Tomato "Stick" - amazing, unique and ... useless?
As a great connoisseur of tomatoes, I assumed that I had tried or grown almost all extravagant variants of this vegetable. And shaggy tomatoes - "peaches", and empty inside tomatoes - "peppers", and "indecent" tomatoes of a recognizable shape ... But, it turns out, tomatoes can surprise me even further. Last year, I grew a really amazing tomato variety called "Stick". I will talk about the extraordinary features of this tomato, its advantages and disadvantages, and, most importantly, whether it makes sense to plant it in their beds, in this article.
The bright appearance of this tomato is such that it cannot be confused with any other varieties. Most often, the Palka tomato is the only stem (sometimes at the base it can branch into 2-3 stems), on which small leaves literally sit. Because of these features, the bushes are narrow, almost two-dimensional, and, indeed, very much resemble a narrow and long stick.
In the leaves themselves, it is hardly possible to recognize leaf blades of tomato, since they are more like ruffles - corrugated, curly, without pronounced blades, as if gathered on a string of frills. Petioles of the leaves are almost invisible, so it seems that the leaves are stuck to the stem.
The variety belongs to the semi-determinant group and usually does not grow more than 120 centimeters. The plant does not form stepsons. Inflorescences are racemose, on average from 2 to 6 fruits are tied to them. The size of the fruit is small 30-100 grams, the color of the tomatoes of the classic "Stick" is bright red, but other varieties are also appearing today.
Tomatoes hold well on the bush, do not crumble for a long time and do not crack. Tomatoes of the Palka variety are ideal for whole-canning, but can also be used fresh. The taste is classic tomato. Ripening period is mid-ripening. Thanks to the extremely narrow bushes, they can be planted at the closest possible distance from each other - 20 centimeters. Tomato "Stick" does not have thick foliage, which means that the plants do not interfere with each other, receiving a sufficient amount of sun and air.
Varieties of tomato "Stick"
Tomato "Stick" (Stick)
Until recently, the curly tomato “Palka” was presented as the only variety ‘Stick’. The cultivar was obtained in the United States in 1958. A semi-determinant variety (50-120 centimeters) of a columnar shape, the ripening period is 105-110 days after emergence. The color of the fruit is dark red, average weight is 30-100 grams, the shape is round, the taste is sweet and sour.
Blue Stick Tomato
A new variety obtained in the Russian private seed farm on the basis of the traditional American "Stick". It mainly differs from its predecessor in the color of the fruit, since in the upper part of the tomatoes it has a dark purple “tan”. When grown in bright sunshine, this shade becomes almost black. The shape of the fruit is round, weight 30-40 grams. Otherwise, the appearance of this tomato is identical to the classic "Stick".
Tomato "Brown stick"
Another exclusive variety from a Russian private seed farm. Individual fruits are larger than the classic variety and reach 150 grams. The main difference between the cultivar is the unusual color, which changes as the tomato ripens. In the phase of technical ripeness, these tomatoes have a dark green color with streaks of yellow and purple. As they mature, they become more multi-colored: with brown, yellow, red and purple markings. The fully ripened fruits are brick red.
In addition, the variety has larger fruits compared to the red-fruited variety. The sweet and sour taste of tomatoes is complemented by wine notes, as in aronia varieties of tomatoes.
My experience of growing tomatoes "Stick"
I noticed the seeds of this amazing tomato in one of the online stores, and, as a big fan of wonders, I decided to try it. Of the five seeds that sprouted, four turned out to have the most ordinary leaves, and I preferred to remove them immediately. In one of the seedlings, the very first true leaves were curly and had a characteristic shape. Therefore, there was no doubt that the real tomato “Stick” would come from it. Others, most likely, did not inherit parental qualities.
The seeds of this exotic tomato were sown on seedlings simultaneously with other varieties - at the end of March. The seedling of the tomato "Stick" developed much slower than its traditional relatives. Therefore, it probably made sense to plant it about a month earlier than the rest of the tomatoes, especially since it does not take up much space on the windowsill.
By the time of landing in the soil, the Palka tomato looked weaker and smaller than its lush counterparts and, indeed, looked like a green twig stuck in the ground. The maximum growth that the Stick stick was able to achieve under my conditions is about one meter. All this time, the bush remained literally a stick (with a single stem). He did not release any additional shoots and, as expected, did not give his stepsons.
The tomato bloomed with small brushes in the upper part of the stem, and in August, fruits began to pour on it, which in the phase of full ripening acquired a bright red color. By size, the tomatoes did not reach the 100 grams possible for the variety and turned out to be quite small, a little more than cherry tomatoes.
As for the taste, it was quite pleasant, and it can be described as a classic tomato with a harmonious combination of acidity and sweetness. I also can’t boast of the yield of this tomato on my plot, because we collected 10 small tomatoes from one stick. In general, the Palka variety proved to be an unpretentious and fairly persistent culture. Over the entire growth period, there were no signs of any diseases on it.
Should I plant a stick tomato?
Definitely worth it! But only as an exotic wonder, which, without a doubt, will cause violent emotions and a lot of comments from guests and neighbors. Very organically curly tomato will look in a container composition in combination with several undersized vegetables. In this case, located in the patio or on the terrace, it will not only decorate the house area, but also allow you to enjoy the fruits without leaving the garden.
Also, "lazy" or busy gardeners may pay attention to this tomato, since it requires less maintenance than its rapidly growing brothers, which must be stepson.
However, with regard to productivity, here he, apparently, will not be able to compete with traditional fruits. Therefore, you should not rely on him too much. In any case, the cultivation of such exotics will surely please experienced gardeners who have transplanted many varieties of tomatoes, but most likely have not seen a single one like him. Moreover, the "Stick" does not take up much space in the garden and does not require special attention.
Perhaps the tomato "Stick" has its loyal fans, because the low productivity is offset by the possibility of very close planting of plants to each other. But, in my opinion, this is a variety of "one season", like many other exotic, but relatively low-yielding crops. Having played with the wonder once, not everyone wants to again allocate her a place in the garden. We grow vegetables, first of all, in order to obtain a plentiful harvest with high palatability. In any case, I think so.
Advantages of the Stick stick tomato:
- extraordinary appearance, high decorativeness;
- the ability to plant plants at a very close distance;
- the fruits do not crack;
- no need to pick off stepsons and foliage, shading the fruits;
- is a variety, you can collect your seeds;
- disease resistance;
- high transportability.
The disadvantages of tomato "stick":
- low productivity;
- average taste;
- slow growth compared to classic tomatoes;
- high “splitting” of the offspring (plants with ordinary foliage can grow from seeds);
- very fragile thin stems that need to be tied in a timely manner in several places.
And finally, I’ll “complain” to readers that while I was growing my only “Stick”, I heard many questions from my neighbors: “What makes your tomato sick and why have you still not removed it from the garden?”