Say that even one time fast, and I’m impressed!
So what the heck is this post even about? This:
You are looking at one massive Federle tomato that is growing in my
backyard raised bed garden (and one normal-sized Federle tomato, conveniently growing next to it for comparison).
Earlier this spring, there were a lot of enormous double and triple blossoms
on my tomato plants. The technical term
for this kind of growth is “fasciation,” but you might see these blossoms
described as “mega blooms” as well. To put
it as simply as possible, it’s a fairly common oddity that occurs when a growth
point on a plant sort of flattens out like a ribbon, and gives the appearance
of multiple stems or multiple flowers that are fused together.
This kind of “hiccup” in the plant’s growth can be caused by a number
of factors: damage from insects or disease, a genetic or hormonal abnormality,
the environment or weather, or simply, just by chance. Fasciated blossoms are most common on tomato
plants very early in the season, and often are the result of especially cool growing
conditions, which is exactly what we experienced here this spring. As the temperatures improved, the occurrence
of these enormous blossoms tapered off, so I'm pretty confident in saying that this is a result of our strange spring
Though there were a lot of these blossoms in the garden this year, only
two of them resulted in an actual tomato (most of the blossoms dropped on their
own, most likely because it was too chilly to set fruit). In this case, the shape isn’t too far off
from the normal appearance (it’s just gigantic in comparison to the normal-size
fruit), but sometimes these tomatoes can be really misshapen and ugly (though
I can't wait for this tomato to ripen so I can see what it's like on the inside. It was hard to get a good photo of it with my hand for size-comparison (the tomato is larger than my hand, so it would just cover it up), but I think this gives a good idea. It's got some heft to it, so I have a feeling it's pretty solid inside - perhaps this tomato alone will make a nice little batch of fresh salsa?