New Utah State Record Largest Tomato

See below for Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

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Actually this blog title is just an ambition at this point (September 8, 2014), but confidence is justified I think.  Within a week, at least one of these two tomatoes will likely crack 4 lbs.

1. Big Zac (? DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010)

Fruit set on about July 12th from a 6X+ megabloom, though only four lobes have grown well.  First blush noted on September 4th, 54 days since fruit set.  For a big tomato to grow for this long (now at 57 days) during the summer months is truly exceptional.  Growth has been fairly steady since day 17 at 0.11 lb./day, with an apparent surge from days 36-40 of about 0.18 lb./day.

Standard caliper measurements (widest diameters in 3 approximately perpendicular axes) put this one at 5.321 lbs.  No taped CC’s yet.  No way is it 5 lbs.  Take a look at the lobing.  Imagine placing the tomato inside an ovoid shaped container (weight prediction formula is based upon the premise that most tomatoes are roughly ovoid shaped) : so many gaps and hollow places.

I’ve assigned a GAF (Geometry Adjustment Factor) of 0.75 rather than the standard 0.95 to hopefully account for some of this.  Output is 3.99 lbs.  Even that seems a bit generous, but it is a very huge looking tomato.

So this is my guess:

Big Zac (3.99 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010)

Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012) HT A-001 9-8-2014 B

Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012) HT A-001 9-8-2014 A

Second candidate:

2. Domingo (? DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Pollinated on about 7-24-2014 from an impressive 5X+ megabloom.  Growth has been remarkable, particularly after all other competing tomatoes were removed from the vine on August 9th.  First blush today, 46 days since fruit set.  Was hoping it would go 50+ days before ripening commenced.  But it still has a good shot at 4 lbs.

Calipers put it at 4.732 lbs.  Has gained 0.136 lbs./day average since day 16 with a peak between days 22-26.  Taped CC’s put it at 5.117 lbs.  It’s a solid, rectangular cuboid shape with modest lobing.  I think these measurements will produce a closer estimate than the same measurements would for the Big Zac profiled above.  Still, the best adjustment factor I have to go on is the one which applies to an earlier tomato of the same variety, namely:  Domingo (2.734 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012).   This combined GAF/DAF was 0.895.

Should be able to get four more days of growth out of this one, with a daily weight gain of 0.1 lb./day.  So my projection for this one is:

(4.732+(0.1 X 4)) X 0.895 = 4.493 lbs.

Thus:

Domingo (4.493 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

So that’s my projection for this one, but I still can hardly believe what the formula produces!

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-8-2014 C

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-8-2014 A rev

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Update, September 9th, 2014

Here it is, the new Utah State Record (barely!):

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010)

Weighed at D&G Scale, Inc. on a certified scale which weighs only to 0.02 lb. precision, so their scale read 3.76.  My scales weigh to 0.002 lb. precision.  The short-lived record was 3.754 lbs. – cannot get any closer than that!

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) A Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) E

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) I

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) L Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) N Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) P Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) R Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) S

Harvested 59 days after fruit set.  Final caliper measurements put it at 5.170 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.756 – Yes, the EXACT actual weight!  This is not fudged, I simply tucked the tape all the way into the crevices for the Z-axis measurement.  So in this case, tape measurements are obviously more accurate.

With the Z axis measurement using calipers, I can get anywhere from 80.5 to 140.4 mm.  But for consistency, the “rule” requires measuring at the widest point.  If I had used the more reasonable average (110.45), the formula produces 4.064 lbs. – still 1/4 lb. overestimate, but much closer than 5.17!

Alternatively, applying a GAF of 0.70 to the caliper measurements yields 3.809 lbs., an acceptably close estimate.  But assigning a GAF in advance is more an art (guesswork) than science.  Thus it is.

The Domingo tomato measures to 4.836 lbs. today, so definitely on target to break 4 lbs.

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Update September 12th, 2014 -

Some well merited questions arose about whether this Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014) represents a single tomato or not.  Basically, all sections/lobes must have continuous flesh with at least one other lobe.  Turns out this one is a REALLY close call.  Here’s the clearest  of the pictures which shows flesh from the small lobe being separated from the main part.  Pink flesh contrasts red skin.

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) ZA rev2

A very delicious specimen!

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) ZM rev

Here’s the latest pic of the Domingo specimen:

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-11-2014 C

Calipers put it at 4.897 lbs., taped CC’s at 5.311, DAF/GAF adjustment for previous large Domingo at 4.273, 1 CC formula at 4.682.  Based on the look and feel of it, I would put it closer to 4 lbs. than any of these projections.  But it would be very nice to have it top 4.5 lbs.!  I think 5 is out of the question, however – not with all those indentations!

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Update September 16th, 2014 -

Steve Marley from New York state just weighed a Domingo specimen from the same seed stock as mine – 4.55 Wahl 2012.  Using taped CC’s, his measured to 7.589 lbs., but actual weight was only 5.75 lbs. – a huge disappointment and undermines the ability of this formula to accurately predict weight.  This specimen requires an unprecedented DAF/GAF of 0.758!  I’ve measured hundreds of specimens and never had one which required such a huge adjustment down.  One can only imagine that it is riddled with hollow seed locules and the texture from the outside is quite spongy.

Two days of zero growth with my Domingo specimen then today it put on just a bit of weight, even though it’s about 85% ripe.  Fresh circumference measurements are 620 X 523 X 501 mm (24.4 X 20.6 X 19.7 in.).  The 3 CC’s formula yields 5.746 lbs; 3 diameters formula projects 5.206, while single CC formula projects 4.960. This is a rather flattened specimen so 1 CC likely would be the closest of the three.

“The Real MacCoy” is the same variety from the same seed source with very similar looking geometry. So using the GAF/DAF from that specimen will probably yield my best estimate:

5.746 X 0.758 = 4.355 lbs.

At least this rather conservative estimate puts me above 4 lbs., finally!

This is a huge adjustment down, but has to be considered realistic.  A new state record and > 4 lbs. are both quite likely, however, so no disappointed is merited – yet.

Will probably weigh it tomorrow, though it would be really nice if I could hang on to it for 11 more days for the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers official weigh-off…

Latest pics:

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-16-2014 H

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-16-2014 G

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-16-2014 ADomingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 9-16-2014 F

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Update September 17th, 2014 -

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Before harvest:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) H Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) F Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) E

Before official weigh-in:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) J Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) M rev

On certified (by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Weights and Measures) scales, courtesy of D&G Scale, Salt Lake City, Utah:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) S rev Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) V rev

Documentation and Certificate:

Thurber, Tomato, Domingo (4.657 Thurber 2014) Certificate, Domingo (4.647 Thurber 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012).jpeg

In refrigerator, hoping it will last for 10 more days until the local weigh-off, sponsored and hosted by the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers at Thanksgiving Point on September 27th.

Tomatoes in fridge 9-17-2014 A

A combined DAF/GAF adjustment factor of 0.809 was needed to bring this one down from ellipsoid based projection of 5.746 to actual weight of 4.647 lbs.  A huge correction factor, but not the worst seen, as mentioned above.  In the center of the bottom is an indentation that penetrated all the way to the stem, probably 0.3 lbs. of error just with that.  It will be a while before I cut it up to check for hollow seed locules.

The bar has been raised again, this time more than one little notch!  Plenty of ideas for beating this one in 2015.  Nothing likely to surpass it in 2014, although another 4 pounder is a possibility…

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Update September 22nd -

Having trouble keeping this specimen in the proper temperature range.  Warmest setting on the fridge is about 40° so I have to keep turning it off and on.  Has endured 40-70° F.

I’m applying a 10% bleach solution to spray the rotting spots every day.  Here’s the top and a close-up of the worst spot:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) ZADomingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) ZD

And the worst spot on the bottom:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) ZM rev

It will likely be leaking in 5 days so will be for display only at the local Giant Pumpkin weigh-off event.  Based on estimated weight loss from other big ones I’ve kept intact for several days after weighing, I’ve come up with about 0.45% percent weight loss per day. So after 10 days, this one is projected to weigh:

4.442 lbs.

NEW WORLD RECORD 8.41 lb. TOMATO!!!

Gordon Graham’s 28-year-old record of 7.75 lbs. has withstood an ever increasing barrage of attack by the world’s greatest tomato growers.

Massive KUDOS and CONGRATULATIONS to Dan MacCoy of Ely, Minnesota!!

8.41 POUNDS!!!

See the video of harvest and weighing at:

Dan MacCoy’s 8.41 Tomato

Read about how he did it at:

Master P Diary at BP

Doubtless there will be stories about this amazing accomplishment all over the press in days to come!

Check out:

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/move-over-james-meet-dan-and-giant-tomato-ely

http://www.elyecho.com/articles/2014/08/30/ely-world-record-tomato

http://www.startribune.com/local/274414611.html

Dan also grew what looked like a 9.5 lb. behemoth, but unfortunately the segments were separate, not fused, so no go on that one!  Can’t wait to see what he’ll do next year!

Full geneaology of this new world record is:

Big Zac (8.41 MacCoy 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Boudyo 2010)(5.41 Harp 2009)(5.58 Timm 2008)(3.9 Catapano 2007)(4.59 Lyons 2006)(Big Zac F1 Commercial)

Dan was kind enough to share seeds of his 4.57 pound tomato which produced this new world record.  I have three of those plants growing and have made several successful crosses with other varieties – more to come about that.

Here is a ripening tomato on one of these Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013) plants:

Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013) HT A-001 8-23-2014 A

Though giant by my standards, I must confess it will NOT compete with Dan’s new record!  But it will have the SAME GENETICS – it is a FULL SIBLING of the 8.41 lb. world record!  And seeds from this one will be much easier to come by – just go to

DT SEEDS

These seeds will be ready by around September 15th.

 

Thinning Tomatoes for Fall Weigh Off

Annual giant pumpkin (etc.) weigh off is coming up on September 27th.

Tomato growers know that to get the largest tomato possible on a given truss, you must remove all tomatoes except the largest.  The sooner you do this the better.

It stands to reason that to get the largest tomato possible on a tomato vine, all but the largest tomato must go.  But it’s not that simple.  Trusses lower on the vine obviously bloom and set fruit earlier.  So what do you do if you have five trusses, each with a single fruit growing?

Fast growing tomatoes on lower trusses presumably commandeer a large portion of available resources before they can be made available to fruits growing on younger trusses.  So if a fruit on a higher truss is clearly larger than one on a lower truss, that’s  a pretty good indication that it has greater potential to grow large.  This phenomenon happens with some frequency, particularly when large megablooms are involved.

More often, however, tomato size is directly proportional to days since fruit set.  Then the decision about which tomatoes to prune becomes more challenging.  This has been one of my primary motivations for tracking tomatoes with calipers.  A few days of precise measurements can usually reveal which tomato is growing faster, and the other can be pruned without regrets.

But what about all those tomatoes that are not being measured on a regular basis?  Nobody has time or resources to measure them all unless they have institutional support, such as a research grant with graduate student labor.  That’s certainly not the case with my giant tomato project and I simply cannot keep up with all tomatoes on all 60 plants that are in the project this year.

So the decision making comes down to these considerations:

• When is your local weigh off?  Select tomatoes to leave on the vine which look like they will be ripe no more than 10 days before the event

• Select tomatoes which look like they have BIG potential:  thick pedicle; thick peduncle; blossoms scars indicating two or more fused ovaries; no blossom end rot or other significant blemishes

• Fruits just look like they have potential – more of an art than a science when no measurements are taken; light green, shinny skin color; good depth in all three dimensions; imagine – what would it look like if allowed to grow to full size; and of course experience.

So with this strategy in mind, I conducted a major harvest and thinning.  The goal is to remove all but one tomato per vine and hope that one will grow huge just in time for the Fall weigh off.

The assumption is that removal of all other tomatoes will “RELEASE” the remaining tomato and it will almost immediately begin growing at an accelerated rate.  I am not convinced that this release actually occurs on a regular basis.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve done all-but-one thinning on several vines with tomatoes that I have been tracking carefully.  In most cases I have not observed any noticeable increase in growth rates of the single tomatoes selected to remain on the vine.  But it’s still too early to make conclusions.

Decisions to thin or not to thin were not easy, but following is a pictorial overview of some of the sacrifices.

The entire batch of harvested and thinned tomatoes, about 55 lbs. total, all from the backyard high tunnel:

Tomato Thinnings 8-21-2014 rev

Belmonte (1.556 DT 2011)…(4.14 Perry 2009) -

These 10 tomatoes, 6.836 lbs. total, harvested

Belmonte (6.836 for 10 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011) A rev

To make room for this one:

Belmonte (1.556 DT 2010) HT-01 8-21-2014 A rev

Church (1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2009) -

These 6 tomatoes, 7.340 lbs. total for the 5 largest, harvested

Church (7.340 for 5 DT 2014)(1.662 DT 32011) C rev

To make room for this one:

Church (1.662 DT 2011) HT A-01 8-21-2014 B rev

Donskoi (1.866 DT 2012), which already produced a very delicious 3.108 pounder, thinned to just this one:

Donskoi HT A-02 8-21-2014 C rev

Epstein’s Potato Leaf, sibling vine in the giant tomato bed already produced two 2+ pounders -

These 5 tomatoes, 4.490 lbs. total for the 4 largest, harvested

Epstein's Potato Leaf (1.270 DT 2014)(4.940 for 4)(_Johnson 2013) D rev

To make room for this one:

Epstein's Potato Leaf (_Johnson 2013) HT-01 9-21-2014 D rev

Homer’s German Oxheart (1.916 DT 2012), so far a disappointment this year -

These 8 tomatoes, 6.890 lbs. total, harvested

Homer's German Oxheart (6.890 for 8 DT 2014)(1.916 DT 2012) C rev

To make room for this one:

Homer's German Oxheart HT A-01 8-21-2014 D rev

Hoy (~3 lb. Kott 2011), a plant that got off to a very slow start, thinned to just this one:

Hoy (3 Kott 2011) HT-01 8-21-2014 A rev

Russian (2.319 DT 2010) -

Three beautiful heart-shaped fruits, largest 2.136 lb., 5.602 lbs. total, plus the small fruit (0.336 lb.) resulting from the massive megabloom profiled on June 30th, harvested

Russian (1.698 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010) thinning 8-18-2014 D rev

To make room for this double flat heart near the top of the high tunnel

Russian (2.319 DT 2010) HT-05 8-21-2014 B rev

On the fastest growing of all 60 vines.  I’ve let it, along with a few other vines grow up through the high tunnel.

Russian (2.319 DT 2010) HT-05 8-21-2014 C rev

West Virginia Sweetmeat (1.806 DT 2012) -

Two fruits over two pounds (see other post) and a few little ones harvested to make room for this impressive looking specimen:

West Virginia Sweet Meat A-02 8-21-2014 D rev

Not tracked or even measured yet, but looks like it has a good chance of going over 3 lbs.

So it is hoped that among these lone “survivors”, plus several others not profiled here, will emerge some tomatoes in the 3-5 (!) pound range, ripe just in time for the weigh off.

And just for fun:

Catapano (1.278 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005), dubbed “longnose”:

Catapano (1.278 DT 2014) longnose F rev Catapano (1.278 DT 2014) longnose C rev

Big Rainbow (1.328 DT 2014)(1.888 DT 2011), an intricate work of natural art, provoking one’s imagination:

Big Rainbow (1.328 DT 2014)(1.888 DT 2011) C rev

 

First 2-pound Tomato of 2014

  TALLY OF 2+ POUND TOMATOES harvested from 8-12 through 9-26-2014

≥ 2.0 :  70       ≥ 2.5 :  28        ≥ 3.0 :   11       ≥ 3.5 :   4        ≥ 4.0 :   1     ≥ 4.5 :   1

Specimens presented in chronological order below.

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First 2 lb. tomato of 2014:

Epstein’s Potato Leaf (2.106 DT 2014)

Pic on July 06:

Epstein's PL 3X blossom NH D rev

Pic on July 20:

Epstein's PL 3X blossom NH 7-20-2014 D

Pic on August 10:

Epstein's PL TB A-002 NH 8-10-2014 A

Pic on August 12:

Epstein's Potato Leaf (2.106 DT 2014) A

After applying a DAF (Density Adjustment Factor) of 0.95, estimated weight from diameter measurements was 2.001 lb.; without this DAF, estimate was 2.106 lb. – first time that’s happened!   Said to be a derivative of Big Zac, but I’ve observed very little in common that variety: clear skin, potato leaved, distinctly different shape of blossoms and fruit.  Flavor is quite similar to Big Zac however:  bright, juicy, fairly sweet and just delicious – perfect for big sandwiches; 8.5 of 10.

AND – the first 2.5 lb. tomato of the season!

Bezrazmernyi (2.534 DT 2014)(1.698 DT 2012)

This one was not tracked, but I’ve been watching it for weeks.

Pic on August 10:

Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) HT002 8-10-2014 B

Pics on August 12:

Bezrazmernyi (2.534 DT 2014) A rev Bezrazmernyi (2.534 DT 2014) DBezrazmernyi (2.534 DT 2014) G rev

After applying a DAF (Density Adjustment Factor) of 0.95, estimated weight from diameter measurements was 2.417 lb.; without this DAF, estimate was 2.544 lb. – another close one.  Looking forward to tasting it as well.

August 16th – very tasty, moderately sweet, flavor score = 8.0 of a possible 10; all 2.5 lbs. devoured in 10 min….

Bezrazmernyi (2.534 DT 2014) J rev

Here in North America, Bezrazmernyi is not yet on the radar screen for growing giant tomatoes, but it obviously has huge potential.  My seeds came from Andrey Baranovski of Belarus.  Russian spelling is Безразмерный which translates to “Dimensionless”, a very appropriate name.  A couple of others are growing well.  One very promising 6X+ was overcome by blossom end rot and had to be removed:

Bezrazmernyi 6X blossom end rot D

There are at least 3 tomatoes still growing that are likely to surpass 2.5 lbs. as well

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August 14th – Heavy rains this morning so I picked three more big tomatoes, all over two pounds.

Epstein’s Potato Leaf (2.198 DT 2014), tracked from early on, measurements, with DAF put it at 2.101 lb.

First picture from July 6th already showed splitting and scarring:

 

Epstein's PL 3X blossom SL D rev

August 10th:

Epstein's PL TB A-001 SL 8-10-2014 B Preying Mantis rev

August 14th:

Epstein's Potato Leaf (2.198 DT 2014) A rev Epstein's Potato Leaf (2.198 DT 2014) C rev

MegaMarv (2.086 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012), not tracked, measures to 2.019 lb. with DAF.

MegaMarv (2.086 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) E rev MegaMarv (2.086 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) C rev

August 16 – very good, moderately rich, balanced, classic flavor; score = 8.0; also consumed in short order…

MegaMarv (2.086 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) I rev

And

MegaMarv (2.346 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012), not tracked, measures to 2.262 lb. with DAF.

MegaMarv (2.346 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) B rev MegaMarv (2.346 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) D rev

 

MegaMarv (2.346 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) L

That’s how a tomato ought to fit into a sandwich!

MegaMarv (2.346 DT 2014)(4.23 Wahl 2012) I rev

Note that both of these MegaMarv specimens appear to derive from single blossoms!  In my experience, MegaMarv rarely produces impressive megablooms, but single blossoms are capable of producing very large tomatoes.  This one is a prime candidate for cross-breeding with a reliable producer of megablooms, such as Big Zac (OP) or Michael’s Portuguese Monster – a work in progress!

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August 15th update

Another one, not tracked -

Shuntukski Velikan (2.190 DT 2012)(1.978 DT 2012)

Shuntukski Velikan (2.190 DT 2014) 8-15-2014 FShuntukski Velikan (2.190 DT 2014) 8-15-2014 G

Another variety that occasionally produces huge fruit, though they are typically flattened.

There are at least 9 tomatoes on the vine now that measure to 2+ pounds, three of these to > 2.5 lbs.

So far in 2014, all tracked tomatoes have been harvested mostly ripe between 36-42 days after fruit set.  Weather has been much more favorable in 2014 than in the previous four years that I’ve been trying to grow giant tomatoes.

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August 16th update

Another two pounder, not tracked, noticed for the first time just a few days ago at the bottom of the vine, tracking a smaller one higher on the vine.

Cleota Pink (2.088)(2.108 DT 2011)

Cleota Pink (2.088 DT 2014)(2.108 DT 2011) A rev

Probably could have waited a couple of days on this one.

Later – a beautiful tomato when ripe on August 19th:

Cleota Pink (2.088 DT 2014)(2.108 DT 2011) J Cleota Pink (2.088 DT 2014)(2.108 DT 2011) F rev

Note the very hollow seed locules.  Flavor was mild, little sweetness, score 5.5, but not a fair assessment as it was not vine ripened.

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August 17th update

Delicious (2.828 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011)

Not tracked, did not even notice it until it was well over 1 lb.  Was hoping to hit 3 lbs. but didn’t quite make it.  Estimate from caliper measurements?  2.830 !  Cannot get much closer than that! Harvested early because an 8X fruit has set on this vine and is trying to grow big…

Delicious (2.828 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011) A rev Delicious (2.828 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011) B

It’s been much warmer the last 3 days or so and lots of tomatoes are ripening quickly, including a few more that will likely top 2 lbs.

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August 18th update

Virginia Sweets (2.024 DT 2014)(2.218 DT 2011)

Not tracked.  Caliper estimates put it at 2.058 lbs. This variety won first place in the 2011 Delectation of Tomatoes tasting contest.

Virginia Sweets (2.024 DT 2014) C rev Virginia Sweets (2.024 DT 2014) B rev

Virginia Sweets (2.024 DT 2014) M rev Virginia Sweets (2.024 DT 2014) J

Absolutely delicious – sweet, fruity and juicy – contest winner in 2011 tomato tasting event.

And the first 3-pounder of the season!  My third largest ever:

Delicious (3.012 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011)

Not tracked, caliper measurements put it at 3.087 lbs.  I’ve grown this line of Delicious for three previous years and could not even manage 2 lbs.  This particular seed might just have the “Big DNA” that the others did not.

Delicious (3.012 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011) D rev Delicious (3.012 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011) A

Counting this one, the 2.828 from yesterday, and the other six thinned out today, that comes to 9.656 lbs. removed from this vine to make room for this little 8X on a sucker that got away from me:

Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011) TB A-002 8-18-2014 B rev

It measures to only 0.173 lbs., yet despite having theses two 3-pounders and another 4 lbs. of multi-lobed tomatoes growing on the vine, this one is still showing real potential.

I’ve also committed radical pruning and thinning on several other tomato vines in anticipation of the local weigh-off 33 days away.  Perhaps one of these smaller tomatoes will “blow up” now that all competitors have been removed?

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August 19th update

Big Zac (2.024 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012)

Not tracked, thinned to make room for a larger, faster growing tomato higher up on the vine.  Measured to 1.908 lbs. Note that DAF is 0.90 for green tomatoes.

Big Zac (2.024 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012) A

Big Zac (2.024 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012) B

And another that looked like it had a shot at 3 lbs.:

Domingo (2.734 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Unfortunately, it was oozing badly from old wounds and splitting, so I harvested it only partly ripe.  It measures to 2.806 lbs.  There is another Domingo in the high tunnel that is growing very well, measuring to 2.10 lbs. at just 26 days along.  With the weather cooling some, it just might have a chance of going well over 3 lbs.

Domingo (2.734 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) B rev Domingo (2.734 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) A

The streak of at least one 2-pounder harvested every day is showing no signs of abating!  Just might have another 3-pounder tomorrow – measures to 3.02 today.

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August 20th update

Only one really big one harvested today:

Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014)(1.866 DT 2012)

Biggest of the year so far!  This one was tracked since July 19th.  Harvested at 46 days after fruit set, 85% ripe with some oozing.  Measurements with calipers put it at 3.065 lb.; with taped circumferences at 3.141 lbs.

Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014)(1.866 DT 2012) B Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014)(1.866 DT 2012) D rev Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014)(1.866 DT 2012) N rev

Donskoi (3.108 DT 2014)(1.866 DT 2012) T

Eaten on August 21st.  We had guests.  The question was asked, “do these big tomatoes really taste very good?”  I was almost embarrassed to serve this one because I did not know how it would taste, and to be honest, it didn’t look very appetizing.  But it ripened fully on the vine so I served it.  We were all very impressed and pleasantly surprised!  I scored it 9.0 of 10.

An initial burst of bright, juicy, robust, pleasant flavor, followed shortly by a distinctive sweetness, not overpowering but just right and lingering pleasantly.  Like Dester, the flesh itself is sweet.  Three pounds wasn’t big enough for what we wanted to eat of this one – a real keeper!!

So here are my four biggest of the year so far, with a combined weight of 11.682 lbs.!

Giant Tomatoes (11.682 for 4 DT 2014) B

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August 21st update

Four 2+ pounders harvested today, none of them tracked.

Chilo della Garfagnana (2.100 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012)

Calipers put it at 2.099 lb., taped CC’s at 2.237:

Chilo della Garfagnana (2.100 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) B rev Chilo della Garfagnana (2.100 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) A rev

Russian (2.136 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010)

Calipers put it at 2.197 lb., taped CC’s at 2.131:

Russian (2.136 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010) A rev Russian (2.136 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010) B rev

West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.100 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012)

Calipers put it at 2.047 lb., taped CC’s at 2.147:

West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.100 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) D rev West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.100 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) A rev

West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.206 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012)

Calipers put it at 2.041 lb., taped CC’s at 2.059:

West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.206 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) C rev West Virginia Sweet Meat (2.206 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) A rev

These last two and other small fruits on the same vine were cleared out to make room for:

West Virginia Sweet Meat A-02 8-21-2014 D rev

Much larger, looking like it could go over 3 lbs.; also not tracked.

= = = = = = = = = =

August 22nd update -

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.452 DT 2014)(2.222 DT 2013)

Tracked since July 10th, harvested at 47 days after pollination – several days longer than most varieties.  Measures to 2.521 lbs. with calipers, 2.691 with tape measure.  It’s got a significant depression in the bottom.

From a 3X+ blossom, June 29th:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013) 3X blossom 6-29-2014 D

August 22nd:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.452 DT 2014)(2.222 DT 2013) B

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.452 DT 2014)(2.222 DT 2013) H Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.452 DT 2014)(2.222 DT 2013) C

= = = = = = = = = =

August 23rd update -

Delicious (2.314 DT 2014)(4.78 Lorson 2012)

Not tracked.  Measurements from calipers puts it at 2.217; from taped CC’s, 2.384:

Delicious (2.314 DT 2014)(4.78 Lorson 2012) A

Delicious (2.314 DT 2014)(4.78 Lorson 2012) B

= = = = = = = = = =

August 24th update -

Church (2.372 DT 2.014)(3.208 DT 2012)

Not tracked, calipers put it at 2.295 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.343:

Church (2.372 DT 2.014)(3.208 DT 2012) C rev Church (2.372 DT 2.014)(3.208 DT 2012) A

= = = = = = = = = =

August 25th Update -

Only one 2+ pounder harvested today:

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012)

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZK rev

Much more about this one at:

How Big Will That Tomato Get?

= = = = = = = = = =
August 26th Update -

Three over 2 lbs.

Rhode Island Giant (2.006 DT 2014)(1.934 DT 2013)

Calipers put it at 1.853, taped CC’s at 2.125.  This variety is distinctive in that it produces only 1 or 2 blossoms per truss.

Rhode Island Giant (2.006 DT 2014)(1.924 DT 2012) C rev

Domingo (2.288 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Calipers put it at 2.227, taped CC’s at 2.341.

Domingo (2.288 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) E rev

Domingo (2.530 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Calipers put it at 2.497, taped CC’s at 2.652.  This makes 3 Domingo specimens that were growing on the same vine simultaneously that reached weights of well over 2 lbs. – these two plus 2.734 harvested 1 week ago.  Not counting several smaller ones.

Domingo (2.528 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) D rev

I will be gone for a few days so this streak of harvesting at least one 2-pound tomato every day will come to an end at 25 specimens in 14 days.  Far better than I’ve every managed before.  Blame it on the weather, I say.

Between June 01 – August 25, 2013 there were 2,647 growing degree days (GDD)

Between June 01 – August 25, 2014 there were 2,181 GDD

Though this is a strong contrast, the number of days reaching 95+ degrees is even more meaningful from a tomato growing perspective:

2013: 75 days over 86° including 50 days over 95° F

2014: 53 days over 86° including 19 days over 95° F

With tomato plants, and presumably the fruits themselves, growth begins to slow markedly at 86° F and essentially shuts down above 95°.

= = = = = = = = = = =

August 30th update -

16.302 lbs. for 6 tomatoes!

Big Tomatoes 8-30-2014 C

Brutus Magnum (2.386 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.293 lb., taped CC’s at 2.594.

Brutus Magnum (2.386 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012) E rev

Brutus Magnum (2.386 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012) C rev

Two very large tomatoes harvested from the same Big Zac vine, 3.75 Catapano.  This seed line is noteworthy since it is a sibling of 3.9 Catapano 2007, from which virtually all documented 4+ lb. Big Zac specimens of the past 5 years trace their ancestry.

Big Zac (2.394 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.211 lb., taped CC’s at 2.391.

Big Zac (2.394 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) D rev

Big Zac (2.394 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) A rev

Big Zac (2.628 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.677 lb., taped CC’s at 2.637 (both estimates within 2%).

Big Zac (2.628 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) B rev

Big Zac (2.628 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) E rev

Oxheart Giantissimo (2.624 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011)

Tracked since July 20th, harvested fully ripe about 48 days since fruit set. Impressive growth for the first 3 weeks then growth slowed noticeably.  Calipers put it at 2.821 lb., taped CC’s at 3.154.  Some hollow seed locules and lobing, but still well below projection.  Very good, soothing, balanced flavor; 7.5 of 10.

Oxheart Giantissimo (2.624 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011) Brev Oxheart Giantissimo (2.624 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011) I rev

Now for one I was REALLY hoping would go over 3 lbs., as it is a SIBLING OF THE NEW WORLD RECORD.

Big Zac (2.958 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013)

Tracked since July 10th, a clear 3X with deep lobing, harvested fully ripe 52 days from fruit set (wish they would all last this long on the vine).  Calipers put it at 2.952 lb., taped CC’s at 3.107.  Seeds should be ready by September 20th or so.

Big Zac (2.958 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013) D rev Big Zac (2.958 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013) F

On 9-3, huge, beautiful slices made several over-stuffed, very juicy, very delicious tomato sandwiches.  Note that epidermis is clear on this line of Big Zac (OP)

Big Zac (2.958 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013) I rev

And last but certainly not least, the third largest tomato I’ve ever grown:

West Virginia Sweetmeat (3.312 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012)

Not tracked, as I never really expected this one to get so large!  Previously harvested several good sized tomatoes off this vine.  So I think with proper care, this very delicious variety has a real chance of going 4 lbs. plus.  Calipers put it at 3.023 lb., taped CC’s at 3.354.  Shape is more cuboidal then ovoid, which may explain why caliper measurements projected so far under actual weight.  A beautiful specimen which I’ve had my eye on for weeks!  Very good flavor, but not as sweet as I recall some previous specimens.

West Virginia Sweetmeat (3.312 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) H rev West Virginia Sweetmeat (3.312 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) B rev

West Virginia Sweetmeat (3.312 DT 2014)(1.806 DT 2012) J rev

Not through with 2 pounders – or 3 pounders yet!  Another Big Zac, 48 days along, with no hint of ripening yet, measures to just over 4 lbs.  It is deeply lobed so estimated weight will likely not be very close to reality.

Then there is this solid, minimally lobed specimen that measures to 3.49 lbs. at 37 days along and still very green and growing fast!

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002:

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 8-30-2014 C

On August 11th these two promising tomatoes removed to divert resources to the one shown above:

Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012) HT A-002 culls 8-11-2014 B

Domingo has been a very impressive variety this year and this one may be my best chance at cracking that 4 lb. barrier.

= = = = = = = = = = =

August 31st update -

Brutus Magnum (2.152 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012)

Not tracked (actually not even noticed until a week or so ago) and harvested fully ripe from the same vine as the 2.386 specimen profiled above.  Calipers put it at 2.211 lb., taped CC’s at 2.153 – both remarkably close considering the heavy ruffling.

Brutus Magnum (2.152 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012) B rev Brutus Magnum (2.152 DT 2014)(2.006 DT 2012) D rev

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 1st update -

Sumo (2.674)(1.782 DT 2012)

This one was very impressive from the beginning!  Measurements and pictures taken since July 20th.  Harvested at about 50 days after fruit set.  Measures to 3.243 lbs. with calipers, 2.960 with taped CC’s.  Diameter measurements in particular are not working real well when a tomato has lots of knobs and deep crevices.

Recorded as emerging from an 8X megabloom. Picture on 7-19-2014:

Sumo (1.782 DT 2012) HT002 7-19-2014 C rev

And today:

Sumo (2.674)(1.782 DT 2012) A

Sumo (2.674)(1.782 DT 2012) C rev

Sumo (2.674)(1.782 DT 2012) F

Here’s what the parent looked like, Sumo (1.782 DT 2012):

Sumo (1.782 DT 2012) E rev

An apt name for a hefty, ruffled variety!  Developed by Fred Bruns of Carmel, Indiana from a cross between Enormous Plum and Florida Pink.

Now for one that was growing very fast and on target to exceed 3 lbs.:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013) TB A-01

This plant was very slow to get going but is growing very well.  Only one tomato from over 1,600 vines in 2013 produced a fruit over 2 lbs., and this is the offspring of that tomato.

Here it was on August 15th:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013) TB A-01 8-15-2014  A

And on August 30th, gaining an average of 0.13 lbs. per day, getting hopes very high:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013) TB A-01 8-30-2014 E rev

Observed again late on August 31st, then early on September 1st:

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013) TB A-01 9-1-2014 stolen B

That’s what I get for growing tomatoes next to a busy sidewalk.  I can almost understand stealing a big, red ripe tomato if a kid were really hungry.  But a big, green, gnarly thing?  I have buckets of green tomatoes I’ll be glad to give away if they are really THAT hungry…

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 2nd update -

Big Zac (2.090 DT 2014)(__ Johnson 2013)(5.12 Daho 2012)

Variety name also listed as “Daho Giant” after Mehdi Daho of L’etoile-Spay, France who has grown several tomatoes to over 5 lbs. and previously held the record for largest tomato in both France and Europe.

Not tracked; harvested 45% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.091 lb., taped CC’s at 2.109.

Big Zac (2.090 DT 2014)(__ Johnson 2013)(5.12 Daho 2012) A rev

Big Zac (2.090 DT 2014)(__ Johnson 2013)(5.12 Daho 2012) D rev

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 3rd update -

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.222 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012)

Picked several days early because this plant is right next to the sidewalk.  If the neighbors will steal a big lumpy green tomato, they would certainly be tempted by a nice, big, well formed one such as this if it were fully ripe.  This is also the plant that is growing fully formed suckers out of its leaf veins over all the older leaves on the vine!

Not tracked; harvested 30% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.200 lb., taped CC’s at 2.467.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.222 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) A rev

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 4th update -

Big Zac (2.370 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012)

Not tracked; harvested 60% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.195 lb., taped CC’s at 2.472.

Lineage is from my largest or nearly so each year but 2013 (which was not my year for giant tomatoes):

2.370 DT 2014 < 2.962 DT 2012 < 2.660 DT 2011 < 2.762 DT 2010 (state record) < 4.83 Perry 2009 (state record) < 5.58 Timm 2008 < 3.9 Catapano 2007 < 4.59 Lyons 2006 < Commercial Big Zac (F1)

Big Zac (2.370 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012) A Big Zac (2.370 DT 2014)(2.962 DT 2012) B

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September 5th update -

A beautiful one that unfortunately just missed the 2.0 cutoff, Virginia Sweets (1.920 DT 2014)(2.218 DT 2011):

Virginia Sweets (1.920 DT 2014)(2.218 DT 2011) DVirginia Sweets (1.920 DT 2014)(2.218 DT 2011) E

And an attractive, cardiod shaped fruit did make the cut-off, despite growing together with one of almost equal size -

Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag (2.614 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012)

Not tracked; harvested 80% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.749 lb., taped CC’s at 2.814.

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.614 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) B rev

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.614 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) D

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.614 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) F

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 6th update -

Another 3-pounder!

Church (3.138)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2008)

Tracked for just the past couple of weeks, harvested 50% ripe.  Calipers put it at 3.249 lb., taped CC’s at 3.181.

Church (3.138)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2008) B rev Church (3.138)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2008) A

Duane Perry set an Ohio state record in 2008 with the grandparent of this one.  Church has received some bad publicity.  Sometimes the BIG ugly fruits which result from megablooms tend to split and have a large white core. But the “normal” fruits are big, beautiful (often speckled), and produce huge, perfect slices with a very good, traditional tomato flavor.  But ya gotta let ‘em ripen fully on the vine!  Even the extra sweet tiny “cherry” tomatoes are bland when under ripe.  Church vines can get huge and are very healthy and extremely productive; a skilled grower under good conditions could produce at least 40 tomatoes, most of them in the 1.5-2 lb. range.

Growth of largest Domingo is slowing, will probably show blush tomorrow, but tape measurements put it at 4.778 lbs.! Caliper measurements at “only” 4.182, however.  Main reason, I think, for such a large discrepancy is the shape of this tomato: a rectangular cuboid.  My weight prediction formulae are based on ellipsoids, which roughly fit most tomatoes.  A rectangular cuboid has those 8 corners which extend beyond the measurements of calipers used to measure diameters, but which are encompassed with a tape used to measure circumferences.  Reality is likely somewhere between these two methods of measurement.

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 7th update -

Not quite 3 lbs.

Delicious (2.868 DT 2014)(5th gen. 7.75 Graham 1986)

Only tracked since August 18th when it was already about 28 days along and was obviously growing very fast.  Calipers put it at 2.885 lb., taped CC’s at 3.117, with GAF (Geometry Adjustment Factor) of 0.9 (due to deep lobing and being very elongated)  – 2.805.  Often taped CC’s overestimate weight especially for deeply lobed specimens.

Delicious (2.868 DT 2014)(5th gen. 7.75 Graham 1986) B revDelicious (2.868 DT 2014)(5th gen. 7.75 Graham 1986) E rev

Here’s 2.868 DT 2014 < 1.224 DT 2013 < ~3 Glen Knox 2009 < __ Marvin Meisner 2008 < 7.75 Gordon Graham 1986
Before his passing in 1997, Gordon Graham sent some seeds from his world record, 7 lb. 12 oz. tomato to a friend of his in England.  In 2007-2008, Marv Meisner worked with Minnie Zaccaria (of Big Zac fame) to get some of those very old seeds germinated and the offspring seeds disseminated to other giant tomato growers.
From what I’ve seen of this lineage in 2014, I’m becoming a believer that – in the right hands and under the right conditions – it does indeed have what it takes to grow some really HUGE tomatoes.

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 8th update -

Testing a third, theoretically more accurate way to estimate weights of tomatoes before harvest: indirect weight through water displacement.

The other Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag is ready to be picked.  It’s an ideal candidate for testing the Water Displacement method: long pedicle, hanging down, no significant obstructions.

What’s needed:

• Appropriate sized container for water + water source

• Scales

• A flat surface that is as level as possible

Water Displacement 9-8-2014 B revWater Displacement 9-8-2014 D revWater Displacement 9-8-2014 F

Method is pretty straightforward:

1. Arrange empty bowl under tomato so that the entire tomato is below the surface of the rim of the bowl.

2. Keeping bowl as level as possible, fill it to the brim with water, just until it begins to spill over the rim.

3. Gently lower the bowl and place it on the scales; record weight.

4. Making sure the bowl remains level, carefully fill it to the brim again; record weight.  In the case shown here, this is 2,153 g.

5. The difference between these two numbers is volume of water displaced by the tomato.  In this case, 3,203 g.

6. Take the difference in weight of the water displaced: 3,203-2,153 = 1,050 g.  At temperature and pressure (elevation) we would be dealing with, density of water is 1.00 grams/ml.

7. Apply relative density factor.  After testing more than 800 tomatoes over the past few years.  For green tomatoes (<25% ripe), the average density is roughly 0.90.  For ripe tomatoes, 0.95 seems to work fairly well.  So in this case, with a tomato about 85% ripe:

Weight estimate = 1,050g X 0.95 = 997.5g X (lb./453.59g) = 2.199 lbs.

Will this estimate from Water Displacement be more accurate?  We’ll see in a few minutes.

= = = = =

Later -

It looks and feels like it might barely be 2 lbs.  Calipers put it at 2.252 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.145.

All three estimates are very close to each other but are they close to reality?  Time to weigh it.

= = = = =

Later -

Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag (2.026 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012)

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.026 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) A revRebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.026 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) B

All three estimates were off by more than 5%.  Obvious conclusion:  DAF (Density Adjustment Factor) is off for this specimen.  Suspicion:  Hollow seed locules.  Confirmation – see picture below.  Moderate to severe, enough to make this one even less dense than a green tomato.  Even using a DAF of 0.90 (standard for green tomatoes) yields 2.134 lb. (calipers) or 2.037 (CC’s) – much closer but still overestimates.

Lesson:  even a geometrically “well behaved” specimen like this one can present challenges for weight estimation and prediction.  Many large fruited tomato varieties have a tendency to produce tomatoes with hollow seed locules.  But what causes this phenomenon and is there any way to predict or prevent it?  I’ll just say that using a DAF of 0.95 is optimistic, but reasonable most of the time for estimating within 5% or so.

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.026 DT 2014)(1.428 DT 2012) E

What’s on deck?  A Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010).  Playing “by the rules” (Widest possible diameters in all 3 perpendicular dimensions), this one measures to 5.321 lbs.  But imagine a hollow ovoid fitting snuggly around this one.  There would be a LOT of gaps and depressions due to heavy lobing.  Even using a Geometry Adjustment Factor of 0.80, rather than the standard 0.95, the projected weight of 4.351 still seems like a significant overestimate for this one.  But it still has a very good chance of breaking the Utah state record of 3.754 lbs.  Unless it’s heavier than that, I won’t bother getting a certified, witnessed weight.

Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012) HT A-001 9-8-2014 B

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 9th update -

BARELY a new state record:

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010)

Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) Q

See more at:

http://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/new-utah-state-record-largest-tomato/

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 10th update -

Bezrazmernyi (3.364 DT 2014)(1.698 DT 2012)

Not  tracked; was planning on removing this one weeks ago in deference to two larger, more promising looking vinemates.  But both of them succumbed to blossom end rot and had to be removed.  This variety has definitely moved firmly onto my “Top 10″ list for growing giant tomatoes.

Calipers put it at 3.366 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.368

On the vine, 9-2-2014:

Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) HT-03 9-02-2014 B.

Today:

Bezrazmernyi (3.364 DT 2014)(1.698 DT 2012) E Bezrazmernyi (3.364 DT 2014)(1.698 DT 2012) A rev

So this Bezrazmernyi (“Dimensionsless”) moves into third place for 2014.

The BIG Domingo tomato measures to 4.90 lbs. today using standard method (calipers, ellipsoid formula, DAF of 0.95).  Most generous projection, based on CC’s, puts it at 5.27.  Most conservative, based on averaging measurements of the most variable dimension (height, which varies from 77.1 to 122.6 mm) and applying a DAF of 0.895 (as needed to fit others of this variety), rather than standard 0.95, yields 3.758.  Might get 4 more days of slow growth out of it.  Would be real disappointed if it doesn’t at least crack 4 lbs.

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 11th update -

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (1.480 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012)

Tracked since August 11th, list as a 5X, harvested about 48 days after fruit set. Grown on the MPM plant in the giant tomato bed.  This is the bizarre plant which put out many suckers from leaf veins!  This plant has also put out an impressive number of super-megablooms.  Unfortunately, it has also been hit hard with blossom end rot, with several very promising tomatoes lost to the disorder.  Just can’t seem to keep the watering consistent.

Calipers put it at 2.591 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.611

Michael's Portuguese Monster (1.480 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) A Michael's Portuguese Monster (1.480 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) D

Michael's Portuguese Monster (1.480 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) O rev

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September 12th update -

Wes (2.178 DT 2014)(1.718 DT 2012)

A wonderful variety for market especially.  Here’s what’s on my seed packet:

“Stunning, gorgeous tomatoes are deep red, blemish free, shiny, large and more or less heart-shaped – with flavor to match: exciting, distinctive, balanced and compelling. A real garden treasure! Regular leaf, indeterminate, reasonable production, 90+ days”

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.132 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.282. Both very close, as expected for a geometrically “well behaved” specimen.  My guess before taking any measurements was 2.110 lbs.

Wes (2.178 DT 2014)(1.718 DT 2012) D Wes (2.178 DT 2014)(1.718 DT 2012) A rev

Yesterday I developed a polynomial formula for predicting tomato weights based only on the largest circumference.  This is the only measurement that most tomato growers take so it should be useful.  It is based on measurements from 135 tomatoes ranging from 1.01 to 8.41 lbs. and includes data from about 30 giant tomatoes grown by others.

W = 2.9221 – 0.3876*CC + 0.0193*CC^2

Where W = Weight, output in pounds and decimal pounds
CC = Circumference, input in inches and decimal inches

For this Wes specimen, this “1CC Formula” yields 1.820, which is a 16.4% underestimate.

The R^2 for this formula is 0.9420, so there is a fair amount of slop (how can there not be with such bizarre shaped tomatoes??). Basically if you have a very flat tomato, this formula will likely overestimate substantially. Deeply lobed tomatoes or those with big gaps will also be overestimated.  If you have a very “tall” tomato (such as this Wes specimen), it will underestimate.  But at least this should get you in the ballpark.

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 13th update -

Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag (2.740 DT 2014)(2.200 DT 2010)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.703 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.870, 1 CC at 2.136 – again demonstrating that using just 1 dimension to estimate weight is problematic for heart-shaped/elongated tomatoes.

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.740 DT 2014)(2.200 DT 2010) C

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.740 DT 2014)(2.200 DT 2010) J

Rebecca Sebastian's Bull Bag (2.740 DT 2014)(2.200 DT 2010) M

Here’s a tomato from a super megabloom that was growing VERY fast but then suddenly got hit with BER – a disorder that hit more than half the tomatoes on this plant.

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (0.516 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012)

Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.516 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) B

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 14th update -

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.312 DT 2014)(2.222 DT 2013)

Tracked only for the past couple of weeks, after the 2.452 lb. specimen was harvested from this plant.  Calipers put it at 2.138 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.210, 1 CC at 2.233.  It was hang on the vine at an angle that started to pull on the stem end once it started getting big – it nearly harvested itself!

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.312)(2.222 DT 2013) C Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.312)(2.222 DT 2013) B

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 15th update -

Church (2.580)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2010)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.386 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.618, 1 CC at 2.184.

Church (2.580)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2010) C rev Church (2.580)(1.662 DT 2010)(4.48 Perry 2010) B rev

Picked partially ripe, along with 6 other smaller tomatoes on the same vine, to make room for this fast growing 4X+ specimen:

Church (1.662 DT 2010) TB-01 9-15-2014 A

Temperatures have been in the high 80’s with low 90’s for the next couple of days.  Big tomatoes are ripening quickly, so will need to harvest at a faster rate.

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 16th update -

Mazarini (2.450 DT 2014)(2.246 DT 2012)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.497 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.540 and 1 CC formula at 2.067.  Again, for “tall” tomatoes, the 1 CC formula usually underestimates significantly.

Mazarini is a beautiful, clear-skinned variety, typically heart shaped with a very good, though mild flavor.  This specimen is apparently from three fused blossoms, just as was its parent.

Mazarini (2.450 DT 2014)(2.246 DT 2012) B

Mazarini (2.450 DT 2014)(2.246 DT 2012) G

 

= = = = = = = = = = =

September 17th update -

Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012)*

*OFFICAL AND CERTIFIED WEIGHT at D&G Scale, Salt Lake City, Utah

Not quite another Utah State record!  This one only tracked since September 1st.  Calipers put it at 3.982 lbs., taped CC’s at 4.048 and 1 CC formula at 3.813.  Geometry adjustments score -5% each for being elongate, flattened and lobed, so a GAF of 0.85 yields a projected weight of 3.441.

Before Harvest:

Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) F Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) D

Before official weigh-in:

Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) I rev Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) K rev Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) P Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) S rev

Official, certified weight and certificate:

Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) V rev Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) W rev

Certificate, Chilo della Garfagnana (3.554 Thurber 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) rev

Notes about this variety from my database:

“Aka Kilo della Garfagnana, but “Chilo” is  the correct spelling in Italian – see http://amicidellortodue.blogspot.com/2011/08/pomodoro-chilo-della-garfagnana.html.  Clear-skinned, red-fleshed fruits are indeed large, most weighing in at over a pound, with a documented weight to 3 lb. 6 oz. with no pruning or thinning.  Pronounced fluting around the entire fruit is common, particulary with the earlier fruits.  Prone to cracking, so special attention to watering is needed.  Fruits are meaty with little juice and very few seeds.  Flavor is mild but pleasant – initially very good and moderately sweet, fading to an average aftertaste.  These would be great sliced for filling out a sandwich, but are so big, their best use would probably be for making some wonderful, authentic italian tomato sauce.  Indeterminate, regular leafed plants are exceptionally productive.  It’s a sight to behold in the tomato patch – often 10 or more 1+ lb. tomatoes hanging on the vine simultaneously.  Staking is a must.  This is an old heirloom variety from the Tuscany region of Italy.  My seed stock came from Emanuele Mangani of Cortona, Italy, in 2011.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

ALSO picked today, a major jump up in the Utah state giant tomato record:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) T

See more at:

DT Blog Utah State Record

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September 18th update -

Four tomatoes over 2 lbs. harvested today:

Big Zac (2.264 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013)

Listed as a 5X, but only 3 lobes grew well.  Tracked since August 11th.  On that date, I removed all other tomatoes from the vine – 5.9 lbs. worth – and pruned heavily to try to divert all the plant’s resources to this one fruit which appeared to have the most potential.  There was never any evidence that this strategy worked in this case.  Average daily weight gain was 0.081 lbs. per day between day 16-36, which is typically when tomatoes seem to grow most quickly for me.

Harvested fully ripe at 54 days along.  Calipers put it at 2.585 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.462, 1CC at 2.384.  A GAF of 0.9 (-5% for moderate lobing and -5% for flattened shape) yields an estimate of 2.216 lbs.

Big Zac (2.264 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013) A revBig Zac (2.264 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013) D rev

Belmonte (2.062 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011)

Tracked since 8-21-2014.  On that day, thinned off 10 other tomatoes weighing 6.8+ lbs. total in the hope that this one would grow faster.  Again on 8-30, removed another 20 small tomatoes.  This one never did grow very fast, averaging about 0.050 lb. weight gain per day during rapid growth phase.  Rather disappointing, considering it’s 3 generations from a 4.14 lb. specimen.

Harvested a little overripe at about 48 days along.  Calipers put it at 1.921 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.154, 1CC at 1.820.  Belmonte has a pleasant and good, though mild flavor.  Probably better suited for cooking unless you enjoy mild.  Vines are very tall, healthy and productive.

Belmonte (2.062 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011) A revBelmonte (2.062 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011) C rev

Church (2.322 DT 2.014)(3.208 DT 2012)

Not tracked.  Harvested fully ripe.  Speckling is common with this variety, as is splitting if watering is inconsistent.

Calipers put it at 2.271 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.370, 1CC at 2.033.

Church (2.322 DT 2014)(3.208 DT 2012) B revChurch (2.322 DT 2014)(3.208 DT 2012) C rev

Domingo (2.096 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Not tracked.  Harvested fully ripe.

Calipers put it at 1.807 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.401, 1CC at 1.913.  Minor hollowness in seed locules, not enough to account for the 3 CC’s formula overestimating so much.  Applying a DAF of 0.85, which seems to be about right for this variety for some unknown (yet) reason, we get much closer: 2.042.

Domingo (2.096 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) C revDomingo (2.096 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) E rev

 

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September 19th update -

Catapano (2.436 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005)

Not tracked, picked 90% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.654 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.561, 1CC at 2.558; GAF of 0.95 for moderate lobing yields 2.433.  This is the third tomato on this vine which exhibited a prominent “nose”

Catapano (2.436 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005) B rev

Catapano (2.436 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005) C revCatapano (2.436 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005) I

Catapano (2.436 DT 2014)(2.2 Catapano 2005) J

Following are notes from Russ Landry who spoke with Frank Catapano about this variety:
“(Frank’s) own seed line that he received from some friends in Toronto area … dating back to 1998 as he grew the offspring year after in his backyard just north of Toronto in a community called Woodbridge. The origin is unknown. They were called a heart shaped tomato. He has described them as meaty and tasty. He grew them mostly for eating. He started to weigh them after he had one plant that produced 200 pounds in 2005.  My experience … is the plants will produce multiple fused blossoms on several trusses that grow large flat multi segmented fruit.”

Source:  http://www.bigpumpkins.com/MsgBoard/ViewBoard.asp?b=33

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September 20th update -

Hoy (2.606 DT 2014)(~3 Kott 2011)

Tracked since 8-21, when all other tomatoes were removed to attempt to release this one.  It seemed to work quite well in this case, as average weight gain for the next 9 days was 0.125 lbs. per day.  Showed first blush one week ago, picked fully soft ripe at about 60 days after fruit set.

Calipers put it at 2.305 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.633, 1CC at 2.384.  This specimen has an almost perfect ovoid shape, so 3 taped circumferences ought to predict closely!

Hoy (2.606 DT 2014)(~3 Kott 2011) DHoy (2.606 DT 2014)(~3 Kott 2011) BHoy (2.606 DT 2014)(~3 Kott 2011) H

Hoy is family heirloom developed by Hoy Taylor of Roane County, West Virginia.  Clear skin, hefty fruits on large, productive, indeterminate vines.

Very good, old-fashioned, balanced flavor, 8.0/10. Very much worth growing just for an eating tomato – excellent for sandwiches.

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September 21st update -

Domingo (2.404 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

Not tracked.  Harvested fully ripe; contains minimal air pockets.  Calipers put it at 2.345 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.546, 1CC at 2.257.  Applying a DAF of 0.85 – which has worked relatively well for most specimens of this variety – yields 2.180.  The standard formulas worked fine this time around.  This variety is still a puzzle when it comes to predicting weight.

Domingo (2.404 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) B revDomingo (2.404 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) C revDomingo (2.404 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) E

Flavor is very good – robust but not intense, balanced and moderately sweet; 7.5/10.

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September 21st update -

Two over two today.

Big Zac (2.044 DT 2014)(5.50 Johnston/Butler 2012)

Tracked since 8-2-2014, harvest a bit overripe 60 days from fruit set.  This plant produced suckers prolifically but grew slowly.  Kept on top of pruning and thinning for weeks but it seemed to have little, if any effect on growth of this tomato.  Recorded as emerging from a 5X megabloom.  Recorded only calipers, which estimated 2.621 lbs.  Deeply lobed and odd shaped, it was difficult to ever get consistent measurements.

On 8-02:

Big Zac (5.50 Johnston_Butler 2012) TB A-001 8-2-2014 B Big Zac (5.50 Johnston_Butler 2012) TB A-001 8-2-2014 C rev

On 8-22:

Big Zac (2.044 DT 2014)(5.50 Johnston_Butler 2012) BBig Zac (2.044 DT 2014)(5.50 Johnston_Butler 2012) DBig Zac (2.044 DT 2014)(5.50 Johnston_Butler 2012) E

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September 22nd update -

Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014)

Not tracked.  This might be the only tomato out of 900 plants not raised at the house that will get over 2 lbs. this year.  Obviously giving tomatoes daily attention can make a big difference in more ways than one.  Grown on a cluster with two other tomatoes weighing 1.026 lbs. combined.  This one appears to have grown from at least 5 fused ovaries and has potential to produce giants if properly cultivated.

Calipers put it at 2.363 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.094, 1CC at 2.010.

Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) B Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) CSibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) F revSibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) H Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) ISibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) JSibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014) M

Clear skin, juicy flesh, lots of smaller seeds; flavor is bright, moderately sweet, delicious and pleasant; 8.0 of 10.  Definitely worth growing and eating!

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September 23rd update -

Porterhouse (F2→F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.479 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.622, 1CC at 2.322.

Porterhouse (F2_F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) B revPorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) E revPorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) I revPorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) K rev

(It would take 364 of these itty bitty cherry tomatoes to equal the weight, nutrition, and filling capacity of this one big tomato … but the miniature ones do make a good snack while working in the garden)

Porterhouse (F2_F3)(2.472 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) O rev

Six big slices from one tomato – enough for sandwiches for the whole family.  Flavor of this variety is a bit mild; balanced and good but not outstanding, 6.5 of 10.

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September 24th update -

Oxheart Giantissimo (2.060 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.003 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.123, and 1 CC at 1.751.  Shape is close to a sphere – a “tall” tomato compared to most big ones – so it’s to be expected that the 1CC formula underestimates.

Oxheart Giantissimo (2.060 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011) AOxheart Giantissimo (2.060 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011) BOxheart Giantissimo (2.060 DT 2014)(2.294 DT 2011) E

 

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September 25th update -

Porterhouse (F2→F3)(2.432 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011)

Not tracked.  Calipers put it at 2.330 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.419, 1 CC at 2.294.  Grown at the same time on the same plant as the 2.472 profiled two days ago, just the next truss up.

Porterhouse (F2_F3)(2.432 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) APorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.432 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) BPorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.432 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) G revPorterhouse (F2_F3)(2.432 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) E rev

In advance of the annual weigh off event at Thanksgiving Point on Saturday morning, there will be more than one two pounder harvested tomorrow!

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September 26th update -

Eight tomatoes over 2 lbs. picked today, including two over 3 lbs.  These were all weighed on certified scales, but the scales only have precision to 0.005, while my “cheap” kitchen scales are precise to 0.002.  Readings from both are very similar.

1. Homer’s German Oxheart (2.060 DT 2014)(1.916 DT 2012) – certified scales

Tracked since 8-21, harvested 95% ripe at about 53 days since fruit set.  Calipers put it at 1.944 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.106, 1 CC at 1.881.

 

2. Shuntukski Velikan (2.405 DT 2012)(1.978 DT 2012) – certified scales

Grew on a sucker but got larger than the two that grew on the main stem.  Not tracked, harvested 95% ripe. Calipers put it at 2.323 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.460, 1 CC at 2.599.

 

3. Russian (2.455 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010) – certified scales

Grew on the fastest growing and tallest plant of the season, currently at about 13′ tall. Tracked since 8-21, harvested 85% ripe at about 54 days since fruit set.  Calipers put it at 3.108 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.603, 1 CC at 2.125.  Almost 1 lb. difference between two methods!  One CC would expect to way overestimate since this is a “tall” tomato – typically heart shaped, but this ones 3+ fused hearts.  Calipers overestimate because of steep tapering and lobing. An additional 5% GAF puts this one at 2.472 lbs.

 

4. Church (2.535 DT 2.014)(3.208 DT 2012) – certified scales

Not tracked, picked 65% ripe.  Calipers put it at 2.395 lbs., taped CC’s at 2.595, 1 CC at 2.067.  Close to spherical, taped CC’s out to estimate very well.

 

5. Chilo della Garfagnana (2.695 DT 2014)(3.375 Koshykar 2012) – certified scales

Tracked since 8-25.  Grown on the next truss up from the 3.554 profiled on 9-17. Harvested 95% ripe at about 55 days after fruit set.  Very elongated with moderate lobing.  Calipers put it at 2.806 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.105, 1 CC at 3.013.

 

6. Big Zac (2.745 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) – certified scales

Not tracked, picked 85% ripe.  Another tall tomato with slight lobing.  Calipers put it at 2.663 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.039, 1 CC at 2.530.

 

7. Delicious (3.205 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011)

From the beginning this one looked like it had HUGE potential.  But it was grown on a late sucker that sprang from low on the plant.  Much lobing, twisting and weird shapes and has been difficult to measure consistently since first measurements were taken on 8-11.  Harvested 55 days after fruit set (DAS), 45% ripe and felt very light.  Whole where stem attaches is almost 2″ diameter and penetrates clear through.  Calipers put it at 4.402 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.763, 1 CC at 3.650.

8. Big Zac (3.260 DT 2014)(4.57 MacCoy 2013)

Tracked since 8-21.  On that day, all but one other tomato were removed.  Then on 8-30, the other was removed because it was lower on the vine and not growing quite as fast after 9 days of careful measurements.  This specimen DID appear to respond to total thinning.  But since it’s a sibling of the 8.41 MacCoy, it should have what it takes to get really huge.

Harvested 35% ripe at 55 DAs  and felt solid.  Calipers put it at 3.418 lbs., taped CC’s at 3.809, 1 CC at 3.388.

So I’ll have three tomatoes over 3 lbs. for tomorrow’s weigh off, including the 3.554 Chilo della Garfagnana harvested 9-17.

 

 

Delayed Fruit Set of Tomato Megablooms

Here is an update of the June 29th post, “Megablooms in Abundance” where 15 megablooms in the backyard high tunnel were profiled. Pollen was extremely hard to come by for the week after those megablooms opened, so not a single one was fully pollinated. Most shriveled and died. A few just froze in time then weeks later began to grow, though rather slowly.

Polish Giant Beefsteak (2.222 DT 2013): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Big Zac (3.486 DT 2012)(3.94 Pennington 2010)(7.18 Harp 2009): Gone – shriveled up and died
Russian (2.319 DT 2010): Tomato growing slowly, about 0.3 lb. now:
Russian  megabloom setting fruit 8-10-2014 A rev

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Update 9-8-2014

Russian (0.336 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010)

Harvested on August 29th, 61 days from attempted pollination.  Seeds extraction attempted, ZERO seeds found!

Russian (0.336 DT 2014)(2.319 DT 2010) E rev

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Domingo (4.55 Wahl 2012): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Boudyo 2010): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Chilo della Garfagnana (3.375 Koshykar 2012): Gone – shriveled up and died
Omar’s Lebanese (1.724 DT 2010): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Belmonte (1.556 DT 2011)(4.14 Perry 2009): Tomato growing slowly, about 0.4 lb. now:

Belmonte  megabloom setting fruit 7-31-2014 C rev

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Update 9-8-2014

Belmonte (0.538 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011)

Harvested 8-20, 62 days from attempted pollination.  Attempt at seed extraction and fermentation failed – not a single seed!

Belmonte (0.538 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011) B Belmonte (0.538 DT 2014)(1.556 DT 2011) A

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Brutus Magnum (2.006 DT 2012)(6.25 Meisner 2011): Gone – shriveled up and died
Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007)(4.59 Lyons 2006): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Leadbeatter’s Lunker (1.644 DT 2012)(4.905 Leadbeatter 2012): Sepals alive, zero growth of tomato
Epstein’s Potato Leaf (__Johnson 2012)(Big Zac derivative): Gone – shriveled up and died
Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag (2.200 DT 2010): Gone – shriveled up and died
Porterhouse (F2)(2.062 DT 2011): Tomato growing slowly, about 0.5 lb. now:

Porterhouse megabloom setting fruit 8-01-2014 G rev

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Update 9-8-2014

Porterhouse (F2>F3)(0.850 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011)

Largest fruit from any of these early megablooms, picked at about 71 days since attempted pollination.  Has the appearance of many of the “horseshoe” shaped super-giants, just in miniature.  It appears that full, 100% pollination is essential in order to grow the really big ones.  I don’t expect many seeds from this one.  Most others in this group have had ZERO seeds.

Porterhouse F2--F3 (0.850 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) B Porterhouse F2--F3 (0.850 DT 2014)(2.062 DT 2011) D rev

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Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012): Was growing slowly, removed for much larger, faster growing tomato on a higher truss; see post “How Big Will That Tomato Get?”  Last pic taken, 0.112 lb.:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.112 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) L

Since pollination was so poor, it is doubtful that any of these will have a significant number of seeds when they ripen.

I have observed this phenomenon several times before:  a large megabloom opens up gloriously, gets little or no pollination, then stagnates, alive for weeks, then starts slowly growing; “Delayed Fruit Set”.  These have never grown large for me in the past, but some have hung on for 80+ days before ripening.  This phenomenon is the reason I use the term “Days after Fruit Set” rather than “Days after Pollination” as is common practice.  Unless I can see a little green tomato, at least the size of a pea and growing, I don’t starting counting or measuring for the purpose of tracking growth rates etc.

How Big Will That Tomato Get?

Based upon fruit dimension data collected every day for 102 days on my largest tomato to date (Big Zac (3.486 DT 2012)), I developed a polynomial formula which fits the data very well for the first 50 days.

Y = 0.0052X + 0.0034X^2 – 0.00004X^3

Where X = Number of days since fruit set and Y = Weight of tomato

This formula produces a shallow sigmoidal curve, with the cubic term accounting largely for the substantial slowing of growth as the tomato approaches ripe stage. R^2 for this formula is 0.9986, so it is a very tight fit – at least for a 3-1/2 lb. tomato grown in the Salt Lake Valley from 25 August to 06 December 2012.

So what would such a formula look like for a tomato that reaches 8 lbs. by day 50? Well, it’s conjecture of course, but assuming the growth curve would have a similar shape, I propose something like:

Y = 0.009X + 0.00577X^2 – 0.000055X^3

Around here, tomatoes ripen in 36-42 days during the heat of summer, but I’ve recorded 50+ days on occasion; 70+ days is a very real possibility for those that set fruit from late August to mid-September.

Currently, the fastest growing tomato remains the 8X (up to 14X?) Michael’s Portuguese monster, now measuring to 0.868 lb.:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 7-25-2014 B rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 7-25-2014 D rev

To be on target for 8 lbs., it would need to weigh about 0.970 lb. at this point.  It’s already a day behind schedule!  Prediction is rarely an exact science, at least not in the realm of biology, and weights are best estimates only.  But my largest from 2012 weighed only 0.302 lbs. at this point!

OK, here we go! An unwritten goal is only a wish, so I’ve decided to boldly publish daily goals for this tomato. Based upon the formula written in bold above, following is a list of daily target weights (TW), followed by estimated weights (EW) taken from caliper measurements.  First column is days since fruit set (DS).

DS —- Date —- TW —- EW

1 —- 13 July —- 0.015 —-
2 —- 14 July —- 0.041 —-
3 —- 15 July —- 0.077 —-
4 —- 16 July —- 0.12 —-
5 —- 17 July —- 0.18 —-
6 —- 18 July —- 0.25 —-
7 —- 19 July —- 0.33 —- 0.13
8 —- 20 July —- 0.41 —-?
9 —- 21 July —- 0.51 —- 0.27
10 —- 22 July —- 0.61 —-?
11 —- 23 July —- 0.72 —- 0.57
12 —- 24 July —- 0.84 —-?
13 —- 25 July —- 0.97 —- 0.87
14 —- 26 July —- 1.11 —- 1.02
15 —- 27 July —- 1.25 —- 1.18
16 —- 28 July —- 1.40 —- 1.26
17 —- 29 July —- 1.55 —- 1.46 – see pic below
18 —- 30 July —- 1.71 —- 1.67 – this is 2.6 times larger than any tomato I’ve measured at 18 days
19 —- 31 July —- 1.88 —- 1.79
20 —- 01 Aug —- 2.05 —- 1.93
21 —- 02 Aug —- 2.22 —- 2.11 – see latest pics below. My previous largest measured to 0.67 lb. at this stage and took 41 days to reach this size.
22 —- 03 Aug —- 2.41 —- 2.25
23 —- 04 Aug —- 2.59 —- 2.28
24 —- 05 Aug —- 2.78 —- 2.55
25 —- 06 Aug —- 2.97 —- 2.73
26 —- 07 Aug —- 3.17 —- 2.89
27 —- 08 Aug —- 3.37 —- 2.91
28 —- 09 Aug —- 3.57 —- 2.93
29 —- 10 Aug —- 3.77 —- 3.08 – obviously slowing down. Latest pic below
30 —- 11 Aug —- 3.98 —- 3.18 – still 2.5 times larger than my biggest was at 30 days
31 —- 12 Aug —- 4.19 —- 3.29 – between days 11-26 gain was 0.16 lbs./day avg.; only 0.08 since
32 —- 13 Aug —- 4.39 —- 3.34
33 —- 14 Aug —- 4.60 —- 3.56 – on target for 4.5 to 5.0 lb. range, if it lasts until 50 days
34 —- 15 Aug —- 4.81 —- 3.70
35 —- 16 Aug —- 5.03 —- 3.82 – FIRST BLUSH; not going to get 50 days out of this one!  Expect shrinkage over the next 3 days as starches are converted to sugars and fruit density increases, then  brief and minor growth until fully ripe and at its heaviest.  Looks like even 4 lbs. might be a long shot.
36 —- 17 Aug —- 5.24 —- 3.98 – Ripening very fast; with so many bumps and crevices  I’ll probably need to subtract about 15% to get a weight estimate close to reality.  Possibility of breaking through the 4 lb. barrier is fading but still a good chance at breaking the Utah state record.
37 —- 18 Aug —- 5.45 —- 3.91 – Taped circumference = 20.9″, latest pics below
38 —- 19 Aug —- 5.66 —- 4.17 – Much cooler weather in the forecast, perhaps it will last another 6 days?
39 —- 20 Aug —- 5.86 —- 4.37 – Also indirectly weighed this tomato using a water displacement method and came up with 4.07 lbs.; see pics below.
40 —- 21 Aug —- 6.07 —- 4.66 – Now that it is fully ripe, switched to a DAF (Density Adjustment Factor) of 0.95 rather than 0.90, but this estimate is probably at least 1/2 pound heavy; Official weigh-off for a new state record set for Monday, 8-25 at 9:00 a.m.; latest pics below.
41 —- 22 Aug —- 6.28 —- 4.70 – Gave it one last very heavy dose of fish emulsion, seaweed extract, etc. hoping to coax a couple more ounces out of it over the weekend.
42 —- 23 Aug —- 6.48 —- 4.75 – Taped circumference = 21.7″
43 —- 24 Aug —- 6.68 —- 4.78 – Discussion and final pics below
44 —- 25 Aug —- 6.88 —- 3.754 lb. OFFICIAL CERTIFIED WEIGHT; pics etc. below
45 —- 26 Aug —- 7.08 —-
46 —- 27 Aug —- 7.27 —-
47 —- 28 Aug —- 7.46 —-
48 —- 29 Aug —- 7.64 —-
49 —- 30 Aug —- 7.82 —-
50 —- 31 Aug —- 8.01 —-

I will fill in this table periodically.  In an effort to encourage this tomato to catch up to the schedule, I’ve applied 10 gallons of my best compost – which is loaded with red wriggler worms! – to the surface, hoping the tomato roots will grow up into it and extract the necessary nutrients needed to reach 8 lbs.  I then covered this with grass clippings so the entire mound is about 8″ deep against the main stem, then tapering out.

Compost with Red Wriggler worms D

Compost with Red Wriggler worms E rev

New pic, 7-29-2014, 17 days since fruit set and about 1.46 lb.:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 7-29-2014 B rev

Latest pics, 8-2-2014, 21 days since fruit set, about 2.11 lb.:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-02-2014 A rev

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-02-2014 F rev

Latest pic, 8-10-2014, 29 days since fruit set, about 3.08 lbs.  Sling is big enough and strong enough to hold a bowling ball!  Note the new digital calipers.  These will measure to 12″ diameter and are precise to 0.01mm.  Widest diameter needs to get to at least 240mm to have any hope of hitting 8 lbs.!

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-10-2014 B rev

Latest pics, 8-18-2014, 37 days since fruit set, measures to 3.91 lbs., CC = 20.9″, very unlikely to break 4 lbs.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-18-2014 D Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-18-2014 K

Latest pics, 8-20, showing indirect weighing with a water displacement method.  The fruit displaced 1,945 g of water, with some error because the stem prevented full immersion.  After adjusting for the specific gravity of a ripe tomato of 0.95 (based upon water displacement weights I’ve recorded on >800 tomatoes of all sizes, shapes and maturity levels), this comes to 4.074 lbs.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-20-2014 water displacement A Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-20-2014 water displacement B

This gives me more confidence than estimates from either caliper (4.373) or tape (4.054) measurements and some real hope that I might finally bust through that 4 lb. barrier!  Tentatively scheduled for official and certified weighing on Monday, August 25th for submission to the GPC (Great Pumpkin Commonwealth).

Latest pics. 8-20.  Weigh-off scheduled for 8-25 at 9:00 a.m.  No significant cracks or wounds so hopefully it will last until then.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-21-2014 D rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-21-2014 C rev

Latest pics 8-22

Comparison with Delicious (3.012 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011):

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-22-2014 D Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-22-2014 E Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-22-2014 F

It’s definitely wider in all three dimensions: 185.7 X 159.0 X 143.8 vs. 171.8 X 145.9 X 112.3 mm, particularly in height.  However, is it actually 33% heavier?  Hard to say from pictures.  The Delicious specimen is very solid and filled out, with minimal lobing or crevices.

Confirming that roots have grown into the compost, though only in modest numbers.  And red wigglers continue to thrive.  Final boost of nutrients added today, though with less than 3 days left and the tomato already ripe, they may not have much of an effect.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-22-2014 worms and roots C rev

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-22-2014 worms and roots F

August 24th

Final pictures before harvesting for official weighing in the morning -

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-23-2014 B rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 8-23-2014 A rev

Caliper measurements put it at 4.780 lbs.

Taped circumference measurements put it at 4.457 lbs.

Both of these are unrealistically high, as this specimen is riddled with crevices, bumps and gaps.  I was badly burned a couple of years ago projecting a weight that was almost 1 pound too high for a tomato with deep crevices, etc.  The best I can do is apply a Geometry Adjustment Factor (GAF) as a “cheat” to get a better estimate.  I’ve used GAF’s in my weight prediction formulas for tomatoes that are deeply lobed, flattened, or otherwise oddly shaped.  For this specimen I assign a GAF of 2 for lobing, bumps, etc.  For each GAF score I take off 5% from the projected weight, so 10% total.

Thus for a more realistic prediction of weight I’ll use taped CC’s and 10% off for GAF

4.457 X 0.90 = 4.011 lbs., or 4 lbs. 0.18 oz., or 1.820 kg.

Prediction for official weight:  4.011 lbs.

= = = = = =

August 25, 2014

NEW UTAH STATE RECORD

3.754 lbs.

Michael’s Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012)

Off by 1/4 pound.  Better estimate than last time, but still disappointing.  Got a long ways to go to really get into the BIG League.

Weighed in at the Utah Division of Weights and Measures, witnessed and certified by officials with responsibility for certifying all commercials scales in the state.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) B

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) E rev

Thurber, Tomato, Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) GPC Entry Form

Small kitchen scales are very close:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZS rev

Other views:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZN rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZJ rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZI rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZH rev

Size perspective:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZOrev

Relative density (compared to water) calculated at 0.900:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) I Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) K

Weights of two wet but empty buckets above; demonstration of immersion and water displacement calculation below:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) S

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) Y

Larger bucket weighed 5.172 lbs. with displaced water.  Empty it was 1.000 lb.  Therefore 4.172 lbs. of water was displaced.  3.754/4.172 = 0.900, which is the density relative to water.  Though there is a modest variance, I expected (or at least hoped) this tomato to be closer to the average density of large ripe tomatoes which is 0.95, based on similar calculations from > 800 tomatoes over the years.  If the density had been 0.95, this one would have weighed 3.962 lbs. with this volume of water displaced.

This tomato was at the peak of ripeness.  But all the rough handling compromised the integrity so I cut it up and 5 of us gorged ourselves on delicious tomato sandwiches.  Flavor score = 8.5 of 10 – a very nice, sweet and lively flavor – much better than one might expect from such a monster!

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZUrev

Seeds are now fermenting and should be available within two weeks from:

DT SEEDS

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZVrev

Here are charts showing a fairly stable growth rate after about 12 days.  Note that growth slowed minimally during the last week of ripening.  Many growers pick at first blush, but in my experience, the slight contraction in size only lasts for a day or two, then growth continues while ripening occurs, and ripe tomatoes are simply more dense than green ones.

Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZZB Michael's Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) ZZA

Stay tuned – this vine is not finished yet – let’s see how it’s younger sibling grows now that this BIG one is out of the way!

A bit of media coverage in the local paper

Salt Lake Tribune – Utah’s Record Tomato

And on the Local NPR radio station

KUER – Record Tomato

 

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I finally got up the nerve to cull the growing 8X on the next truss down – the one with 30 sepals and profiled as the most promising megabloom on June 30th.  This one was growing at a modest pace and looked like it had HUGE potential, but I don’t see how it could ever catch up to the one above it and, in theory, it is taking resources away from the larger tomato.  So here it is, the hardest tomato I’ve ever had to cull:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.112 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) E Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.112 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) L Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.112 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) C Michael's Portuguese Monster (0.112 DT 2014)(2.610 DT 2012) B

Note the very flattened pedicle. The scale’s platform is 5″ across.  Fully stretched, sepals span 6-1/4″.  Weight was only 0.112 lb. after growing for about three weeks.

There are at least two other tomatoes that have started to grow from those megablooms profiled on June 30th, but they are growing even more slowly.

One other tomato growing at a very good pace is a 6X on a Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012) vine.  It weighs only about 0.2 lbs. and is just a few days along – we’ll see if it can keep up it’s rapid growth.

Glass Gem corn stalks are doing very well this year!  Planted on April 30th in the best soil in a raised bed in the backyard garden, first tassels were observed on July 3rd and stalks are in full pollination mode now.  Though perhaps planted too close together, tallest stalk now measures 10′ 3″ tall!

Glass Gem Corn Stalks 10'3in 7-25-2014 E rev

Parsnip tops also got very tall this year – 7’1″ :

Parsnip Seed Heads 7'1in 7-21-2014

As for the 516 tomato plants originally transplanted in Kanab, only 96 were alive and healthy as of July 18th.  More are dying every day, including hundreds of replacement plants.  Beet Leafhoppers are still ubiquitous.  It is very likely that 100% of the 516 original plants will be dead within a week, though there is a chance that a few varieties may show some resistance.  That would be useful information, but does not come close to compensating for the utter devastation of this year.  I don’t even want to think about the monetary losses…

Curly Top Virus is as deadly as any blight, but should be much easier to control, now  that I know what to expect:

Curly Top Virus Tulle Bag 7-15-2014 A

Those with mesh (tulle fabric) bags are doing fine, but unfortunately they outgrow these very fast.  Without bags:

Curly Top Virus Dead Tomato Plant 7-15-2014 D

Next year, If I can scrounge up the $, I plan to put shade cloth over the entire patch.  In theory, the beet leafhoppers only feed when it’s hot, sunny and dry.

Melons, squash and peppers, on the other hand are, for the most part, growing and producing very well:

Tomato and Melon Patch Kanab 7-17-2014 B

Here is an Ananasnaya melon on July 15th:

Melon, Ananasnaya 7-15-2014 A

And an Ultra Skorospelyi watermelon:

Watermelon, Ultra Skorospelyi 7-15-2014 C

I’ve been trying for weeks to make crosses among some of the large-fruited tomato varieties.  Every morning I go out to the tomato patch and attempt cross-pollination as best as I can.  My biggest challenge has been finding enough pollen to pollinate emasculated flowers.  So far, only 1 of about 40 attempted crosses has been successful.  I’ve considered various reasons for this difficulty.  I think I’ve settled on the major factor:

TEMPERATURE

We get some fairly hot weather around here this time of year.  On July 23rd the high was 103°F while the low that night was 73. The next morning pollen was very scarce – I just about wore out the electric toothbrush!  Then we got a break from the heat.  Yesterday the high was only 92 and the low was 64.  I collected plenty of pollen this morning – more than I’ve seen yet!

Maybe cross-pollination should wait until September when the weather is more favorable, but that is the busiest time of year with harvesting and seed saving!

 

Promising Tomatoes – a 14X?

With 60 tomato plants now being monitored and tended for big tomato production, it’s about time some promising young tomatoes showed up!  I’ve put significant energy into pollinating megablooms, so it’s encouraging to see some early fruits.

First, the Big Rainbow megabud profiled on July 7th dried up and fell off.  But this evening, I found, under leaves, lower down on the plant, this bizarre conglomeration – possibly a 10X but obviously hard to say:

Big Rainbow (1.888 DT 2011) 001 7-20-2014 E rev Big Rainbow (1.888 DT 2011) 001 7-20-2014 D rev

Then the first noteworthy Big Zac (OP) of the season, a 6X Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010):

Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012) HT 001 7-20-2014 A rev

Next a progress report on one of the 3X Epstein’s Potato Leaf fruits, now estimated at 0.642 lb.:

Epstein's PL 3X blossom NH 7-20-2014 D rev

The Sumo (1.782 DT 2012) plant in the high tunnel is sporting 2 5X’s and this very young 8x:

Sumo (1.782 DT 2012) HT002 7-19-2014 C rev

A fresh photo of the 6X (or more?) fruit on the Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) plant in the giant tomato bed – growing very fast, 0.432 lb. est.:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) 6X TB-001 7-20-2014 D rev

The biggest megabloom profiled on June 30, 2014 – the one with 38 sepals – actually survived and a small tomato is starting to grow, albeit slowly – in the high tunnel on the Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) vine:

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT001 7-19-2014 D rev

But, on the same vine, much more impressive and growing very fast is a, well, a 14X !?

Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT002 7-20-2014 K rev Michael's Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) HT002 7-19-2014 B rev2

It’s from a minimum of 8 fused ovaries, but who can really say?  It certainly has all the appearance of a tomato that could get HUGE!

At the moment the biggest threat is:

Blossom End Rot 7-20-2014

Blossom End Rot has reared its ugly head again.  Soil has plenty of calcium.  I’ve learned, the hard way, that around here, BER comes on fast and is very destructive in hot (103° F this week), dry weather, especially if the top 1-2″ of soil dries out.  So in the high tunnel, two soaker hoses are spaced about 4′ apart.  It’s the space between them that dried out.  So I sprinkled heavily and applied bonemeal around the affected plants.

I’ve lost about 15 tomatoes to BER so far, including some promising ones; hopefully those will be the last victims of the season!  Varieties hit hardest were Omar’s Lebanese and Bezrazmernyi.