HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >

Discussion

Giant tomato tree?

  • m

Late last night I saw an informercial for something called a Giant Tomato Tree. It looks great, but I know all too well that infomercial products rarely deliver the quality they promise. Before I become a sucker, has anyone tried this product and what do you think of it? I'm in Los Angeles, if that makes a difference.

Miri

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Hahahaha! I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I saw this! The infomercial just describes a normal tomato plant! Yes tomato season lasts about 90 days, yes a good plant should be more than 8 feet tall (even if some of that 8 feet is laying on the ground from its weight), yes a good plant should produce 40-50 tomatoes (60 or so pounds of large tomatoes) in a season! They want to sell you 6 packs of seeds of undetermined size, only two types of blah looking tomatoes for $10? Just pop over to OSH or Home Depot and buy a few heirloom starter plants for a few bucks each, plant those, and enjoy actual good tomatoes. Then you can save seeds from your crop and plant your favorites next year.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jemon

      It was silly of me I know. :) I already have some nice plants growing, I just had to ask... lol

      1. re: Miri1

        It's always best to ask than to sit around wondering. :) But yes, they seem to be selling regular tomato seeds for an exorbitant price right under peoples noses. Last year, I grew a German Queen heirloom that ended up being about 12 feet tall and produced over 100 of the best 1-2 lb tomatoes that I have ever had. I'm always excited for tomato season!

        1. re: Jemon

          I have some tomatoes growing already, and am certainly looking forward to eating them! Only trouble is, my chickens like them, too! :)

          1. re: Miri1

            Around here, the squirrels get to them. They pick the best ones, take a few bites, and leave the rest on the ground. It makes me sad. :( They could at least have enough respect to finish it!

              1. re: Jemon

                Squirrels are so darn cute but so destructive!

        2. re: Jemon

          I agree with everything you say, except the "save the seeds" bit. Most delicious tomato varieties are hybrids. That is, if you cross them with themselves, the seeds you get will come out quite different from the parent. And almost certainly, less productive and less delicious. Pay the $2. Buy seeds (or plants) and get fabulous tomatoes. Leave the breeding to the pros (or if you're interested, get into breeding, but educate yourself first - breeding involves a *lot* of failures).

          1. re: Indirect Heat

            Nah, not hybrids...I said heirlooms. Save heirloom seeds. Through the years of growing tomatoes like this, I have managed to save what I like to grow next year for free. My favorite tomatoes have all been heirlooms. I love the differences that you get across the varieties that I don't usually see much with hybrids.

        3. My Dad has seriously had to get out a step ladder to pick a tomato before.

          My parents are NOT organic gardeners. I imagine there was a lot of Miracle Grow involved in that tomato plant. So...after 10 years of increasingly poor production in my organic garden...I've gone over to the dark side. I'm not going to use pesticides or herbicides, but I just got through dumping both mushroom compost AND Miracle Grow garden soil in my raised beds. We'll see.

          4 Replies
          1. re: danna

            Nothing wrong with Miracle Grow in my eyes, and for tomatoes, they make a special one. However, I tend to make sure the soil is good first, so the compost is what i lay down. Tilling that stuff in well gives you nice fluffy loam soil!

            1. re: danna

              Tomatoes, and many other vegetables, are incredibly heavy feeders.

              You have discovered what many organic farmers have discovered - compost isn't enough. So they make stuff like compost and manure tea. Just watch out for the e-coli...

              1. re: Shazam

                I'm afraid my non-organic experiment is going to be hard to analyze this year. We had a hailstorm of epic proportions. Some of the smaller plants (heirloom stuff my Mom grew from seed *sniff*) were completely destroyed, the others, which were 6-12 inches, have a few missing limbs, and scars from the hail all over the leaves and stems. My Mom says dig 'em up and start over, but I spent several weeks collecting the damn things from her seedlings and various farmer's markets and I'll be damned if I don't give them a chance to come back.

                anyone have any experience w/ hail damaged tomatoes?

              2. re: danna

                Your dad has to get a step ladder out? Wow! I'm interested in how the tomato plant didn't fall over? My tomato plants are getting fairly high like 5 feet + now and the one fell pretty good from the rain fall. The tomato plant is in a cage but the cage is maybe 3-4 feet tall.

              3. It could also be something like this: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/mo...

                My father-in-law had an anemic looking stalk with two leaves that looked something like the leaves on the plants shown. I think that he bought it after seeing an ad in the back of some random magazine, or maybe on TV.

                2 Replies
                1. re: lunafish

                  Hmm, never seen one of those before. Don't really like the taste description either. I wonder if anyone has more info...

                  1. re: Jemon

                    These actually show up fairly often in the exotic fruit section of many supermarket's under the name "Tamarillo" The more common way thet are describes is as tasting rather meat-like (which I have always interpreted as meaning very high on the umami sense) I'm not partiucularly fond of them, but bear in mind the last time I ate one was when I was a kid, before I developed my taste for tomatoes. Oh and supposedly the orange variety tastes milder and sweeter than the red.

                2. Anyone using the Topsy Turvy to grow tomatoes or other veggies?