Starke Ayres: Sure-fire tomatoes and peppers

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All Starke Ayres tomatoes and sweet peppers are carefully selected for local conditions. Its latest hybrids are the best combination yet of reliable growth, exceptional taste, and long shelf life.

Starke Ayres: Sure-fire tomatoes and peppers
Starke Ayres’ indeterminate Jesse is a new saladette variety.
Photo: Starke Ayres
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Starke Ayres offers a wide range of tomatoes, from indeterminate round hybrids for the fresh market to determinate saladette varieties for the fresh and processing markets.

Having its own breeding programme enables the company to select specifically for South African conditions, so its varieties are well adapted countrywide.


This new, indeterminate, round hybrid showed impressive trial results and does exceptionally well in undercover production across South Africa.

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A vigorous grower, it is strong and well balanced, and exhibits remarkable uniformity of internodes, fruit set, trusses, and fruit size. The fruit is oblate and a deep red colour with an average weight of 160g to 180g.

The stem attachment is neat, and the fruit has a very low incidence of ribbed shoulders or malformation. It typically has three locules and thick walls, is very firm, and has good internal colour.

Renka is resistant to a wide range of diseases, giving it a powerful competitive edge. The disease package comprises the following:

– High resistance (HR): Verticillium wilt (Va, Ve), Fusarium wilt (Fol: 1-3) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV);
– Intermediate risk (IR): root- knot nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and tomato yellow leaf-curl virus (TYLCV).

Renka also shows excellent tolerance to powdery mildew due to its open frame structure, which enables plenty of air movement.


A semi-determinate tomato variety from Starke Ayres’ breeding programme, Miyon will be semi-commercially available.

The hybrid is suited to open-field production for the fresh market as a trellised type. It is an early- to medium-maturing variety; in summer plantings, the first fruit mature in 80 to 85 days after transplanting, and the date of harvesting may vary by as much as 10 days between early- and late-season plantings.

Miyon offers an excellent disease package:
HR: Verticillium wilt (Va, Vd), Fusarium wilt (Fol: 1, 2), bacterial wilt (Rs) and TMV;
– IR: root-knot nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), powdery mildew (Lt), TSWV and TYLCV.


This new, indeterminate saladette variety has undergone intensive trials. It is well adapted to various climates, but aimed mainly at summer production where large fruit size to the top of the plant is important. It is a medium-maturing variety.

In summer plantings, the first fruit matures in 80 to 85 days after transplanting.

Jesse is a medium-cycle variety that produces over six months. It has tapered, blocky, thick-walled fruit of exceptional quality with an average weight of 140g to 160g. The fruit is red to deep red, with no green shoulders, and combines long shelf life with superior taste.

The fruit is highly uniform on the truss with a high marketable yield potential; a high percentage of large, first-grade fruit can be expected. The variety is jointed, with a very small calyx scar relative to fruit size.

Jesse offers an excellent disease package:

  • HR: Verticillium wilt (Va, Vd),
  • Fusarium wilt (Fol: 1-3), TYLCV and TMV;
  • IR – root-knot nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj) and TSWV.

Sweet peppers

Starke Ayres offers a range of well-adapted sweet peppers. The latest is Pfeiffer, a green to red, blocky hybrid that has done well in the bushveld area in Limpopo. Suitable for open-field and under-cover production, it is medium-maturing and provides a summer harvest in 75 to 80 days.

Pfeiffer has an upright, vigorous growth habit, with generous leaf cover that limits sunburn.

It has high-quality, four-lobed fruit averaging 8cm x 8cm and weighing 170g to 220g. The skin is smooth and glossy, and thick walls help ensure long shelf life.

Pfeiffer can set fruit under cool conditions and offers an impressive disease package:
– HR: TMV and bacterial spot (Xcv);
– IR: TSWV, powdery mildew (Lt) and phytophthora (Pc).

The varieties Renka, Miyon, Jesse and Pfeiffer have been submitted for registration.

Phone Starke Ayres on 0860 782 753.