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Bolgiano's Extremely Early 'I.X.L.' Tomato

Bolgiano's Extremely Early 'I.X.L.' Tomato

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Certified Natural Grown
Bolgiano's Extremely Early 'I.X.L.'

74 days, indeterminate — The 'I.X.L.' tomato has very productive, regular leaf vines. The fruit are flattened-globe shaped, red in color, firm, and exhibiting a wide variation in size (from four to twelve ounces) on each plant. Where as many early tomato varieties tend to be quite plain tasting, 'I.X.L.' fruit are surprisingly flavorful.

'I.X.L.' was reportedly developed from a single plant selection of 'Chalk's Early Jewel'.[1,2] J. Bolgiano and son of Baltimore, Maryland began sending out seed samples to select experimental organizations and various commercial growers. They officially introduced Bolgiano's Extremely Early 'I.X.L.' tomato as a, "New 1905 Variety" in their 1905 seed catalog. They wrote:
"In Market Gardner's Field Tests, I.X.L. Tomato proved to be a week to ten days earlier than the Spark's Earliana, with an abundance of Fruit larger and more prolific than Chalk's Jewel, in fact any number of specimens could be found as large as the Great B. B. ["Bolgiano's Best"] Tomato. It has a little more vine and leaves than the Wealthy Tomato, thus protecting the blossoms from being easily knocked off, by heavy rains or winds; also  protecting the fruit from being sunburned or scalded. The I.X.L. Tomato is without a single exception the Leading Extremely Early Tomato, and while many of the most Experienced Tomato growers tell us we cannot say to much in favor of this Excellent Early Tomato, there are many who have not grown it yet. To them we say again, do not experiment with it but plant your entire early crop in I.X.L. Tomato, your crop will net you big returns. We stake our reputation on I.X.L. TOMATOES. Below we give in a concise from the most striking features of this Tomato.
  1. EARLIEST. LARGEST, ABSOLUTELY SMOOTH TOMATO ON EARTH. A week earlier Than the "Earliana," and as large as the "Great B.B."
  2. A beautiful, brilliant red color.
  3. Vines are a perfect mass of large, smooth fruit, a single plant yielding 1/2 bushel.
  4. Fruit is extremely early, enormously abundant and ripens all at once.
  5. Vines are very compact and can be placed two feet apart in three foot rows.
  6. As an extremely early prolific stem setter it is a wonder.
  7. The absence of unnecessary leaves permits all the fruit to ripen so remarkable early.
  8. It is almost like finding money to grow the I.X.L. TOMATO.
  9. The largest growers tell us we cannot say too much in favor of the I.X.L. Tomato."[3]
It should be noted that since days to maturity, for any tomato variety, can vary greatly from location to location and from year to year, we have not grown a side-by-side comparison of 'I.X.L.' and 'Earliana' to validate Bolgiano's claim described above. Additionally, their "marketing" claims are seemingly contradictory. Specifically, their claim that the fruit ripen all at once is incorrect and in modern terms would indicate a determinate tomato variety. However, this is a "vining" or indeterminate tomato and predates the first commercial introduction of "self-topping" or determinate varieties. We suspect that considering Bolgiano's primary customer-base, they were explaining that instead of a few early ripening fruit, 'Extremely Early I.X.L' would ripen enough all at once, that a truck farmer could be first to market with a tomato crop; a highly desirable consideration since they could charge more if they were the only ones selling fresh tomatoes.

Our seed is grown out from USDA accession number NSL 27522 (which is now PI 636280). Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.
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Informational References:
  1. "The Pedigree of Varieties of Lycopersicon Esculentum Mill.," G. A. Kemp, Canada Department of Agriculture, Lethbridge, Alberta, April 20, 1960.
  2. "Tomato Varieties," by Gordon Morrison, Michigan State College A.E.S., Special Bulletin 290, April 1938.
  3. "Bolgiano's Seed Store," Bolgiano's Seeds, Baltimore, Maryland, 1905.