Monday, May 28, 2007

Baby 'Heatwave' tomato

In a quest to find more tomato varieties suited to the hot-summer Central Valley, I'm starting to grow varieties bred for heat tolerance. Up first is 'Heatwave', a healthy specimen of which I picked up on impulse at Home Depot.

Our summer days often exceed 90 degrees, which is around the temperature at which tomato fruit set fails for certain tomato varieties.

From UC VRIC: "When daytime temperatures consistently exceed 90OF, fruit set failure may also be expected in many tomato varieties. Some varieties are more tolerant of high temperatures and will continue to set fruit when others fall. Under these conditions, it will be helpful to keep the plants in a healthy growing condition so that flowers which develop will have a better chance to survive. This includes the maintenance of a constant moisture supply, the elimination of damaging insects, and the control of diseases. Fruitsetting hormones are not effective in hot weather."

My 'Heatwave' baby was grown by Bonnie Plants. Here's their description:

Heatwave VFFA
Fruit size: 8 oz
Matures: 70 days

An abundant producer of bright red fruit even when the temperature is in the mid 90s, Heatwave hybrid produces early in the season on determinate vines. Resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (F), and alternaria stem canker (A).

But how does it taste? Stay tuned.


  1. Angela, I'm jealous you already have tomato fruits. So far I've eaten one zucchini and have several baby peppers and even a few tiny cucumbers forming but nothing on the tomatoes yet. I'm day dreaming of salsa...

  2. I'm jealous that you've eaten one zucchini! I just planted mine. ;-)

    I'm day-dreaming of salsa, pesto, B.L.T.s, and grilled and sauteed zucchini.

  3. Mmmmm...make mine a SUPERsize!

  4. Several of the organic farmers here in my Caribbean island grew heatwave this year, and the taste is quite good. Not as fine as the best heirlooms, but tasty enough, stays firm for salad cubing etc.

  5. Incidentally, I noticed Capital on Sunrise had 'Heatwave' in stock on Monday, May 28.

    Can't find much mention of flavor except a few Dave's Garden folks said it was average. Wah. If it doesn't taste better than a typical supermarket tomato, then it won't be grown again.

  6. Great to hear, Nicole! "Quite good" is good enough for me. ;-)

  7. Ashley3:43 PM

    Just potted my heatwaves today....we'll see how they hold up in the texas heat

  8. Angela, by now you must know how your Heatwave tomatoes taste. Please post an update on how they did with the heat and if they are still producing. I live in Redding and my tomatoes did awful this year.

  9. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I've been planting Heat Wave tomatoes for several years. They are my favorites. I always plant one Heat Wave and one other kind each year and the Heat Wave always whens for taste and it produces for a long time. I live in Newport Beach, California. Patti