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Old July 9, 2011   #1
Keiththibodeaux
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Default Solar Fire Tomato

Who has grown SolarFire, and what can you tell me about it?
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Old July 9, 2011   #2
TomatoDon
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I grew them this year and saw them today. Small compact plants with a good amount of average or smaller fruit. Bigger than a golfball but not as big as a baseball. The plants probably aren't much taller than my knee. They are the smallest plants I have and the smallest fruit.

I planted Solar Fire and Creole and they are very similar in my garden. I'm not impressed enough to plant them next year, unless of course they really pump out the produce in late July and through August. I still have other plants setting blooms, so the others are handling the heat pretty well too. Of course, I have a strong preference for tart big red slicers. I wanted to see how close Creole and Solar Fire would come to that, but it's really not much comparison.
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Old July 10, 2011   #3
Keiththibodeaux
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Thanks for the reply. I am down in South Louisiana about 30 miles from the coast and looking for a good fall tomato. This seems to be the most popular with the nurseries here this year as a fall grower, but I know that means little. I put in 4 of them to see how they'll do. Since I can't collect seeds for future crops I am not all that excited about them anyway, unless the performance is stellar, which might change my mind.
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Old July 10, 2011   #4
TomatoDon
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Be sure to give us a report at the end of the season. I think they will produce tomatoes for you, but they are going to be small. Unless I hear something really good I don't think I'm planting them next year.
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Old July 10, 2011   #5
brengolio
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I saw your last name and new you were from Louisiana............ I did the neptune tomatoes this year and they did great......... it's open pollinated so you can keep your seeds for the following year,,,,,,,,
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Old July 11, 2011   #6
creister
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I've grown Solar Fire and Solar Set for fall and spring tomatoes. Although taste is not great, they do beat the tasteless ones in the grocery store. I've always had good production from these two varieties. Size ranged from about 8oz down to about 3-4. I gave mine two table spoons of Tomato Tone every 2 weeks as a side dressing and forked it in. Not bad, but there are better.
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Old July 11, 2011   #7
creister
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Forgot to mention, Solar Fire tastes better than Solar Set. Confirmed after two years of side by side comparison.
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Old July 11, 2011   #8
Keiththibodeaux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creister View Post
I've grown Solar Fire and Solar Set for fall and spring tomatoes. Although taste is not great, they do beat the tasteless ones in the grocery store. I've always had good production from these two varieties. Size ranged from about 8oz down to about 3-4. I gave mine two table spoons of Tomato Tone every 2 weeks as a side dressing and forked it in. Not bad, but there are better.
What are some others to try in the humid subtropics down here on the gulf coast? I love to experiment.
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Old July 14, 2011   #9
b54red
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I have good luck with Indian Stripe, Gary O' Sena, JDs Special C Tex, and BTD Pink even during the hottest months. If you really want a tomato that does well in our steam bath climate then the one that has done the best for me year in and year out is Big Beef.

The ones mentioned above have done well multiple times and as fall tomatoes; but every year I have different tomatoes that surprise me with how well they do in the heat.
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Old July 14, 2011   #10
creister
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Keith,

I have had success with Eva Purple Ball, Sioux, Break O'Day, NAR, Goliath(hybrid), Tom's Yellow Wonder, Earl's Faux, and Stump of the World. My climate isn't quite as humid as yours, but May, June and July we get pretty humid. I find the smaller fruited types do seem to produce better along with some of the early season varieties.

Once July rolls around, and all fruits are picked, I either pull plants or trim down to 2ft. to let them grow back for the fall. Spider mites really get bad around July, but this year I have stayed ahead of them and so far so good with fingers crossed. Super Sioux and Thessoliniki are two others that I have grown for fall crop with good success.
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Old July 14, 2011   #11
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creister View Post
Keith,

I have had success with Eva Purple Ball, Sioux, Break O'Day, NAR, Goliath(hybrid), Tom's Yellow Wonder, Earl's Faux, and Stump of the World. My climate isn't quite as humid as yours, but May, June and July we get pretty humid. I find the smaller fruited types do seem to produce better along with some of the early season varieties.

Once July rolls around, and all fruits are picked, I either pull plants or trim down to 2ft. to let them grow back for the fall. Spider mites really get bad around July, but this year I have stayed ahead of them and so far so good with fingers crossed. Super Sioux and Thessoliniki are two others that I have grown for fall crop with good success.
How have you stayed ahead of the spider mites? They have been worse than most years for me this season. All of my older plants are plagued by them and they are even getting on my seedlings when I set them out to harden off.
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Old July 14, 2011   #12
creister
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As soon as a leaf looked like they might be there, I treated every plant as if they were infested. Sprayed alot, sometimes with just water, but anything to make them uncomfortable. I also have applied pyrethrin/rotenone about three times this season, and weekly applications of aerated compost tea.

Another thing I did was as soon as all fruit were harvested from a plant, I pruned them down to about 2 feet. All this at the end of June. So far no sign on the regrowth. I still have some trusty kelthane left if they make a resurgance.
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