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Old January 15, 2017   #16
Fusion_power
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I think the shape of a variety's fruit is the most predictive trait regarding BER. To further advance that theory, I don't think I have ever had a heart-shaped variety get BER. That shape resists it the most.
The most predictive trait for BER is flesh density and how little water is in the fruit. Look at most slicing tomatoes such as Eva Purple Ball and their density is less than the density of most heart shaped tomatoes and the hearts are less dense than most paste tomatoes. I agree that elongated fruit is more susceptible, probably a result of the "el" gene Most non-elongated tomatoes get BER, especially if they are "dense, meaty" tomatoes. Density of flesh is still the most predictive trait.

I'll add one tomato to the list that is not discussed above. Costoluto Genovese is a very dense flattened tomato that makes superb paste and sauce. The flavor is incredibly intense. The only caveat to this recommendation is that it is not a sweet tomato. If you prefer sweet sauce, grow a few sweeter tomatoes to mix with the Costoluto Genovese or add some sugar/honey.
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Old January 16, 2017   #17
OzoneNY
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I will second the Heidi recommended on Carolyn's list. I grew it last year and found it works well for sauce. Truth is, I only grow sauce tomato except for one cherry tomato for the salad or bruschetta. I always grow San Marzano and Genovese tomato plus one experiment tomato plant different every year. Last year I grew Heidi and this year I will grow a tomato my uncle calls "Sorrento Tomato" from seed I brought back from Italy last fall. I think its more a slicer but I he raves about it so I thought I try it. Anyway, I find Roma tomato still make the best vodka sauce IMO but BER is a problem for some, me included.
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Old January 16, 2017   #18
Hoosier
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I know I am way in the minority but I like Roma's for sauce. I like the consistency and the taste is good enough to be combined with the spices and other ingredients. The other plus's in my view is that it is determinate so I can do most of my canning at one time and it is also easy to process. I have been trying other varieties the last few years including dense hearts and it just hasn't been the same.
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Old January 16, 2017   #19
Cole_Robbie
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Density of flesh is still the most predictive trait

I'm just now getting started with varieties that have dense flesh, and finding the few that I like. I had a De Barao Orange that was good, and want to try the other De Barao varieties. I had two Russian saladettes called Grot and Zarca that were dense and still good. I am looking forward to trying the de Colgar varieties soon. All of these varieties are dense, and I will need a few more seasons to feel them out in respect to BER.

Maglia Rosa was my one elongated variety that didn't get BER last summer, and it is not dense. It's also a bushy determinate, though, which throws in another variable. If BER is about moisture transport, could it be worse in long-vined indeterminates? I've never grown a bushy, determinate paste tomato to see if it gets BER just as badly.
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Old January 16, 2017   #20
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Here is another vote for Heidi.
I've grown this the last two seasons and it is da bomb!
Had two plants each time, and each one had approx. 200 tomatoes/plant for the season.
No BER.
These taste truly sublime when split in half and roasted.
Sauce is really good, full and sweet flavor when sauced alone, with or without roasting, or you can combine with others, too.


Heidi has been an all-around winner for me. Seedlings courtesy of Fusion (Darrel Jones.)
They are on my "always" list.

That said, I want to try Marzano Fire this year (no seeds yet)
and have seeds for an Amos Coli paste which has rave reviews, too.

But they will be growing alongside Heidi.
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Old January 16, 2017   #21
carolyn137
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Originally Posted by TC_Manhattan View Post
Here is another vote for Heidi.
I've grown this the last two seasons and it is da bomb!
Had two plants each time, and each one had approx. 200 tomatoes/plant for the season.
No BER.
These taste truly sublime when split in half and roasted.
Sauce is really good, full and sweet flavor when sauced alone, with or without roasting, or you can combine with others, too.


Heidi has been an all-around winner for me. Seedlings courtesy of Fusion (Darrel Jones.)
They are on my "always" list.

That said, I want to try Marzano Fire this year (no seeds yet)
and have seeds for an Amos Coli paste which has rave reviews, too.

But they will be growing alongside Heidi.
Here is where I originally got Heidi from,for those interested.

http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Heidi

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Old January 16, 2017   #22
ChefBertMor
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
You have two options as I see it.

Most will just simmer the sauce longer in an open pot to get it to the consistency they want.

Others will add some typical harder fleshed roma types to the stuff and that usually results in a thicker sauce quicker,but not with the flavor that many prefer.

Carolyn
Yes, however the longer you cook the sauce the more you lose the bright fresh flavor. Most pasta style sauces like marinara are quick cooking,half hour at most. This is the challenge to find a firm meaty fleshed tomato with great flavor, Canned San Marazano's are a standard in the industry for most sauces. I want a FRESH sauce.

I am open to all suggestions
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Old January 16, 2017   #23
KarenO
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Don't write off an entire class of excellent sauce tomato based on a few opinions about BER. Clearly many people grow romas and other plum shaped or elongated tomatoes successfully. I find those with blunt tips or s little "belly button" at the blossom end are easier to grow without BER than the ones with pointed blossom ends. I think perhaps that a home gardener can pay attention to the watering needs of a few plants in a garden more easily than in field grown tomatoes although certainly there are millions of pounds of field grown hybrid Roma's grown successfully each year as well and processed on an industrial scale. How many plants are you planning on?
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Pm me and I'll send you a few seeds to try.

Last edited by KarenO; January 16, 2017 at 06:00 PM.
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Old January 16, 2017   #24
oakley
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I think i might be with karen about that. Finding a 'sauce' for Alabama is something to experiment with. I find my harvest to be great with heirlooms for sauce but my neighbor
a mere sling-shot from my barn to his, only grows paste being Sicilian with a dozen starts from the local nursery, and will grow no other.
He will not fuss with an heirloom. He wants Fall 'sauce'.
I give him a good shovel root cutting of rhubarb every year and he can't get it to root and grow...i have dozens all over. So i just harvest a load and rest on his doorstep...he grew enormous leeks and did the same back. "ya want some of these leeks?"... I can't grow a leek beyond a pencil. Wow i want his leeks. "sure!'.

Up the hill down the hill and around the corner...no mater where you are others will do fine with a variety and another will do better with another.
Need to find your groove by process and error.
Soil, drainage, a watering plan...
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Old January 16, 2017   #25
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I like your theory VERY much,thank you.

I have never seen BER on any hearts or the various Costolutos,nor San Marazanos,nor cherries,nor the large plum types, nor on most large beefsteak shaped ones,but YES, very often on the long reds many of which I mentioned above except Opalka seems to be the exception.

There are other long shaped ones of different colors, such as Bannana, etc., but I haven't seen BER on those but probably just statistical since I haven't grown that many.

Carolyn
Carolyn, I've read a lot of positive reviews/posts about Opalka. I'm just curious why Opalka might be an exception - and not get BER?

If my wife's tastes change and she decides she likes cooked tomatoes, I want to grow a very good one that doesn't get BER.

My luck with hearts has not been that great here in Texas, but that could do with the varieties I grew, and it was a very rainy year.
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Old January 17, 2017   #26
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Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Don't write off an entire class of excellent sauce tomato based on a few opinions about BER. Clearly many people grow romas and other plum shaped or elongated tomatoes successfully. I find those with blunt tips or s little "belly button" at the blossom end are easier to grow without BER than the ones with pointed blossom ends. I think perhaps that a home gardener can pay attention to the watering needs of a few plants in a garden more easily than in field grown tomatoes although certainly there are millions of pounds of field grown hybrid Roma's grown successfully each year as well and processed on an industrial scale. How many plants are you planning on?
KarenO
Pm me and I'll send you a few seeds to try.
Karen, Im actually noteven thinking about BER. I thought even watering and Calcium handle that.

All told I think Im going to have around 10 tomato plants of various types,ie, beefsteak, grape/cherry and saladettes. Thank you for your very kind offer, I accept.PM to follow.

Thank you very much
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Old January 17, 2017   #27
Ricky Shaw
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If BER is about moisture transport, could it be worse in long-vined indeterminates?


Cole Robbie,
I think it's related more to amount of foliage than length of vines. Vines themselves, especially thinner more dense ones, would seem more efficient water movers and retainers than open leaves and bigger stalks. I had zero BER on long vined potato leaved plants last season and was eat up with it on bushy plants.

Plant hydraulics, and their relationship to container growing and BER has been my number one research and think time item this Winter. And there is very little to find.
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Old January 17, 2017   #28
OzoneNY
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Yes, however the longer you cook the sauce the more you lose the bright fresh flavor. Most pasta style sauces like marinara are quick cooking,half hour at most. This is the challenge to find a firm meaty fleshed tomato with great flavor, Canned San Marazano's are a standard in the industry for most sauces. I want a FRESH sauce.

I am open to all suggestions
YES!
I dont understand why so many have the idea that sauce needs to cook for hours and hours. 20 to 30 minutes and DONE.
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Old January 17, 2017   #29
carolyn137
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Originally Posted by AlittleSalt View Post
Carolyn, I've read a lot of positive reviews/posts about Opalka. I'm just curious why Opalka might be an exception - and not get BER?

If my wife's tastes change and she decides she likes cooked tomatoes, I want to grow a very good one that doesn't get BER.

My luck with hearts has not been that great here in Texas, but that could do with the varieties I grew, and it was a very rainy year.
Robert I'm not sure why Opalka is an exception, Martino's Roma is another one.

What is,is,I guess.

http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Martino%27s_Roma

Maybe b/c MR is shorter and fatter? And yes I did get the seeds directly from Maureen Conway when she SSE listed it. Another good possibility for you is

http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Mama_Leone

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Old January 17, 2017   #30
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Karen, Im actually noteven thinking about BER. I thought even watering and Calcium handle that.

All told I think Im going to have around 10 tomato plants of various types,ie, beefsteak, grape/cherry and saladettes. Thank you for your very kind offer, I accept.PM to follow.

Thank you very much
Yes, even watering and adequate Ca++ are two factors,but there are many more.

Here's an article about BER that Mike Dunton at Victory seeds asked me to write.

http://www.webgrower.com/information/carolyn_ber.html

I forgot to mention internal BER where the fruits show no external symptoms, but internal BER occurs when the normal Ca++ concentration is depleted internally before it even gets to the blossom end. Cut open a fruit and it's all black inside.

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