Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tomato Traits

For anyone that has been following along since Winter, you may remember the troubles we had with a certain pesky canine tearing my neatly labeled, and happily growing tomato seedlings to shreds after a fish feed.  (More than once.)  Some containers were left unscathed, a few plants were a total loss, but most fell somewhere in between....they required re-potting and were now re-lableled to my best ability, or left as 'variety unknowns'.  Later in the season it became clear something was amiss as a plants labeled "Green Zebra" and "Cherokee Chocolate" were turning out lots of red tomatoes.  Clearly I had jumped to conclusions when cleaning up one of the tomato messes.  These plants have turned out to be determinate varieties.

I spent a good portion of yesterday evening going back through my sow list, and comparing that to my harvests in an effort to iron out the mistaken and mystery identities.  And by golly, I think I may have it!!  And it just so happens I had a question or two about the varieties I have growing waiting for me this morning under a previous post.  (Thanks for giving me the extra nudge I needed to sit down and put this all on paper. )  So here is my original sow list with updates on the specific varieties status and traits.  Any variety with a line through it was destroyed by the hairy beast or otherwise failed.  The motivation behind yesterday evening's tomato list was in effort to make suggestions to myself for next year.  What varieties to keep?  Which new seeds to try?  (I have seeds for 42 varieties.  See why I feel the need to make heads and tails of what I grew this year?)  In my opinion the best time to make decisions about tomatoes for next year's garden is when you have piles of tomatoes from this years garden sitting around to mull over.


  1. Mortgage Lifter- this is not cranking out tomatoes in my garden.  Have not done a taste test.
  2. Moonglow- I like this tomato for the color it adds to salads or bruschetta.  The flavor is said to the best of the yellow/orange category, and it was a SSE 2007 Heirloom Taste Test winner.
  3. Amazon Chocolate- delicious.  Rich, and dark tasting.  Is said to have wine-y notes....I would agree.  Belongs with bacon.
  4. Green Zebra- one of my favorites for it's bright, citrusy flavor.  I will always grow this variety for fresh eating.
  5. Cherokee Chocolate
  6. Black Krim- a bit more floral and sweeter tasting than the Amazon Choc. in my opinion.  I prefer the aroma of this tomato, however, when it comes to taste Amazon wins.  Black Krim is said to have a hint of saltiness.
  7. Sungold- simply amazing.  If you have never grown this variety, you must try it.  Early and prolific with tropical tomato taste.  YUM!
  8. New Yorker (DTM)- ? Not sure which plant is which for my 2 unlabeled determinates, this and Rutgers variety below.
  9. Rutgers (DTM)-
  10. Polbig (DTM)- heavy producer of uniform tomatoes. Have not taste tested. 
  11. Sibirskiy Skorospelyi (DTM)- medium red globes.  Have not taste tested.
  12. Isis Candy
  13. Black Cherry
  14. Green Cherry
  15. Bupree's Big Boy Hybrid- have not taste tested.
  16. Pink Brandywine- wonderful tomato flavor.  When I slice this I just want to eat it as is, forget the bread!
  17. Costoluto Genovese- this scalloped fruit has full tomato flavor, and it is the prettiest tomato I have ever seen!  I have read this tomato requires heat to develop it's true flavor.  (Without it may disappoint.) 
  18. Juliet- a garden champion.  Early, disease resistant, and delicious.  This my go-to tomato for drying or caramelizing.  Also delicious sliced on nachos, salads, pizza, and just about anything else one could think of.  Has a permanent place in my garden, and each year I say I need to grow more.  If I could only grow one variety of tomato, this would be it for it's ease and endless possibilities.
  19. Principe Borghese
  20. San Marzano- have not taste tested.
  21. Amish Paste - nice flavor for fresh eating.  This will be my future salsa tomato.
Next year I think I will try Pineapple, Paul Robeson, Woodle Orange, Principe Borghese, and Cherokee Chocolate for new varieties.  This year's favorites will make a return appearance.  I will grow more than 2 Juliets....3, or maybe even 4.  The tomatoes chosen will be for fresh slicing & salsas, and also for drying.  (I don't plan on doing any sauce or canning next year).  What about you all, what has been your favorite, and what would you like to try?


Erin said...

I think you have turned me on to the Sungold and Juliet, I have heard so much this year! There is nothing like a Brandywine, it's my standard garden tomato for which all others are judged, LOL, that being said, I would just plant another Brandywine in place of the Paul Robeson, I wasn't overly excited about them this year!

Kelly said...

Very interesting stuff Erin. The flavor of a brandywine is special. The robust production and many ways of using the fruit is what makes a Juliet stand out IMO. The taste is of coarse good, and it is quite intensified when preserved. If you want to dry tomatoes it may be worth giving it a try!

meemsnyc said...

This is such a great tomato list! Thanks for posting it!

villager said...

I couldn't agree with you more - now is the time to start planning for next year's tomatoes.

I can empathize with your labeling woes. Last year I dumped a whole flat of tomatoes on the ground, knocking many labels out of the pots. I had more than one surprise in the tomato patch!

It's interesting to see another Juliet fan. It is such a prolific and versatile tomato. I wish I had tracked the harvest weight of it alone. I believe it has rivaled some of the slicers!

Black Cherry is one of our new favorites here. It is doing well in a challenging year. Last year we tried Black Pearl and were disappointed. Black Cherry has a wonderful taste - all that Black Pearl was hyped to be by Burpee (but wasn't).

I love Green Zebra too. I like to put it in salsas, where the color and taste make a nice contrast with other tomatoes.

Our heirlooms are struggling here in a hot and dry summer. Amish Paste and San Marzano are producing well but I haven't tasted either of them. So far all have been sauced. I need to taste the Amish Paste while I can.

Thanks for sharing your tomato analysis!

Kelly said...

Villager- I am glad you mentioned black cherry as a new favorite of yours, maybe I will try them again next year. I will be following along to see what kind of impression the Amish Paste and San Marzano leave on you.

Have you ever tried Principe Borghese for drying?

villager said...

Yes, we have dried Principe Borghese, and it does well. I'm not sure it tastes any better than Juliet though, and for us it's not as prolific.

Kelly said...

Ah, good to know, thanks.