 18.5C-26.5C. Here are some links with more info on this here, here, here and here.
- Irregular watering is not good for your tamaters. It cause the fruit to split open ( I thought it was just bursting with flavor), blossom end rot, smaller fruit and susceptibility to tamater fungus. All producing lesser yields. My watering by hand whenever I could caused some of these problems. Here is some more information about irregular watering problems.
- Bulbuls will eat your tamaters!!!
As I said earlier, I grew from seeds four different varities of cherry tamaters, Sweet 100, Gardeners Delight (Sugar Lumps), Sugar Sweeties (no pics) and Juliet Hyrid. I also planted from seed a normal/large size tamater called Better Boy. They were all hybrids and indeterminates.
As I said earlier, I had a great second year (well at least much better than my frist year) with growing tamaters as you can see in the pictures above. Lots of fruit and even giving some away to friends. Everything was going well until one day the plants caught a very rare diease. This tamater diease is so rare it can only be found in the UAE at the moment - usually only in Dubai and Sharjah but it could be spreading. It is not well known yet so I am hoping you will spread the word amongst your fellow gardeners so they do not suffer the same faith as my plants. It is called "Nick Cate Blight"!!! Yes, if you know this man DO NOT let him come to your garden and look at your tamater plants because if they are doing better than his plants he will put the evil eye on them and they will be doomed from that day forward. Ok, I am sure if a specialist could look at my plants he/she could tell me what is wrong with mine and what is killing them. But, for the time being I know for sure my problems only started after he visited my garden and was jeaslous of my tamater plants!! So, it is the end of the tamater season for me now. I am just going to harvest the last few fruit on the last few surviving plants and call it a day for tamaters this year because by the time any new tamater seedlings come up it will be too hot to bear fruit What I am thinking is that I will prune the surving tamater plants down pretty good, check the internet for possible cures for "Nick Cate Blight" and see if they will make a come back. I'll keep you posted on their progress. I will be posting another blog soon about my second planting of seeds for summer squash, watermelon, okra, bell peppers and cantaloupe which are suppose to be more heat tolerant.
Thanks for stopping by. As always everyone is welcome to post a comment below especially if you think it could be beneficial to other gardeners. As we are on the subject of Tamaters, I would like to share with you the adventures of Tow Mater.
Again thanks for visiting.