Tomato and Pepper Varieties Growing in 2015

Three weeks of intense planting of seeds into 288-cell plug trays, now in the early stages of potting up into 3-1/2″ trays.  Garage and basement are filling up.  Tally is at:

735 varieties of tomatoes – see list at:  DT Tomatoes 2015

210 varieties of peppers – see list at:  DT Peppers 2015

25 varieties of eggplant, tomatillos, ground cherries, etc.

7,600  = minimum number of seed planted so far.

Melons, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, etc. still to be determined.

A few pics of work in progress follow.

Some seedlings on 4-10-2015.  Note how the row of a dwarf variety stands out:

Tomato seedlings, dwarf (Bonsai) C rev

This variety is Bonsai (seeds obtained from Andrey Baranovski of Belarus) and here’s what the ripe fruits look like.

Bonsai (0.046 DT 2013) C rev

Seedlings in progress:

Seedlings 4-14-2015 B Seedlings 4-14-2015 G

Somehow, the weather of March and April have switched this year.  A massive windstorm blew in today, with sustained winds of 49 mph, and gusts as high as 92 mph recorded in the area.  Dust storm leading to virtually zero visibility, semi-trucks blown over, accidents (including fatalities), wildfires, the temperature dropped from 76° down to 35° in less than three hours, it was raining mud (very bizarre…) and it’s snowing now:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015

Next morning:  4″ and still coming down hard:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 D Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 E

Next day –

Storm produced 9″ of snow in this (West Valley) City, local ski resorts up to 42″!  Snowiest April on record – all in one day.  Average temperature for all of March was 49.7°.  Through April 15th, average has been 49.5°.  On rare occasion, procrastination can result in less negative outcomes…


Giant Tomato Project 2015

Nearly 400 varieties and lineages of tomatoes made the first cut for inclusion in this year’s Giant Tomato Project.  Narrowed down to the following 72 varieties and crosses; seeds planted today, the first day of Spring:

6 Pound Giant (Meisner 2003)
Bear Claw (1.226 DT 2011)
Behemoth King (2.49 Shlomin 2014)
Believe It Or Not (1.332 DT 2011)
Bezrazmernyi (3.364 DT 2014)(1.698 DT 2012)
Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Bouydo 2010)
Big Beef (0.491 DT 2012)
Big McHenry (Staddon 2013)
Big Ugly (Johnson 2014)
Big Zac (8.41 MacCoy 2014)
Big Zac (7.45 Martin 2014)
Big Zac (7.10 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (6.04 Boudyo 2013)
Big Zac (5.84 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (5.67 Marley 2014)
Big Zac (5.50 Martin 2014)
Big Zac (5.03 Boudyo 2012)
Big Zac (3.756 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012)(5.35 Lyons 2010)
Big Zac (3.53 Wellington 2014)
Brandywine, Pink (1.47 Brandyberry 2011)
Brandywine, Sudduth’s (1.322 DT 2011)
Brutus Magnum (2.006 DT 2012)(6.25 Meisner 2011) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Bouydo)
Bulgarischer Rosa Riese (0.840 DT 2013)
Catapano (2.436 DT 2014)
Cuostralée (Humphrey 2014)
DelMar (F1)(Meisner 2014)
DelZac (F1)(Meisner 2014)
Domingo (Domingo 2014)
Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)
Dutchman (1.148 DT 2011
Frank’s Large Red (Anon.)
German (1.084 DT 2011)(1.804 DT 2010)
Giant Heart Climber (Victory Seeds)
Giant of Siebenburgen (1.492 DT 2011)
Gildo Pietroboni (Kott 2011)
Gold Medal (3.07 Kott 2011)
Hazel Mae (1.548 DT 2012)
Hendershott (1.5 DT 2012)
Hoy (3 Kott 2011) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)(F1)(2.414 DT 2014)
Italian Heart (1.752 DT 2012)(4.19 Perry 2011)
Italo (Meisner 2005)
Japanese Oxheart (Strickler 2012)
Joe’s Pink Oxheart (1.678 DT 2012)
King Kong (Shlomin 2012)
Magnum (1.546 DT 2012)(1.482 DT 2011)
MegaMarv (4.23 Wahl 2012)(5.51 Meisner 2011)
Mémé Beauce (1.546 DT 2012)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (3.754 DT 2014)(2.602 DT 2012) aka “Bigzarro”
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)(7.33 Hunt 2010)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X MegaMarv (4.23 Wahl 2012)(5.51 Meisner 2011)
Mong (Meisner 2005)
Mr. Underwood’s Pink German Giant (1.788 DT 2011)
Peter Glazebrook’s Special (0.680 DT 2013)
Phil’s Fantastic (Minkey 2013)
Pruden’s Purple (1.522 DT 2011)
Purple Brandy (Kouchnareva 2008)
Puszta Kolosz (1.446 DT 2011)
Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Bouydo)
Rim (Kulik 2012)
Rose d’Eauze (Kirch 2013)
Serdtse Ameriki (1.924 DT 2014)
Severnyi (Truedsson 2009)
Shuntukski Velikan (1.978 DT 2012) X Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007)(4.59 Lyons 2006)
Sibirskiy Velikan Rozovy (2.066 DT 2014)
Supersteak (2.575 Reinhard 2014)
Thunder Creek (Meisner 2005)
Todd County Amish (1.936 DT 2011)
Tuxhorn’s Red And Yellow (1.430 DT 2012)
Virginia Sweets (2.218 DT 2011)
Wes (1.718 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(5.07 Bouydo 2010)
World’s Largest (SSE 2011)
ZacZilla (Zaccaria 2014)

Not likely to be able to fit all of them in, but we’ll see!  Many of these, I believe, have not yet been given a fair chance to determine their size potential.  By planting them on the property where I live, and applying lessons learned from past years and from others, these should get much better care than they would in the open field with 2,000+ other plants on borrowed land.

And here’s a quote that came with seeds I received yesterday:

Seeds Flowers Tomorrow Quote A

With poignant meaning beyond gardening!

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Update 3-30-2015

Nine days after planting, at least one seed has emerged in 58 of 72 cells.  Here’s the breakdown:

Seeds produced by Delectation of Tomatoes:  36 of 36 emergence (100%)

Seeds shared by others:  22 of 36 emergence (61%)

Unfortunately the 14 seeds that have not emerged includes most of the seeds that came from really big ones.  But I’ve leaned to not start worrying about germination until 14 days or so.  It seems that some stubborn seeds simply refuse to germinate until they are exposed to direct, full, natural sunlight.  So I’ll start hardening these off early, if it’s warm enough, with the hope of getting all the rest to germinate.

Giant Tomato Pollinators Get First Sunlight

Record high temperature today 74°!  It’s been the warmest winter I ever remember here.  Except for a couple of minor storms, it seems that all the cold and snow landed well east of the Wasatch mountains.

Giant Tomato Pollinators have been growing well since potted up to 1-gallon pots a couple of weeks ago, and today they got their first taste of natural sunlight and wind.

Giant Tomato Pollinators First Sunlight B rev

It got quite warm in the high tunnel!  I pulled away the deep pile of leaves from the pomegranate shrub (variety Wonderful), found that it survived it’s second winter, and already has some promising young shoots.

Pomegranate survives 2nd winter B rev

Apricot blossoms are just about done, peach blossoms in full bloom, also pleasantly surprised to see first strawberry blossom this early:

Early Strawberry blossom rev

Also, finally started “Fall cleanup” – only 4 months behind schedule this year! (October-December are insanely busy with seed saving and processing…).

Most pepper seeds planted 8 days ago are emerging.  Here’s a link to the list of 126 “new” varieties I’m trying to grow  this year:

DT New Peppers Varieties 2015.

Some of these have quite an interesting history!

Hoping to get my first wave of main crop tomatoes planted this week, but with the weather so warm, I feel like I’m 6 weeks behind schedule!

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Update 3-21-2015

Seedlings growing well, I’m tempted to transplant them outside in the high tunnel, but am guessing there will still be significant cool weather before mid-May.

Here is the latest picture of them getting a drink of rainwater:

Giant Tomato Pollinators 3-21-2015 A rev

The two largest plants are:

Domingo (5.75 Marley 2014), Hoy X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)[2.414 DT 2014]

Two smallest:

Big Zac (Foss 6.16 2014), Big Zac (6.88 MacCoy 2014)

Seedlings are too now big to fit on plant stands under fluorescent  lights, so a metal halide light is on for the first time this season.

= = = = = = = = = =

Update 3-31-2015

The 11 seedlings that have survived have all outgrown their 1-gallon pots.  It’s been unusually warm for the past several weeks.  I measured the soil temperature 4″ down where these seedlings are going and was surprised to get a reading of 68° F!  Though there are several nights predicted to be in the 30’s, I’m still very tempted to set them out and give them protection at night.  First megabuds are starting to form!

Here’s what winter and early spring have looked like in terms of temperature:

Mean Monthly Temperatures for Salt Lake City, Utah, Winter of 2014-15
From NWS observed data; temperatures in °F

_________________Normal      Observed     Departure

December 2014          30.3            37.3              +7.0
January 2015              29.5            34.3              +4.8
February 2015            34.2            43.9              +9.7
March 2015                43.6            50.0              +6.4



Giant Tomato Breeding 2015

The madness has begun!

As mentioned in previous posts, one of my biggest challenges with cross-breeding tomatoes – and even simply trying to get fruit set of massive megablooms – has been an inability to obtain enough viable pollen.  It seems that we don’t usually get ideal weather for growing tomatoes until September and October around here.

So this evening I started a batch of precious seeds from giant tomatoes with the objective of producing large, unpruned vines which will be loaded up with dozens of viable blossoms by the time the production vines start to put out their first megablooms.  In theory, with plenty of good pollen available, the chances of fully pollinating megablooms will be much increased, and full pollination means bigger tomatoes.  We shall see…

Here they are:

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 A

Yes, Dan shared seeds of his new World Record with me!!  I started one seed back on 10-04-2014 (call it impatience or insanity).  It emerged but died within two weeks because of (#^%@#$*) fungus gnats.  Hopefully my system of completely bagging the young seedlings, along with keeping moisture levels way down, will help with this attempt.

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 B

There are precious few of these seeds left, and this is my last one!  The 7.33 Hunt as produced numerous 5 to 6+ pounders.

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 C

Another of Dan McCoy’s amazing achievements in 2014!  This one’s a close relative of the 8.41.

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 D

Bill Foss also had a spectacular year in 2014, with his largest coming in at a whopping 7.10 lbs.

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 E

Domingo is the new kid on the block.  Steve Marley set a New York state record of 5.75 lbs. in 2014, and Vincenzo Domingo (this is a multi-generational family heirloom from Sicily) grew 4 tomatoes on a singe truss with a combined weight of about 20 lbs.!  Sadly, Vincenzo passed away in December, 2014.  At least this small part of his legacy continues.

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 F

Another masterpiece by tomato breeder extraordinaire, Minnie Zaccaria, who brought us Big Zac some 15 years ago.  Zaczilla is said to put out 4-5 lbs. lunkers on every truss – it will be exciting to watch how this new development performs in the hands of the elite growers!

Gaint Tomato Seed Starting 1-29-2015 G

And a few of my own from 2014.  “Bigzarro” is temporary name, a place holder in case this strain of Michael’s Portuguese Monster (MPM) continues to do the bizarre things it did last year: 15+ blossoms fusing into one massive megabloom, suckers growing out of leaves and producing fruits, flower tissue fusing with stem tissue, etc. – traits that are distinctly different from the production line of MPM, or any other tomato variety I’ve grown, for that matter.

Total number of tomato varieties in inventory now tops 1,600.  Not even sure where I will be growing in 2015 – exploring several options.

Glass Gem Corn 2014 and Dakota Black, Tall, Breeder’s Choice, Blue Jade, Strawberry Popcorn

This was a very good year for Glass Gem corn!  Planted on 4-30-2014 in the backyard, fully isolated from other varieties.  Survived a couple of light frosts.   First tassels formed on 7-03; full tassels, pollen and silk on 7-19.  On 7-25-2014 and on 12-11-2014, tallest stalk as 10’3″ tall!

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

** NOTE:  all pictures here and on other blog posts are Copyright © – Delectation of Tomatoes:  only pictures of produce I have grown are posted here; unfortunately not everyone shows this same respect for the efforts of others.

Amazing, almost unbelievable diversity and combination of colors – click on these miniature pictures to get the full effect:

Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ADS rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ADL rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ADI revCorn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ACQ rev  Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ACY rev

Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) AAJ rev

Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ACL rev

Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) AAP rev2 Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ACG rev

Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) AAE rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABV rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABR rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABO rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABJ rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABG rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABC rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) ABA rev Corn, Glass Gem (DT 2014) AAU rev

I’ve eaten Glass Gem corn at the “milk” stage and it tastes just fine, though a bit tougher than typical sweet corn.  Definitely better as popcorn or flint corn.  Or still on the cob as simply as an incredible holiday decoration!

Speaking of popcorn:

Dakota Black Popcorn also grown in 2014 (though very small harvest) – beautiful in its own right:

Corn, Dakota Black (DT 2014) G rev

Strawberry popcorn:

Corn, Strawberry Popcorn (2013) I rev

Tall Corn, grown for competition, these seeds (from 17′ stalks) were not planted until June 17th, grew to 10’5″, and kernels managed to mature just ahead of hard frost:

Corn, Tall 10-30-2104 D revCorn, Tall, (12' DT 2014) B rev

And still plenty of seeds from 2013 of an excellent variety of yellow sweet corn, Breeder’s Choice (this is an OP version in development, selected for many years in Utah, from a commercial hybrid) – very early, very productive and very tasty corn:

Corn, Breeder's Choice, tall tassel B

And Blue Jade sweet corn still available from 2013 seeds:

Corn, Blue Jade 11-20-2012 A rev

On another topic – already missing sun-ripened tomatoes, here’s the last of ripening tomatoes of the season, including a Homer’s German Oxheart, picked green six weeks ago, which made a perfectly good tomato sandwich!

Final ripe tomatoes 2014 A rev



Produce and Seeds from Southern Utah

There have been a couple of nights of light frost at the farm in Kanab.  Frantically (well, not quite) harvesting all fruits and vegetables before heavy frost gets a chance to ruin them.  Melons, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and of course more tomatoes.

Here’s a teaser, the BIGGEST pepper I’ve ever seen:

Big Bertha (0.900 DT 2014)

Pepper, Big Bertha (0.900 DT 2014) BPepper, Big Bertha (0.900 DT 2014) DPepper, Big Bertha (0.900 DT 2014) G

I did a rough count of photographs I’ve taken for Delectation of Tomatoes in the past four years:


Among these, 87% are labeled and about 10% are fully processed.  This leaves almost 3,500 still to be labeled and processed.  And more than two years behind with much of the data entry that needs to be done.  And the website – so much still to do; never a dull moment!

Anyhow, as time permits, I’ll include below more photos and descriptions of some of the wonderful melon, eggplant, etc. varieties we grew this year.

= = = = =

Update 10-28-2014

First significant frost of the season last night in the Salt Lake Valley.  Ahead of this I harvested 17 5-gallon buckets full of tomatoes, melons, squash, etc.  This in addition to the 24 or so buckets full I brought back from Kanab.  Each bucket represents 5-10 hrs. worth of work…

Squash and Melon harvest 10-27-2014 D rev

Seed Processing 10-26-2014 H rev Seed Processing 10-26-2014 G Seed Processing 10-26-2014 F Seed Processing 10-26-2014 E Seed Processing 10-26-2014 C Seed Processing 10-26-2014 B Seed Processing 10-26-2014 A

Here’s a teaser of a cucumber variety processed for seeds today:

Poona Kheera – very tasty, even when mature, and rapidly becoming very popular around here!

Cucumber, Poona Kheera (0.832 DT 2014) E Cucumber, Poona Kheera (0.832 DT 2014) D




New Utah State Record Largest Tomato

See below for Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007)

Also see below for Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012)

= = = = = = = = = =

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.


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!

= = = = = = = = = =

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.  His 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…

= = = = = = = = = =

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.

= = = = =

At the weigh-off, 10 days after harvest:

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

Weight of 4.465 represents a weight loss of 0.4% per day.  Bleach treatment and refrigeration worked well to preserve this specimen for 10 days!

Some final pics before seed extraction:

Domingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) ZS revDomingo (4.647 DT 2014)(4.55 Wahl 2012) ZU rev

For those who prefer little tomatoes (can you even see it?) and constantly ridicule those who try to grow big ones… Think:

• Sandwiches

• Pasta sauce

• Pizza sauce

• Fresh eating if you want to feel like you’ve actually eaten something

• Speed of picking 100 lbs. of fruit

• Interesting shapes and sizes (not much character to the tiny ones)

• Canning

• Soups and stews

• Almost any purpose other than a snack while working the garden


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Update November 4th, 2014

And for the fourth time this year, a new Utah State giant tomato record!

Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007)

The 3.75 Catapano was a sibling of the 3.9 Catapano – the specimen from which virtually all really big Big Zac specimens of the past 6 years have descended, including Dan MacCoy’s new world record.

Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AABig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AHBig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AD

About 4.681 on home scales:

Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AI rev

After about mid-October, fungal growth and aphids get REALLY bad in the closed up high tunnel.


Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AP revBig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AM revBig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AV revBig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) AZ revCertificate Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007)

Two years ago, this would have competed for Top 10 status at Big Pumpkins; but this year, all top 10 submitted tomatoes came in at over 6 lbs.!!!  Perhaps giant tomato growing is finally starting to catch on and records will start to fall as they have for pumpkins for the past 20 years or so.

Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) BK revBig Zac (4.670 DT 2014)(3.75 Catapano 2007) BN

We pigged out on some really hefty and tasty tomato sandwiches made from this Big Zac, then used the rest in sauce!

I realized something very interesting about this vine.  A picture of the first megabloom on this vine was shown on a post back on June 29, 2014 and listed as a 6X.  Here I post that picture again:

Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007) 6X blossom 6-29-2014 B

This was one of many impressive megablooms that did not mature due to insufficient pollination.  Well, here’s a picture of what remains of that megabloom this morning!!

Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007) HT A-00 B rev

So this is Truss #1. Note the smaller, unopened blossom on this same truss in the earlier picture.  My strategy on this plant was to remove all but the largest tomato once fruit set was achieved. As with all significant megablooms this year, I attempted to self pollinate as best I could with a battery powered tooth brush.  Since I never encountered any really impressive megablooms after this first one on this vine, there was usually 2-3 tomatoes growing at once.  Here are the results of the 6 tomatoes harvested from this Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007) vine.

Truss No.     Harvest Date     Weight (lb.)

1                  8-20-2014        1.788

2                  8-30-2014        2.394

3                  8-30-2014        2.628

4                  9-26-2014        2.754

5                11-04-2014        4.670

The trend is pretty clear, the further up the vine, the larger the tomato.  Similarly, the larger the vine, the bigger the tomato.  Alternatively, the later in the season the tomato was harvested, the larger it was.  Of course no conclusion can be drawn from this very small sample size on a single vine in one year with many uncontrolled variables.  But it does call into question the assertion that, “the tomato with the largest potential will grow on the first or second truss”; or “tomatoes grown high on the vine won’t be able to get enough nutrients since they have so far to travel and gravity will hold back the water and nutrients”; or “your largest tomato will be harvested in August or September”; or “the third and fourth trusses won’t produce tomatoes as big as the first two”.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting anecdote, at least for those trying to grow ’em big.

This Big Zac was 24% heavier than any Big Zac I’ve grown before and I’ve grown at least 120 Big Zac vines over the past five years.  I’m thinking this genetic line has some real potential!  It is an F3, so probably not completely stable.  Who knows what might become of the offspring!