Tomato comparison: Totem vs Tumbling Tom

The weather has decidedly turned from late summer to mid-autumn, and no tomato is going to ripen on the vine in this weather. So yesterday I denuded our two plants of their remaining produce:


On the left you see the remaining Tumbling Toms—a trailing, bush variety that has been producing little cherry tomatoes, a dozen or so a week, since perhaps late August—and on the right you see our entire harvest of Totem. That’s it: eight crowded, wonky-looking fruits.

Worse for Totem, the stem scars seem quite pronounced:


I can’t tell whether or not this is normal, because the still-green skin might be making it more obvious. But some of the fruits have a weird embedded peduncle, as though they’re wearing a second skin; it’s quite hard to photograph, but:


This could be a result of uneven watering, but it’s odd that the fruits are otherwise unsplit. Anyway, I’ve now put all of this fruit with a ripening banana, to hopefully tip at least some of them over into yellow or even red skins (we’ve had great success with this method previously). The worry for Totem is that the ripening process is going to kick off some kind of rot on those stems.

What’s clear is that Tumbling Tom—which I was initially unconvinced of, because it’s almost impossible to prune out trailing varieties and prevent blight—has been the winner for us this year. Less certain, but still likely, is that the climate only a little further north doesn’t favour squash or large tomatoes, without some kind of greenhouse or other lights. Better put that on the plan, then!


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