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Favorite Tomato Varieties


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I never knew there were so many interesting varieties of tomatoes!  But maybe that's because I've been living in an apartment in Manhattan for the past 17 years!

Anyway, here's my question.  Now we live in a house with a lovely backyard.  Next summer I would love to have some homegrown tomatoes, but I have no idea where to begin.  Can anyone recommend a website or book to give me some guidance on what varieties would work well where I live and how to care for them?

Almost like "Tomato Growing for Dummies" (maybe that even exists!)?

Purchase "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden " by Dr. Carolyn Male. Or go peruse Tomatoville and ask her questions personally. I've found her to be very patient on the whole, but she does have her limits! :biggrin:

All you need is a spot with eight hours of sun, and lot's of organic material. Otherwise, tomatoes are pretty much weeds. Heavy feeders, but make no mistake, they are weeds.

Oh, and have fun!

ETA: "Earl's Hole" and lasagna bed are both very good homes for toms. I prefer the lasagna beds, personally, but your mileage may vary.

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Great, thanks for the leads. I will have to figure out the best spot with a lot of sun since we have loads of trees, but I'm already looking forward to next sumer!

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Great, thanks for the leads.  I will have to figure out the best spot with a lot of sun since we have loads of trees, but I'm already looking forward to next sumer!

In Scarsdale, you should be fine. A lot of very fine tomatoes come from that part of the country.

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Yay... more tomato addicts!

This weekend’s haul:

German Johnson and Pink Girl - smaller & larger (respectively) pinkish red ones in the center

Unknown… big striped guy in the back. The seller called it a “Stripe N’ Green” but he seemed a little fuzzy on the name and I couldn’t find any information on that name online. I usually buy from the same two ladies at the market, who are well versed in their toms, but this one caught my eye from a different seller.

Red Zebra & Green Zebra - piled up together on the right

On the left, in a black/purple tomato smackdown: the Black Krim, a Cherokee Purple, and an Ananas Noir (aka Black Pineapple – the yellow and purple guy who is slowly turning red & purple as he continues to ripen)

gallery_19995_4798_571224.jpg

Here’s Mountain Gold (on the left…from last week… he took a long time to get really ripe), and Pink Girl getting ready to be used in salsa with broiled peaches, red onion, poblano, and jalapeno. Both were nice, classic, beefsteaky tomatoes. I scarfed that salsa down too fast to get a picture... may make some more this weekend.

gallery_19995_4798_462118.jpg

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

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Every night when I get home from work the dogs and I go check out the tomatoes, throw the ball a little and nibble on the little yellow pear tomatoes (they like them much more than I do....)

WORD TO THE WISE:

As I was making dinner last night, my girl dog went out the dog door and was gone a LONG time. She came back in, looking kind of guilty. When I asked her what she'd been up to, she shook her head and I got sprayed with little tomato bits ! :blink::huh:

:angry: She had picked all of my low hanging ripe tomatoes, probably 4-5 . Early Girl, Rainbow, Rad Red. Don't know if she ate more of the yellow pears.

My fault, I know. At least she didn't bring them inside and eat them on the tan carpet.... :hmmm:

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The munchkin snagged a small tomato off the shrub yesterday and ate it while I wasnt looking. This brings great joy to my heart. Half the reason I planted them was for this sort of 'theft'. But I think I wouldnt have been so happy had it been one of the pets....

"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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Mr Stripey was the big stripey guys. The others were a mix of Early Girls (very very sweet) and that well known variety "I forget" (and I lost the tag).  Mr Stripey was more classically 'tomatoe-y' than Early Girl, while still sweet. The flavor wasnt super intense. He was better in the Caprese Salad than Early Girl is. She's a bit too sweet for perfection in that application*. She rocks in a bacon sandwich tho, or for snarfing sun-warm straight from the shrub. (*someone asked us to show him where we were injecting the sugar. She's that sweet).

Oh, I think I'd like Early Girl. A rocking bacon & tomato sandwich sounds right up my alley.

From the garden this week:

gallery_11818_4857_19143.jpg

Very pretty lcdm... what varieties are those?

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

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Mr Stripey was the big stripey guys. The others were a mix of Early Girls (very very sweet) and that well known variety "I forget" (and I lost the tag).  Mr Stripey was more classically 'tomatoe-y' than Early Girl, while still sweet. The flavor wasnt super intense. He was better in the Caprese Salad than Early Girl is. She's a bit too sweet for perfection in that application*. She rocks in a bacon sandwich tho, or for snarfing sun-warm straight from the shrub. (*someone asked us to show him where we were injecting the sugar. She's that sweet).

Oh, I think I'd like Early Girl. A rocking bacon & tomato sandwich sounds right up my alley.

From the garden this week:

gallery_11818_4857_19143.jpg

Very pretty lcdm... what varieties are those?

Starting from the upper left in the bowl:

Orange Blossom, Big Beef, Pink Beauty

The one with the green shoulders is either Prudens Purple or Striped German (I really have to remember which plants I pick from :)

I just had my first Brandywine last night - that is my favorite out of all.

Edited by lcdm (log)
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I've heard good things about the Brandywines. I need to find some local growers.

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

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Every night when I get home from work the dogs and I go check out the tomatoes, throw the ball a little  and nibble on the little yellow pear tomatoes (they like them much more than I do....)

WORD TO THE WISE:

As I was making dinner last night, my girl dog went out the dog door and was gone a LONG time. She came back in, looking kind of guilty. When I asked her what she'd been up to, she shook her head and I got sprayed with little tomato bits !  :blink:  :huh:

:angry:  She had picked all of my low hanging ripe tomatoes, probably 4-5 . Early Girl, Rainbow, Rad Red. Don't know if she ate more of the yellow pears.

My fault, I know. At least she didn't bring them inside and eat them on the tan carpet.... :hmmm:

My furry babies LOVE my tomatoes, too!

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sparrowgrass, Never apologize for tomato porn!

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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Sparrowgrass, you better be careful showing off all those nicely canned tomatoes. There will be people knocking on your door this winter after tomato season is over.

Yay – one of my favorite tom growers is getting more of her black tomatoes in now. Two Japanese Black Trifeles on the right, a Carbon, and a Brandywine (which is, of course, not black, but I will make an exception this week):

gallery_19995_4798_892027.jpg

And here’s the Ananas Noir (Black Pineapple) from last week. This had a wonderful smoky rich flavor, but a bit too watery for my taste. Ate him in a salad along with a Black Krim and a Cherokee Purple. The Krim is still my favorite, but from what I understand the Carbon should give it a run for its money.

gallery_19995_4798_765126.jpg

Edited to add: the Carbon! Wow!!! Dense, smoky, and meaty. He's a winner.

Edited by viva (log)

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

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Which variety would win your votes for use in bruschetta (Sp)?

I have to say that Mr Stripey is very pretty in this application, but I'd like a bit more of a 'tomato'-flavor (richer).

Those black varieties sound wonderful.

"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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I am going to be daydreaming, sighing and reading this thread all winter......thank you for every post, to all!

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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Which variety would win your votes for use in bruschetta (Sp)?

I have to say that Mr Stripey is very pretty in this application, but I'd like a bit more of a 'tomato'-flavor (richer).

Those black varieties sound wonderful.

My vote would be for one of the black/purple varieties - I liked how the smoky rich flavor of the tomato contrasted with the bright basil. My favorite here was the Carbon.

Having said that, the Brandywine had a really great tomatoey flavor as well. As did Better Boy.

I never saw any Early Girls this year... :sad: and I'm guessing from the name I won't be seeing any either...

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

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Which variety would win your votes for use in bruschetta (Sp)?

I have to say that Mr Stripey is very pretty in this application, but I'd like a bit more of a 'tomato'-flavor (richer).

Those black varieties sound wonderful.

One of the blacks would be good, but you could also use one of the pastes very well in this application. Very meaty, easy to seed, serious flavor.

Amish Paste, Opalka, etc. I am in love with my Opalkas.

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Once again with the tomato porn.......You are my hero :wub:

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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gallery_7620_135_102950.jpg

Gardener's Delight, Sungold, and Black Cherry about to turn into concasse...

I love the Sungolds there, and pleased to see the Gardener's Delight make a good showing, but Black Cherry seems to be lagging in the mix. Is it just young? I have all three germinated.

I made Sungold gazpacho the other day. My husband loves me, for good reason!

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