Friday, 6 August 2010
Stupice Tomatoes & Yagodka Tomatoes
I haven't been talking much about tomatoes, but our garden has been producing some for several weeks now at least. Here are the two earliest to produce, not just this year but every year I've grown them. Stupice (pronounced stuPEEKuh, apparently) on the left and Yagodka (which I assume rhymes with vodka and is Russian for little berry) on the right. They are originally from Slovakia and Russia respectively. Yagodka is also sometimes spelled Jagodka.
Not too surprisingly, as early ripening tomatoes, neither is huge. The smallest Stupice in the picture is about the size of a golf ball. The Yagodka are more consistent in size, being a classic elongated large cherry tomato. We like their sizes as we are not big eaters of fresh tomatoes, often just wanting some for a salad or sandwich, and we hate being left with half a tomato which can't go into the fridge but which will rapidly decay if left on the counter.
Both of these have a classic tomato flavour, perhaps a bit on the mild side. They are both known for producing well in adversity, although quality may suffer a bit. In particular, the Stupice is probably more tolerant of lack of heat than of excessive moisture.
The Stupice is a very large plant, easily reaching 6 feet in good conditions, and it is a potato-leaved variety, which means the leaves are much less serrated than most tomato leaves. It's also a sign of an old type of tomato, and one that is more likely to cross pollinate than most. If you save your own seed, you should try to keep your Stupice plants a bit isolated from other tomato varieties. They should produce fruit in about 55 days from transplanting. Since it is an indeterminate tomato, it will keep producing fruit (and growing!) over a long period if the weather is conducive. They will definitely need support.
The Yagodka on the other hand, is quite small; ours have not reached much above 2 feet in height, and they are also compact and not overly endowed with leaves. In other words, they would be good choice for growing in containers. The lack of greenery does not translate to a lack of tomatoes - ours are churning them out. They should also be ready in about 55 days from transplanting, and in fact this year ours beat the Stupice by a good few days. Mind you, they are getting a bit more sun in a better position. However, they are a determinate tomato, and once they have produced all they are going to produce they will just stop, with lots of good tomato growing weather yet to go. I don't actually mind this; I think there are other later tomatoes with better flavour and size that I'm happy to switch to, but it's great to get some decent early tomatoes without fussing, so the Yagodka are worth growing. Apparently Yagodka also has some resistance to late blight.