Grape Tomato Variety Evaluation
PROJECT LEADER(S): Doug Sanders, Randy Gardner
TYPE OF PROJECT: Research
LOCATION: Cunningham Research Station, Kinston, NC
This study was designed to identify high-quality grape tomato varieties that are adapted to growing conditions in eastern North Carolina. The goal of this research is to enable growers in this region to effectively capitalize on an existing and profitable specialty market.
A total of 11 grape tomato varieties were evaluated for yield and quality. A selection of 5 of Dr. Gardner’s most advanced lines were grown, as well as 6 commercially available varieties.
This trial was severely compromised by Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. Thus, only comments about fruit characteristics are made. Some plants escaped infestation until later in the season; characterization of plant habit should be interpreted with caution. All cultigens except Chiquita had acceptable fruit size, but only PX 2036 and Sweet Olive were considered to have acceptable uniformity of size. NC 017914, Chiquita, and Jolly Elf had unacceptable flavor. PX 2036, Sweet Olive and Chiquita cracked badly. NC 017914 was the only cultigen with poor color.
|NC123G||NCSU||5||X||X||X||X||— Vigorous bush|
|NC02181||NCSU||—||X||X||X||X||3 Cracks and large bush|
|NC02186||NCSU||5||1||3||5||4||3 SM variable|
|PX 2036||Seminis||5||4||3||3||4.5||4 Big vine good yield|
|Sweet Olive||Johnnys||—||3||4||2||4||Cracks and open small vine, not all green fruit|
|Chiquita||Johnnys||2||2||2||2||4||Cracks bad and open bush, too large|
|St. Nick||Sieger||5||2||3||4||4||4 Vigor and too much bush|
|Jolly Elf||Sieger||—||1||2||5||X||2 Short vine, very large fruit|
|Favorita||Johnnys||—||X||X||X||X||— Bad BER|
Ratings: 1= worst, 5= best.
Yields were not calculated this year due to disease problems. Additional trials are needed to identify appropriate varieties. Exploring methods to control Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus should be a top priority in further research. The Specialty Crops Program is funding an additional study in 2003 that will provide more information.