Attack of the Killer(?) Tomatoes!
July 29, 2010 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm growing several containers of tomatoes on my deck, and also... something else. Blue tomatoes!? Can anyone tell me what these are? (A few other photos: 1, 2, 3)
posted by graventy to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are the seeds from heirloom tomatoes? When I plant heirloom tomatoes, it's not unusual for each of the fruits to vary wildly in color.
posted by ColdChef at 1:42 PM on July 29, 2010

I can't tell what the leaves look like and there's no sense of scale. The green ones do in fact look like tomatoes. And I know from browsing seed catalogs that there is in fact a black cherry tomato.

It may be the lighting, but those look darker than I would expect from a so-called black variety. But if you feel that the plants look similar to the neighboring tomato plants, that's my guess. Did you buy them as seedlings?
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:45 PM on July 29, 2010

Actually I just noticed the scale in photo 2. Not a tomato.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2010

Are the seeds from heirloom tomatoes?

They're Mr. Stripey and Early Girls variety tomatoes, so some of them are. The tricky thing is that the blue/black ones have remained berry-sized, while my normal tomatoes are large and almost harvest-able.

Did you buy them as seedlings?

Nope, from seeds. And they're smaller than black cherry tomatoes, I think. I'll see if I can get a picture to indicate size better.
posted by graventy at 1:51 PM on July 29, 2010

American nightshade. Don't eat.
posted by purpleclover at 1:51 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

I actually have a black cherry tomato plant like Mayor Curley mentions, and they are indeed a very dark color. More purple-y than black, and definitely closer in color to what you have than Mayor Curley's link. When my husband brought a couple inside, I at first thought they were completely gone to rot, but no, that's the color they're supposed to be.
posted by bibbit at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2010

This isn't consistent with your having grown them from seed, except insofar as you may be mistaken about which seeds (yours or Mother Nature's) sprouted: looks like Glossy Nightshade to me.
posted by bricoleur at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2010

Yeah, I really do not think those are tomatoes. I believe purpleclover has it. Also, you need to nip off those brown and wrinkly leaves on your tomato plant.
posted by Decani at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2010

Wow, thanks everyone! I knew Mother Nature was out to get me.

Time to answer is so ridiculously awesome on Ask.
posted by graventy at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2010

Incidentally, some of your other tomato plants look like they may be showing some signs of blight. I might ask your local extension office if it's in your area and keep an eye on it.
posted by norm at 2:57 PM on July 29, 2010

Incidentally, some of your other tomato plants look like they may be showing some signs of blight.

It actually looks to me more like a potassium or magnesium deficiency- the yellow edges and distinct green leaf centers is characteristic, as well as the marginal and interveinal necrosis. It could be both, actually. Magnesium can be fixed easily with Epsom salts, potassium can be bumped up with wood ash or commercial fertilizer (don't use all purpose, look for something high in potassium, low in phosphorous and nitrogen). You need to take care of this soon, or you will have mushy fruit.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:39 PM on July 30, 2010

PS: Unless you know for a fact that yellowing is due to disease, never pull yellowing leaves off a plant. The yellow in plant leaves is a sign of the plant moving nutrients around; leaves of deciduous plants and bulbs turn yellow as the tree or bulb is re-absorbing nutrients from the leaves. In the case off potassium deficiency, the plant is taking potassium from the leaves and moving it into the fruit, where it is needed to help assure reproduction for the plant (and incidentally, good tomatoes for us). If you remove the leaves, you are not only removing the plant's ability to create needed sugars through photosynthesis, you are also removing storage. I know they look like crap, but until they are dead and brown, yellow leaves need to stay on the plant.

Related: the yellow leaves won't turn green with potassium fertilizer- you'll have to watch the new growth for signs that you've corrected the deficiency.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:52 PM on July 30, 2010

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