Our best paste tomato for canning
- Heirloom of Polish origin
- Vigorous, high-yielding plants
- Excellent flavor
- Large, meaty, coreless, few seeds
- Easy to process - little waste
MORE ABOUT OPALKA TOMATO:
(Solanum lycopersicum) Polish variety. Vigorous, wispy vines produce excellent yields of large paste-type tomatoes. Fruit have an unusual shape, which often catches the attention of visitors and double-blossomed flowers sometimes produce tomatoes with an almost cartoon-like appearance. Besides being fun to look at, Opalka tomatoes are coreless, few-seeded, and larger than most other paste-types, making them a breeze to process. I just take a thin slice off the end to remove the stem scar, halve the remainder and feed into my sauce maker. Very little work and very little waste. 85 days to harvest. 50 seeds/pkt.
CULTURE: Tomatoes perform best in well-drained soil that contains plenty of organic matter and adequate phosphorous and calcium. Ensure that the planting site receives at least 6 hours of daily sunlight. Tomatoes require about two inches of water per week, otherwise fruit may become prone to developing blossom end rot. Mulching plants with poly, paper, or natural materials will ensure consistent moisture throughout the root zone, especially during dry periods.
SOWING: For earliest harvest, start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds 1/4" deep in well-moistened, sterile seed-starting mix. The ideal temperature for tomato seed germination is 80 degrees. For best results, place a growers heat mat beneath trays until germination has occurred. Under ideal conditions, germination should occur in 7-10 days. Water only as needed, as watering cools the soil and encourages fungal growth.
TRANSPLANTING: After danger of frost has passed, set transplants 30-36" apart in rows 48-60" apart. To encourage strong roots, pinch off all but the top three leaves and bury the bottom two-thirds of the plant. Ensure that plants receive 2" of water per week. Avoid over-application of nitrogen as this can cause vegetative growth at the expense of fruit set.
INSECT PESTS: Biological controls such as Bacillus thuringiensis can be effective in controlling climbing cutworms and tomato hornworms. Flea beetles, and other hard-shelled insects can be controlled with a simple homemade insecticidal soap solution.
DISEASES AND PROBLEMS: Contact your local university extension office to learn which tomato diseases are most prevalent in your area. To prevent common tomato diseases like Septoria leaf spot, anthracnose, tomato wilt and blight, avoid watering plants at night or on cool, cloudy days. Watering from below the canopy, mulching, and ensuring ample space between plants can also slow the spread of disease. Finally, removing plant litter in the fall along with proper crop rotation and tillage will further limit the spread of disease. Blossom end rot is a common issue caused by calcium deficiency and/or insufficient water intake. Excess nitrogen and/or insufficient phosphorous can cause tomato plants to become bushy and produce few blossoms.
HARVEST AND STORAGE: For best flavor and texture, allow tomatoes to remain on the vine as long as possible. If any fall before they have ripened, place them in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper and set in a cool, dark place, stem side up, until fully ripened. Tomatoes should not be refrigerated as it inhibits flavor-enhancing enzyme activity and contributes to an unpleasant, mealy texture.
SAVING SEEDS: Tomatoes are inbreeding plants with self-fertilization usually occurring before flowers have opened. Therefore, measures to control cross pollination are usually not necessary. Reports of outcrossing in tomatoes range from 0 to 5 percent, with substantially higher rates seen in potato-leaved cultivars. Varieties with larger tomatoes are more prone to outcrossing because their large flowers are more open and the stigma may extend beyond the flower. For this same reason, seeds should never be saved from double fruit of any variety. Examine the stigma length of a particular variety to determine whether flowers will need to be bagged to prevent outcrossing. If needed, inexpensive organza bags, like those used for wedding favors, can be placed over blossoms until nascent fruit appear. Bags should then be removed and the fruit tagged. To harvest seeds, cut fully ripened tomatoes in half and squeeze seeds and pulp into a container. Cover with mesh and let sit until a layer of white fungus covers the surface (about 3-5 days.) Fill container with cold water, stirring until seeds settle on the bottom. Pour off water and pulp. Repeat until seeds are clean. Dry on a coffee filter.
Every seed I've planted has sprouted. I've never grown or eaten Opalka tomatoes, so I'm eager to see how they do.
Thresh Seed Company, I've been 100% pleased with every seed I've purchased from you. Thank you!
A few years ago I learned about Opalka tomatoes. I have found them to be very delicious and versatile. Hands down, they are the best "paste tomato" I've ever grown, and I've been disappointed many times by other varieties--no matter what they claimed about "meatiness, fewer seeds, better flavor, etc.!" I've shared seeds with a few people over the years, and they also had good results. I really enjoy being able to save my seeds, but unfortunately did not get that done for my last crop. I'm glad to be ordering more from you now, and will have a look at the other seeds you offer.
Thank you so much, D.J. Stewart