For a long time, many gardeners have been looking for an answer to their late blight (Phytophthora infestans) on tomato questions. Now we have that answer: Ferline F1 Hybrid.
A remarkable tomato variety has impressive late blight tolerance in a garden situation when grown in a number of different trials. Ferline could be the answer to many gardeners’ prayers, to help overcome this most destructive disease. The vigorous, indeterminate plants produce heavy crops of deep red fruits of up to 5 ounces in weight with a very good flavour. Suitable for growing under glass. Also resistant to fusarium and verticillium wilt.
In my own personal experience growing these, I have found that you need to provide adequate support and tie in regularly. Remove all side shoots as they appear and restrict the plant to one main stem. Feed weekly with a high Potash Liquid fertiliser and water only moderately.
Remember, although Ferline F1 Hybrid shows resistance to Late Blight, it is not 100% resistant. I know, you are saying, “Huh?!?!” Like humans, resistance is good to a point. Let’s say that you received a vaccine for a disease along with a million other people. Likely, a few of that million will get the disease because of other circumstances — being immunocompromised, not eating properly, etc. Tomatoes are just the same: if they are not healthy and happy, even a resistant variety can get sick. To ensure that your resistant variety is growing well, remember to follow these simple steps:
1. Rotate your Solanacious crops. This means that a particular area of your garden should have tomato/potato/eggplant/pepper/tobacco/petunia/huckleberry/ground cherry/tomatillo/etc. grown it only once in every 3-4 years.
2. Stake your tomatoes. Allowing the plants to be up in the air will increase circulation and minimize the wet conditions for disease initiation.
3. Do not water after 4 p.m. You want to have your plants be as dry as possible going into the overnight hours. If it is necessary to water after this time, do so only by soaker hoses.
4. Remove bad fruit or tissues as soon as you see them. Letting things rot on the vine is never a good thing.
5. At the end of the season, clean your garden up properly. Remove every stem, leaf, or fruit and toss it in the garbage (not the compost). This will ensure that there is absolutely no way you can ever reinfect your garden with disease.
6. And last, but not least, purchase your seed from a reputable, certified dealer. There are a LOT of seed sellers out there that say they *know* their seed is safe because they [insert what they say they did]. However, many can say they did something, and they actually didn’t. Buy your seed from a certified dealer — they have to by law do tests on their seed (and if they didn’t, you would not be buying from them because they would be in jail). If you are interested in purchasing this variety, allow me to recommend this company: http://www.totallytomato.com/dp.asp?pID=00263&c=43&p=Ferline+Hybrid+Tomato
EDIT, 1/22/11: In addition to Ferline, the All-America Selections has released Lizzano F1 Hybrid Tomato, a cherry-type tomato that is resistant to Phytophthora infestans (Late Blight). To see more information about Lizzano, click here.
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