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Photo of tomato variety "Delicious" very large extreme high quality fruit.

The rise and fall of a great tomato variety.

Many gardeners can grow Delicious tomato huge solid scarlet red colored fruit averaging above 1 lb. - 1.5 lbs. -- some even weighing in at 2 lbs!

In the 1970's some gardeners felt there were only two varieties of tomatoes "Delicious", for one, and for the other, all other varieties. 

In 1983, the Burpee catalog identified the "Delicious" as one of the only two 'bullet-eye' varities of tomato - the other was a hybrid. The heaviest tomato ever was one of 3.51kg (7lb 12oz), of the cultivar 'Delicious', grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986.  The "Delicious" was about at the end of its fame as a standout variety.

During this decade gardeners who raised "Delicious" found the plants lacked full vigor and produced fewer, weaker fruit.  Gardeners who had raised "Delicious" during the 1970's couldn't reconcile this decade's plants or the weak fruit they produced with the lush vines and monster fruit the plants of the 1970's produced.  With an explosion of tomato varieties and an increase in the interest in growing tomatoes, especially Heirloom tomatoes, the awesome legacy of the "Delicious" aroused a few speculative questions about the apparant weakening, but few real answers have come forward, or much real investigation.

The Delicious tomato I grew in this photo I germinated from 20-year-old seed, which was stored in ordinary paper envelope.  I feel the superior result shows the degeneration is in the maintaince of the seed.

Richard Parker says, "I was born in Penn. but raised in Fla. only been in MS. for 16 years.  All I ever grew was what I could buy at the hardware store as starter plants - usually hybrid tomatoes like "Celebrity" - just in 2009 OP/heirloom varieties.  I grow all the different varieties of veggies that I can grow and taste."  Richard is a big fan of collards, "the first thing into my garden."

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Website design copyright 2010 Charles Paradise  Pictures and text this page copyright 2010 Richard Parker