Anyone grown Suncoast? This is my first time. The seeds came directly from IFAS, who used this older, high crimson line to develop Tasti-Lee.
The vines are floppy, like Amish Paste, but with much larger leaves. And the vines are fully determinate, but don't sit up like other IFAS determinate bush tomatoes. Rather it wants to lay down. And the leaves show signs of micronutrient deficiency even when grown under the exact same fertilizer and sunlight conditions as all the other vines in the same patch. They must just be a very hungry variety.
I thought the fruit would be round or flattened globes, not tall round as seen in these photographs. They are very solid, though. Just that they look a bit too tall or elongated for a typical IFAS bush determinate. You know how those Florida standards are.
So, anyway, does any of this sound like Suncoast to those of you who've grown it?
In the nearly 30 years of growing Suncoast, I usually did not get the deep globes fruits as you have pictured here. In the first few years I compared Suncoast with Walter, which is in the pedigree of Suncoast and is a slightly flattened globe fruit.
I have used Suncoast and the descendarnts in crosses and locating recombinants to carry on to a uniform OP. Just four years ago I had a hybrid of Suncoast crossed with pollen from an OP Merced. The hybrid was about 3 inches across and very globe shaped with about 6 locules. I should have some F-4 seed of that cross in Hawaii right now. I know I have dozens of breeding lines of Suncoast in my seed collections.
The vine types of Florida varieties are not entirely suited to Mid West USA conditions, and the concentrated set will exhaust the plant come harvest.
I have found the Fla 7547 and Fla 7481 lines with Suncoast ancestry to be great parents over the last 20 years. Which means some of the blue tomatoes I have in the field go back 10 generations to Suncoast.
When I was in California 1988 through 2004, I tried to transfer many of the Florida and North Carolina breedings lines into California adapted OP's. I guess is that Suncoast will have to bred into something for your Indiana conditions. BTW, we have both talked about crimson gene tomatoes on this forum three years ago.
Tom, I knew you'd be the first and possibly the only one able to respond to my questions about Suncoast. Thank you! I remember you mentioning Suncoast in at least one thread here.
I found it strange that Suncoast is the only tomato in my 2013 patch that shows this possibly environmental, longitudinal stretching. Well, now that I think about it, Carolina Gold also is doing a little stretch, but not nearly so pronounced as Suncoast.
I just wanted to make sure I had the right seeds. As I said, they came straight from IFAS (Dr. Jay Scott) along with a booklet serving as a release notice. And they do exhibit the high crimson internal characteristics, although not as pronounced as the Tasti-Lee tomatoes I'm growing.
Anyway, I did hit all the modern determinates with a side dressing of high nitrogen plus a micronutrient supplement after first full fruit set, but only the Suncoast now have begun exhibiting micronutrient deficiencies ... intervenal chlorosis ... but not nitrogen deficiency. They're about done anyway, as all the terminal blossoms are set. Maybe I'll hit them with a dose just to get them thru the last month or so.
Not sure I'm going to use Suncoast for pollen, as I intended, as they aren't really all that tasty. And I'm not real fond of the foliage characteristics, other than the broad leaves, which I already have incorporated from a couple of NCSU cultivars. The Suncoast vines are just to daggone floppy. Did you notice that with yours?
Suncoast foliage will last long enough to harvest the first flush of ripe tomatoes but not much after that. The variety may manifest different traits outside of its normal range of adaptation and the very red gel is the selling point...not the flavor. I would suggest crossing it to an indet. with your choice of flavor factors.
Reminds me to look through my Suncoast crosses and read up on the flavors and vine types. I just can't remember details when most of the breeding with the variety was in the time frame of 15 to 20 years ago and quite a bit of that is under an inventory limbo. Seldom seen, seldom used.
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