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Favorite Tomato Varieties


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Check out this link, there are 235 varieties here. Which ones are you growing? What is your absolute favorite one? I LOVE tomatoes, eat them like candy when I can, fresh from the vine with a sprinkle of salt. Yummmmm! I am currently growing this year Red Zebra, Lemon Boy, Cherokee Chocolate, Brandywine, Beefsteak, Arkansas Traveler, and Supersweet 1000. I haven't decided which is my alltime favorite, but do prefer heirlooms to hybrids.

Loads of Tomatoes

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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I haven't settled on a favorite, either. I am lucky in that I have a nearly year around growing season, with only short lulls. I try to keep new plants started every two to three months.

Producing now:

Sungold (probably my favorite cherry)

Kelloggs Breakfast

Cherokee Purple (This is a strong contender for all time favorite, but I want to try a few more before I settle)

Opalka (favorite for sauce/salsa)

Black Sea Man (not ripe yet, ask me in a week or two)

Heinz

In the ground and about 12 inches tall in another bed:

Opalka

A mystery volunteer (I can't resist the little critters that pop up here and there, and this one appears to be a larger fruited type)

Another Black Sea Man

More Heinz (I am trying to give this one a fair trial under different conditions)

Another Cherokee Purple

Another Kelloggs Breakfast

Seedlings just germinated for September planting:

Constoluto Genovese

Black Cherry

Gardener's Delight

Earl's Faux

Silvery Fir Tree

Marianna's Peace

I'll probably take cuttings from Sungold, Opalka, Cherokee Purple and Kelloggs Breakfast to go in with these in another month or so.

I only have room for about 15 or 20 plants at a time, as I grow other veggies at the same time.

I've never grown Arkansas Traveler, but hear it is great. How is it doing for you? Brandywine has never liked my climate, so hopefully Earl's Faux (orginally "Earl's Faux Red Brandywine") will like it here in Florida better. I'm not too fond of the yellows, but I understand there is one out there called "Yellow Submarine" that is good.

There is nothing so sublime as a vine ripened, sun warmed tomato, in the garden with a salt shaker, is there?

I do canned salsa, canned sauce, dehydrate the cherries, can some stewed, and give away to friends and neighbors if it gets really hairy!

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personally, i'm much more a fan of the grower than the grow-ee, or specific variety. a good farmer can make an early girl taste like one of the best tomatoes you've ever eaten. a mediocre farmer can make a Brandywine taste like cardboard. it's all about getting the right tomato for the growing conditions and then paying attention (something I'll readily admit i'm horrible at).

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I agree with Russ (the Cherokee Purple tomatoes I got the other day were nothing special compared to the first ones I had in Indiana) -- but from the growers I've bought from in the past, my favorites were a yellow peach tomato (it looked like a little nectarine) and German Green tomatoes, which were amazing when eaten raw.

For cooking with, I have to stand by a good Creole tomato.

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This year I'm growing:

Prudens Purple, Big Beef, Striped German, Brandywine, Orange Blossom, Pink Beauty and Super Beefsteak.

So far I've tried Orange Blossom and Prudens Purple - both very good. I'll have to wait a few more days for the others to ripen.

Lisa

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Climate and growing conditions do make a huge difference. What loves my heat and humidity will not stand for the cool nights elsewhere, and vice versa.

Lot's of compost and other organic material make a big difference, but rainfall can be detrimental, and there's just nothing you can do about that.

Biggest problem is that people refrigerate tomatoes (both the distributor and the consumer.) It ruins them - just saps the flavor out. I am convinced that the "picked green and ripened with ethylene" on top of the refrigeration is why Florida toms get such a bad rap. There really are some fine growers here in Florida putting out tomatoes that rival those I have had the opportunity to try in the mid-atlantic.

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The Arkansas Traveler is doing great, tall and bushy with lovely little green tomatoes just tempting me like crazy! I haven't tasted one yet, but am told they have a great old-fashioned deep tomatoey taste. (causing myself to drool just thinking about it) The first thing I allways ask, even at the farmstands is if the tomato has ever been refrigerated. You can tell, it truly ruins the taste, what is left of it anyhow. I love home canned tomatoes, all winter long, just pop open a jar and eat them with a fork and salt, sometimes a squeeze of lemon juice. I even on occasion, just heat them in a pan on the stove and enjoy them like fresh soup, nothing but salt, pepper and maybe lemon and oo. I am soooooooo craving this now, but sadly exhausted my supply long ago.

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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Last year we had Beefsteak and loved it, but didnt plant it this year.

Right now, flowering are ~7 BigBeefs. I hope they'll have time to set and ripen fruit. This is the first time I've tried planting tomatoes from seed and I started very very late (mid May).

tapping out but still covered with ripe & near ripe fruit = 2 Early Girls. Very sweet and tasty. Skin tougher than we'd like.

Almost ripe: 1 "I forget", I MortgageLifter and 1 Mr Stripey. The "I forget" had one fruit ripen so far, and I liked it. The fruits are getting that soft spot on the bottom tho. :( The M-L has been unhappy for a while, and I think it may be in too shady a spot.

Next year, I think I shall try to find room for a Cherokee Purple, and to get some more Beefsteak plants.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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This is my first year growing tomatoes, so I stuck with tomato/grape varieties that I could easily attend to in pots out on my deck. Growing.....yellow pear, black cherry, coyote, black plum, cherry roma, sugar cherry, Santa Fe hybrid, yellow currant and a standard red grape.

They're all fantastic, but the coyote (very small yellow cherry) fruits are super sweet and very earthy at the same time. Very different than everything else I'm growing. They are about the size of large gooseberries, with a very thin skin that tries to tear whenever you pick them. I can only imagine how great a beefsteak variety of this same tomato would be.....haven't seen such a thing but I can dream.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Biggest problem is that people refrigerate tomatoes (both the distributor and the consumer.) It ruins them - just saps the flavor out. I am convinced that the "picked green and ripened with ethylene" on top of the refrigeration is why Florida toms get such a bad rap. There really are some fine growers here in Florida putting out tomatoes that rival those I have had the opportunity to try in the mid-atlantic.

i wouldn't even buy a banana from any produce section that still refrigerated tomatoes. but many still do. just turn around and walk out.

so-called "mature greens" are a disaster no matter where they're grown. it's just that Florida grows most of them because they can supply in winter when nobody else can. a mature green is really an industrial product, designed to provide color and height on a hamburger. no flavor. and, sadly, most commercial "vine-ripes" aren't that much better. vine-ripe color is just beginning to break pink--nothing we'd recognize as vine-ripe.

problem is: tomatoes are just so damned fragile. and many of those heirloom varieties are especially so. as a non-tomato illustration of the problem: just got back from the farmers market with 3 perfectly ripe suncrest peaches from Art Lange in my bag. by the time I got them home, 2 of them were half jam.

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Anything fresh from the farmers' market. Pineapple, Lemon Boy, Cherokee Purple, Pink Beauty, Red Zebra, (isn't there a Green Zebra too?). I just made a batch of fresh tomato sauce with roasted Better Boys. Yum.

I've been eating 1-3 tomatoes every day since tomato season started. My breakfast, all summer, has been a slice of sourdough, a spread of soft camembert, topped with tomato slices and salt.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Hi,

Does no one else really love the Russian tomatoes.

Tim

Ug, I love them, but they invariably set out to break my heart in my climate. I just keep trying though.

Black Sea Man and Silvery Fir Tree are my latest attempts. Anna Russian and Black from Tula produced, but not well, and were a little dissappointing. I intend to trial Black Krim and Caspian Pink some day.

Not that I am not open minded. Opalka is Polish. Gardener's Delight is German. Sungold is a Japanese hybrid. Constoluto Genovese is, of course, Italian. Marianna's Peace is Czech.

I have much better luck with the southern and med bred tomatoes than others. I guess it makes sense.

San Marzano just died of the crud as seedlings. Will trial again in the winter months.

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I've been picking for two weeks now. My wife limited me to only 8 plants this year (I've gone over 20 some years), so I went for a range of colors: Cherokee purple, Black Krim, Belgian yellow giant, German green (which hasn't produced a single tomato yet), Early Girl, Celebrity, Big Beef, and some other beefsteak hybrid. And my daughters have a couple cherry tomatoes to keep them occupied.

I love ALL of them, and after having a disastrous year last year (no rain, high temps, tomato diseases, bugs, etc.) it's been great this year. Plenty of rain, temps in the high 80s and low 90's, a new growing spot this year - I might actually get more than my fill of tomatoes this year.

It's been hard to consistently find heirloom tomatoes in Wichita from year to year, so the last couple years I've ordered them off eBay, which seem to ship fairly safely, so long as the weather's receptive when they arrive. This year, we had snow the day I received my plants in mid-April, so I had to nurse them indoors until the snow melted and the weather cleared a week later. I've found that planting them in mid-April doesn't seem to make a difference over early May, it was still July 10th before I picked my first ripe tomato.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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I thought for the longest time that I didn't like raw tomatoes.

I was wrong. Turns out I just don't like those cardboard, conventional tomatoes.

I love heirloom tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basically any of the ones with... taste!

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The trick i learned from one of the farmer is called "dry farming". They pull back on the watering of the plant when the fruit start to turn color.. this will concentrate the sugars in the fruit itself... i tried their early girl tomato and it was sweet as candy....

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The trick i learned from one of the farmer is called "dry farming". They pull back on the watering of the plant when the fruit start to turn color.. this will concentrate the sugars in the fruit itself... i tried their early girl tomato and it was sweet as candy....

this trick actually applies to many different kinds of fruit. a study at ucdavis found that withholding water for the last 2 weeks before harvest did more to improve peach flavor than an extra 2 days on the tree.

eta: By the way, I've started a weekly live chat every Thursday at 1 p.m. on the Times website. Come on by if you get a chance.Find the chat here

Edited by russ parsons (log)
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I love hearing about all these kinds of tomatoes. There are so many I haven't tried yet. Last year I tried growing cherries and beefsteaks in an earthbox. I had good results with the cherries but horrible results(blossom end rot) in the beefsteaks.

This year I made a real in-ground garden and continued to do the earthbox as well. I started my plants from seeds. I did cherries again and roma tomatoes. And again the roma's in the earthbox have blossom end rot. The cherries are fine. My in-ground tomatoes are growing like crazy. I get about a pint a day of cherries. I've picked about 5 or 6 roma's so far. I haven't really been happy with the roma's thus far. They're a bit mealy and mushy for my taste. Next year I'll have to mix it up more.

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This year, I put in Rutgers and Mr.slicey. So far, I'm getting superior results, actually have one ready to be picked, and that's early for this climate. At least it's early in my experience.

The plants are barely standing under the weight of the fruit, and this in a drought year! I'm pleased.

My cherries are doing good too, I grew them from seed and got a ton of healthy plants. I"m going to do that again next year, but start them early, in the sunroom.

---------------------------------------

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For those who are interested in starting from seed, for the cost of a SASE you can get 6 packets of tomato seed from wintersown.org:

Click for Tomato offer

I've never taken advantage of it myself. Winter sowing in South Florida is the same as Spring sowing everywhere else and I would feel like I was taking unfair advantage of the offer. But it looks like a decent offer, and other's have taken advantage of it when they wanted to try growing from seed the first time.

Word of mouth is that winter sown seeds produce hardier, earlier producing plants. The other benefit is that you don't have to invest in a huge amount of indoor space and expensive grow lights, etc. I can attest to the fact that volunteers in my yard tend to be much hardier, and like the growing conditions. Also, I have noticed higher germination rates in seed that I have stuck in the fridge for a month or so in the seed I have purchased from commercial sources.

They also have a generic vegetable six pack available for a SASE.

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lemon boy - first of the season

Mr stripeys are running slower

gallery_23695_426_3201.jpg

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Tracy......Hey, look behind you, what's that??!!!!!! *quickly snags the tomato and salt shaker, grinning with glee, beats a path out the door* :raz:

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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