SOLAR FIRE TOMATO-THE RODEO TOMATO
tomatoes in Texas's hot, humid climate isn't always easy. Too
hot and the fruit won't set. Too much rainfall and the fruit cracks,
or the plants develop diseases and lose their leaves.
These problems may have been largely solved with the introduction
to Texas of Solar Fire, a heat-tolerant variety developed by researchers
at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
"Solar Fire is our best bet yet for a tomato that can set
fruit at warm temperatures," said Jay Scott, a professor
of horticultural sciences at UF's Gulf Coast Research and Education
Center in Bradenton. "Most tomatoes that can set fruit at
higher temperatures have small fruit, but this one is different.
And you can plant this variety earlier in the fall growing season
than other varieties." This means Solar Fire can be planted
in July in Texas and will reliably set fruit in the heat which
sometimes comes unexpectedly in September and October - such as
in 2004 and 2005.
Solar Fire has medium to large-sized fruit, just above 6 ounces,
with an attractive red color and gloss. Each vine bears a lot
of fruit, so crop yields are good. It is a firm tomato. It's best
when eaten fresh in salads or sandwiches, rather than cooked or
Solar Fire is resistant to races 1, 2 and 3 of Fusarium wilt,
as well as Verticillium wilt race 1 and gray leafspot. It has
moderate resistance to fruit soft rot, a bacterium that attacks
damp tomatoes after the fruit has been harvested.
Seed can be ordered from: Tomato Growers Supply Company
Toll Free Orders: 1-888-478-7333; Customer Service: 1-239-768-1119
Solar Fire VFFF Hybrid #5036 (30 seeds) $2.95
Heat-tolerant variety developed by the University of Florida,
this one extends the tomato season for gardeners who can plant
a fall crop earlier in the summer and still get fruit set despite
high temperatures. Medium to large-sized fruit is produced very
heavily on plants that are resistant to three races of fusarium
wilt, gray leaf spot, and show tolerance to cracking. Determinate.
Also see: http://www.harrismoran.com/products/tomato/solarfire.htm