K-State has studied different varieties to see which are more resistant to cracking than others. “The difference seems to be pliability of skin rather than thickness — the more pliable the skin the more resistance to cracking,” Upham writes in the Horticulture 2013 newsletter from K-State.
“The old variety Jet Star has been the most crack resistant of any we have tested including the newer types. Unfortunately, Jet Star is an indeterminate variety that puts out rampant growth. Newer varieties with more controlled growth are often more attractive to gardeners. Mountain Spring, Mountain Pride, Mountain Fresh, Floralina and Sun Leaper are smaller-vined types that have shown good resistance to cracking.”
Peaches picked at a certain stage of unripeness will still ripen into a very good peach. Look first for the ground color of the peach, such as that around the stem, to turn from greenish to yellow. If it has, then see if the peach will easily separate from the branch if lifted and twisted. Only then should you pick a peach. Not all peaches will ripen on the tree at the same time; it may take three to five pickings to harvest them all, Upham says. Let the peaches ripen indoors at room temperature; once they’re ripe, you can refrigerate them.
8 a.m.: composting demonstration
8:30 a.m.: tour of the demonstration garden
9:15 a.m.: tour of the shade trees on the grounds (meet indoors in the Meadowlark Room)
9:15 a.m.: growing tomatoes in heat and drought
10 a.m.: organic considerations for tomato gardening
10:30 a.m.: getting the garden ready for next year
11 a.m.: tomato pests and diseases
11:30 a.m.: making the most of your garden space
8:30 a.m.: cooking with tomatoes
10:30 a.m.: the global tomato: from the basic to the exotic
Largest tomato, ugliest tomato, best plate of three standard tomatoes, best plate of three Roma or plum tomatoes, best plate of six cherry or pear tomatoes, best cluster of grape tomatoes, best heirloom tomato specimen, best fresh salsa, best preserved salsa. Check rules and other details at tinyurl.com/TomatoDay2013. Entries will be accepted between 7 and 9:30 a.m.