TOMATO Varieties Developed for Wilt Resistance

The new tomato varieties, Marvana, Marvelosa, Marglobe, and Norduke, have been developed by hybridization and selection in the United States Department of Agriculture. The first three have been distributed for trial the past two years; the last, for several years.

FIG. 240.—Marvana plant, showing type of foliage and fruit. Grown on heavily wilt-infested soil

These varieties are highly resistant to Fusarium wilt and somewhat resistant to early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and leaf mold.  Moreover their fruits are resistant to nail-head rust and puffiness, two frequent causes of heavy loss in tomato-trucking regions of the South.

Marvana (fig. 240) is a first-early red-fruited variety. It resembles Earliana in earliness, in size, and shape of fruits, and in type of foliage but its fruits are usually smoother, more crimson and slightly less acid and its foliage a little heavier, denser, and more resistant to drought and blights. In the department fields it has been fully as early and productive as Earliana.

Marvana was developed from a cross between Marvel and Earliana.  It has inherited much of its vigor and disease resistance and a little of its color and smoothness of fruit from Marvel, yet closely resembles Earliana in its small leaflets and spreading habit of vine.

A First Early Variety
Marvana is distinctly a first-early variety. It usually sets fruits freely and produces a good early crop, but its fruits are not as large and meaty as those of the best second-early varieties. It has given good results in both greenhouse and field and is worthy of trial wherever early fruits bring a high price.

FIG. 241. —Typical Marvelosa fruit. Natural size

Marvelosa is a second-early pink-fruited variety. It produces about the same quantity and type of foliage as other second-early varieties, such as John Baer and Bonny Best, and under favorable conditions matures a good crop of medium large, smooth, meaty globular fruits. Fig. 241.) The fruits ripen uniformly and are very smooth even around the stem end. It is approximately as early as Globe.

Marvelosa originated from a cross between Ponderosa and Marvel.  It possesses the pink appearance and transparent skin of the Ponderosa fruits and the vitality and disease resistance of the Marvel vine.

Marvelosa is suitable for trucking and forcing. It is in use in some of the trucking regions of the South and in many greenhouses in the Middle West where the trade favors pink fruits.

FIG. 242.—Typical Marglobe fruit. Natural size

Marglobe is a second-early red-fruited variety. Its plants are medium large, erect and well covered with foliage which shades the fruits, enhances development of red pigment and eliminates much sun scald in hot weather. The fruits (fig. 242) are large, smooth, globular, meaty, almost coreless, and deep scarlet in color. They ripen uniformly even at the stem end, resist cracking well, and maintain a good quality throughout the picking season. Moreover they can be held for a considerable time without spoilage.

Free Fruit-Setting Habit

Marglobe has a very free fruit-setting habit, even under conditions in which most late varieties make excessive vine growth. In the department’s fields single plants have not uncommonly borne from 80 to 125 good-sized fruits at one time. Moreover the plants keep setting fruits at the tips of the branches, which results in a continuous succession of pickings throughout a relatively long bearing period.

Marglobe was developed from a cross between Globe and Marvel.  It surpasses Globe in earliness and is similar to it in size and shape of fruits, but closely resembles Marvel in vigor, type of vine, and resistance to diseases.

Marglobe is well adapted for trucking and canning. Its earliness favors its adoption in canning regions of Northern States where frosts and short seasons are common. Its heavy fruit-setting habit also fits it for many localities where prolonged heat or rainy weather often causes late varieties to go to vine. In some places it may serve a dual purpose by providing a few early pickings for use in the fresh state in the cities and several late pickings for manufacture at the local canneries. Although this practice is commonly used in some localities the varieties grown have a shorter bearing period and usually produce a poor quality of fruit after midseason.  Because of its earliness and quality of fruit Marglobe also offers, in many places, possibilities of increasing the length of the canning and pulping season.

On fertile soils favorably supplied with moisture Marglobe usually produces heavy yields of large fruits; on dry soils, however, it is not always able to produce large fruits because of the number set.  From a 3½-acre field of Marglobe at the Arlington Experimental Farm, Rossyln, Va., 22 tons of excellent fruit per acre was picked in 1925, which is approximately seven times the average yield for the State. Quite as large yields were obtained by a number of others who made a test of this variety on good soil.

FIG. 243.—An average Norduke fruit. Natural size

Norduke is a large, late, red-fruited canning variety of the Stone type. Its plants are large, erect, and somewhat dense. Their branches remain upright longer than those of most other varieties, possibly because of their woody stems, but are ultimately drawn down by the weight of the fruit. The fruits (fig. 243) are large, smooth, oblate, fairly meaty, and comparatively free from cracks.  A few are also somewhat shouldered at the stem end—a character by which the fruits of this variety may be distinguished from those of Stone and other varieties of this type.

Has High Resistance

Norduke was developed from a cross between Norton and Duke of York (selection from Buckeye State) but is more like Norton in size, shape, and quality of fruit. It excels both parents in resistance to Fusarium wilt and Septoria leaf spot.

Norduke withstands drought better than most other varieties and usually produces good crops on rather dry or moderately moist or fairly sandy soils but is not well adapted to wet soils.  Although not adapted to as wide a range of conditions as Marglobe, it has given good results in most States and is gradually increasing in use in the canning regions of the East, Middle West, and Pacific coast.  On the Arlington Experiment Farm it usually produces from 10 to 12 tons of excellent fruit per acre.