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Tomato Varieties Report

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
16 years ago

For those of you who are interested in trying new tomato varieties, I thought I'd report on how some of this year's varieties are doing. This one is long, so if you aren't interested in the performance of different tomato varieties, you might wish to skip it.

I'll have to report later in the season on which ones were tastiest (and, of course, taste can be variable and quite subjective) but here is a report on what was planted, survived, thrived, etc.

Some plants are larger than others. I planted mine over a staggered time frame from mid-March to mid-May. If a plant went in late and I think the lateness is the reason why it is small, or not producing yet, I'll say it went in late, so you won't think that variety might be a dud. And, in our climate, early blight is almost inevitable. Usually it shows up at about the time fruit begin to ripen.

GREEN-FRUITED VARIETIES:

Green Grape--plants 3' tall but very wide/spreading. Slow grower & just now flowering.

Green Zebra--plants range from 4' to 6' tall. Perfect appearance. Thick, lush foliage. Disease and pest-free. Flowers and green fruit. No ripe ones yet, but getting close.

Lime Green Salad--plants 3' tall, a little Early Blight after last week's rains. Some fruit almost ripe. Loads of flowers and fruit.

BLACK-FRUITED VARIETIES: (actually maroon to mahoghany to deep green, sometimes all these colors on one fruit)

Black From Tula--Only about 3' tall, but produced ripe fruit before the end of May. Lots of fruit and flowers. Yummy. Very mild early blight.

Black Krim--Very vigorous grower. Already about 5' tall and 4' wide so you can't even see the tomato cage anymore.

Lots of flowers and fruit. First one on these plants ripened this week. Very mild early blight.

Black Prince--Planted late, but still 4' tall already and with very lush, thick, healthy disease-free foliage. Lots of green fruit but no ripe ones yet.

Black Sea Man--About 4' tall. One plant has severe foliage disease I haven't diagnosed yet. Might be southern wilt. Others have only the tiniest amount of early blight. Lots of flowers and fruit. Some ripe by late May.

Paul Robeson--Got off to a slow start as massive poppies from the adjoining border came through the fence and tried to bury them. Now catching up growth-wise since poppies were removed. Just beginning to flower. No fruit yet. No diseases.

Southern Night--Small, and a slow grower. About 3' tall. Foliage is sort of thin and wispy. A little early blight. Large fruit almost ripe.

Black Cherry-Early producer but a slow-grower. Had ripe fruit in very early June. No diseases.

Cherokee Chocolate--started late. Got seed in a mid-April seed trade. Small but healthy. Will report more later.

YELLOW OR GOLD-FRUITED VARIETIES:

Dr. Wyche's Yellow--About 5' tall with lush, healthy foliage. Very mild early blight. Flowers just appeared this week. A few very tiny fruit.

Jubilee--Only about 3' tall and not growing as vigorously as it did in previous years here. Some full-sized fruit. Moderate early blight.

Yellow Pear--Oops. This one is not well, and it better straighten up because it is my DH's boss's favorite tomato.

Only 2' to 3' tall and has been in ground forever. Some fruit, some flowers, but hit incredibly hard by Early Blight after it rained last week. These plants may not surivive the early blight.

Super Snow White--More white then yellow when ripe, I guess. These are huge monster plants, about 7'tall and several feet wide. Covered in fruit and flowers. Lush, thick, perfect foliage. No ripe fruit yet. No diseases or pests.

Sun Gold--Vigorous plants over 5' tall. No diseases. Lots of fruit and flowers. Ripe fruit since mid-May.

Delicious (reddish-orange)--5' tall, very sprawling. Mild early blight. Just beginning to flower and set fruit.

Nebraska Wedding--Got off to a slow start, maybe due to the drought. Growing well now. About 4' tall. Lots of fruit and flowers. About to have a few ripe ones.

Sun Sugar FT--supposed to be an improved version of Sun Gold. About 5' tall. Covered in flowers and fruit in long trusses. Ripe ones early in June.

PINK/PURPLE-FRUITED VARIETIES:

Arkansas Traveler--About 4' tall. Thick, healthy foliage. Flowers and fruit but none ripe yet. No disease problems.

Brandywine and Brandywine OTV--Planted very early in pots outside. Very tall, about 6' and still growing. Severe early blight on 1 of 4 plants, mild early blight on other 3. Huge, tasty fruit. First ripe one this week. By the way, Brandywine OTV does not produce any better for me than Brandywine nor does it seem more disease-resistant.

Mexico--about 3' to 4' tall. Average foliage. No disease problems. Went into ground a little late. Flowers but no fruit yet.

Porter Improved--About 4' tall and really healthy. Loads of fruit but none ripe yet. Very small amount of early blight.

Porter--About 4' tall and moderately healthy. Loads of fruit, but none ripe yet. Moderate amount of early blight.

German Queen--Potato-leaved. Short so far (3'6") but very thick, lush, healthy foliage. No pest or disease problems. Small fruit and flowers.

Oxacan Pink--About 4'6" tall. Very thick, lush, foliage. No diseases. Some fruit which is about 30% of expected mature size.

Old German--Not sure if this one's fruit is pink or red. A late impulse purchase at HD, so planted later than others. Is about 3' tall and about as wide. No fruit or flowers yet. Disease free.

RED-FRUITED VARIETIES:

Beefmaster--Huge plants, at least 7' tall and 3' wide. Huge fruit and lots of it. Absolutely no diseases. No ripe fruit yet, but soon.

Better Boy--Produced the first ripe tomato in my garden for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row, beating Early Girl again. Large healthy plants covered in fruit and flowers.

Bush Big Boy--This 'bush' version is 4' tall but much more manageable than the 8' to 10' height of the regular Big Boy. Healthy, lush, no foliage diseases. Covered in large fruit that is just beginning to get ripe.

Celebrity--5' tall, lots of fruit, first ripe one tomorrow or next day. Moderate early blight on one plant. Tons of fruit.

Bush Celebrity--2'6" tall, covered in fruit, no disease problems. First fruit ripe within a week.

Ceylon--Short, 3' to 4' tall. Flowers and small green fruit. Unique fruit appearance. No diseases.

Rosalita--About 4'6" tall. Wispier foliage than most. Many green fruit. A few ripe ones by early June. No diseases.

Sugary Hybrid--2005 All-American Selection. About 4'6" tall and covered in fruit and flowers. A few ripe ones already. No diseases.

Super Boy--Very fast growing. Huge, vigorous plants about 6' tall and 2' to 3' wide. Loaded in clusters of fruit. Huge amounts of fruit. Had a lot of leaf curl early on. No

disease problems.

Super Sioux--A very healthy 4'6" tall with lush foliage. Lots of fruit but none ripe yet. Mild early blight.

Sweet Chelsea--About 5'6" tall. Vigorous grower. Loaded with clusters of fruit. Girst ones ripe in late May. No disease problems.

Sweet Million--7' tall and 3' wide and still growing with great vigor. Covered in green fruit and foliage. No ripe ones yet. No diseases.

Tomande--Seemed slow to take off but growing like gangbusters now. Covered in clusters of large fruit, with about 3 to 7 fuit per cluster. None ripe yet. Very small amount of early blight.

Ugly--Short plant. Only about 3' tall but loads of green fruit. Mild early blight.

Supersweet 100--Not growing quickly this year. About 3' to 4' tall. Loads of fruit, though, with some ripe as early as mid-May. A little early blight.

Bush Early Girl--Only about 2'6" tall but heavily covered in fruit. First ripe ones in late May. Disease free.

Sweetie Red Cherry--About 6' tall and loads of fruit. Ripe ones by end of May. No diseases.

Mortgage Lifter--Has grown pretty slowly. Plants now between 3' and 4'6" tall. Some small fruit. Some early blight. A few flowers. A light bearer.

Mortgage Lifter VFN--Only about 3' tall but very lush and wide. Tiny amount of early blight. Loads of fruit. No ripe yet.

Riesentraube--Very quick to get tall. Almost 6' tall and covered in huge clusters of fruit and flowers. Bloomed and set fruit early while plant was still small. No diseases.

Sioux--Gigantic monster of a plant. About 5' tall and 4' wide. Completely taking over its corner of that bed. Lots of fruit but none ripe yet. No disease problems.

Zapotec Pleated--Another huge plant, about 5'6" tall and very wide and spreading. Lots of flowers in clusters of 5 to 8 but no fruit yet. Moderate early blight.

Marglobe--About 3' tall and just beginning to flower. No disease problems.

TOMATOES PLANTED "LATE": The following plants went into the ground later than most of the others, so seem "behind" but are really doing quite well considering when they were planted and how little rain we've had.

Galina's Yellow--About 2' tall. Healthy foliage. No fruit yet. No diseases.

Kellogg's Breakfast--Late start in ground but catching up fast. Flowers and tiny fruit. No disease problems.

Boxcar Willie--Planted late but flowered and made fruit quickly. Healthy with only the tiniest bit of early blight.

Aunt Ginny's Purple--Planted late but catching up quickly. Healthy and no diseases, but no flowers or fruit yet.

Mule Team--Late start but is a fast grower. About 3'6" tall and has small fruit already. Mild early blight.

These plants have lost their tags due to the wind, dogs or cats. Or, the plant tags may be buried under the mulch. I can probably figure out which plants are which once the fruit ripens. Most of these are gigantic monster plants that are quite healthy, have flowers or fruit, and no diseases yet.

Aunt Ruby's German Green

Azoychka

Ildi

Russian Persimmon

These plants were started with seeds received in a late seed trade and are still pretty small. I'll report on how they grow later:

Earl's Faux

Cherokee Chocolate

Cherokee Purple

Mariana's Peace

If you grow tomatoes and want to let us know how your different varieties are performing, please feel free to do so. I always "get ideas" about new tomatoes to try here in our climate by hearing about what grows well and produces fruit well for other gardeners.

Happy Tomato Growing & Harvesting & Eating!

Dawn

Comments (31)

  • OKC1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow! That's a lot of tomatos! What do you do with them all?

  • sarab
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, Dawn, thanks for the report. Lot's of useful information there! I'll be saving a copy and referring back to it next winter when I'm thinking about what to grow.

    I'll look forward to your future reports. Especially some taste tests!

    This year I didn't get my tomatoes planted until May 1, so I'm way behind you on getting fruit. I only have six plants, but that's plenty for us. So far no disease problems with any of them, they are caged and well-mulched.

    All the plants have lots of blooms, so far only Supersweet 100 and Roma are beginning to set fruit.

    I'm really looking forward to trying the fruit from the Ponderosa Pink, and the Cherokee Purple. (Thanks, HPD.)Lots of blooms, but no fruit set yet.

    Same with Arkansas Traveler and Better Boy.

    sara

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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OKC1,

    We do "everything" with all those tomatoes. We eat them, can them, freeze them, dry them, and give them away---to family, friends, neighbors, my husband's co-workers (his dept. has 350 people so we could give them away endlessly), etc. We always have an endless supply of homemade salsa and pasta sauce. This year I am planning on giving some of the crop to the new local food bank in Marietta.

    I have quite a collection of tomato recipes....having grown up in a family that always grew tomatoes and found a use for them for anything/everything mealwise except maybe dessert.

    I didn't set out to grow so many varieties, but once I discovered heirloom tomatoes with their unique flavors and appearances, I was hooked and couldn't stop. I also love the wide varieties of color available in heirloom tomatoes. I have cherry and grape tomatoes in all colors, and they look amazing in salads when you have a blend of red, pink, purple, "black", yellow and orange cherry tomatoes in one salad or on one vegetable relish tray.

    I usually don't try to feed the green (fully ripened!) cherry tomatoes to guests, though, as they think I'm just trying to make them eat an unripe tomato!

    I'm pleased to report that heirloom tomato growing has caught on in my rural "neighborhood". Three of the five gardeners who live closest to me are now growing heirlooms, and the other two are first-year tomato growers . Give me time and I'll get those two addicted to growing heirlooms also.

    Sara, I'm looking forward to hearing how your tomatoes perform also, esp. Ponderosa Pink, which I've never grown.

    Dawn

  • gardenrod
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    How about your favorite salsa recipe? Salsa is my favorite way to 'preserve' my tomato crop.
    All my tomatoes are doing well, except for some leaf curl on my Rutgers.
    I let my Abe Lincolns, Rutgers, and Big Beefs just grow, but I limit my Burpee Delicious and Lucious Hybrids to 3 or 4 tomatoes per plant, so get a few huge (delicious) tomatoes from them.
    My Plum Dandy Romas are covered with fruit, as are my Jelly Bean cherry tomatoes and my cluster tomatoes- Cluster Grande and Tom Cat.
    My only harvest so far has been from my Sweet-100 cherrys, but my expectations are high. If we don't get any hail, it should be 'hail' of a year for tomatoes.

  • okprairie
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, I'm thinking you must qualify as a tomato farm. Have you thought of selling at your nearest farmer's market - or do you have a farmer's market nearby?

    Thanks for the invaluable info. Mine went in late, so I'm just now getting blooms and a few fruits on my yellow pear. I had to pull one of my brandywine because of the wilting on top. Might have been premature, but I didn't want to chance disease. None of the others so far have shown similar symptoms.

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've not had a chance to take notes on my toms yet this year. With about 50 various varieties, no way can I just go by memory. LOL I'll tel you what sticks out in my mind, though.

    First ripe fruit today! A couple of Stupice and Fox Cherry. Will cut them up to share tonight so haven't tasted yet.

    Most varieties are loaded with fruit, even Brandywine.

    One Arkansas Traveler lost to disease. Hubby pulled it out so I didn't get a chance to look it over. Not sure what it was.

    Some slight early blight scattered here and there. A few with what looks like septoria. Nothing too bad and most everything is big and healthy.

    Runts in the garden (not planted late) are Homestead and Palla di Fuoco. First time growing PdF so not familiar with its growth habits.

    Once we start eating the maters, I'll have some better reports. Taste tests are my thing! :-D

  • sarab
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, I got the Ponderosa Pink from HotPepperDad at the plant swap. If I'm remembering correctly, he said that the flavor is similar to Brandywine, but the fruits are not as large. I didn't do Brandywine this year, so much vine for too little fruit once the heat really sets in. I hope I'm remembering correctly that PPink is more heat-tolerant, (and hopefully more productive,) than Brandywine.

    sara

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    GardenRod: Tonight when it is quiet and my college-aged son is through with the computer (he's waiting for me to finish now so he can have it), I will post a couple of our favorite salsa recipes for you.

    Will you let me know how your Abe Lincoln does, especially how it tastes? It is one I've wanted to try, but I didn't know if it would do well in our summer heat. I love Plum Dandy and Jelly Bean, but didn't grow them this year as I wanted to try so many new (to me) heirlooms. I hope y'all avoid the hail this year and get lots of 'maters. In the six years we've been here we've had only one severe hailstorm that destroyed almost everything, but most of the plants came back. The tomatoes were late that year though.

    OKPrairie: If we don't qualify as a 'tomato farm', we should! Every year when the ag dept. sends out the guys that do the farm survey, i.e., "what are you raising on your land for commercial purposes", they always stop by here thinking it IS a farm, and not just someone's hobby garden!

    No, we don't sell at a farmer's market, but we just might do that one of these days. I'm thinking that if DH ever decides to take early retirement (he's eligible in a couple of years but I don't think he'll do it), we could become market growers. Maybe by then I'll have my growing techniques perfected.

    Sometimes our neighbors/friends/DH's co-workers offer to pay for the tomatoes we give them, but we just won't take their money. I grew up in a family that always freely shared their garden produce with others, so it is ingrained in me that at least half the fun of gardening is giving away the goodies! My grandparents always told me that as long as I had enough produce to 'give away' the extra, I was rich in the things that really matter and it is so true.

    There is a farmer's market in Ardmore, I think, but I've never been to it as that would require me to leave the garden for a day. lol I do need to go visit it sometime.

    About the wilting Brandywine, I pulled up a Brandywine today for the exact same reason. It was fine until we got several days worth of rain about 9 to 12 days ago. I think that sort of wilting might be the earliest stage of Southern Wilt, but I need to do some more research to see if I am correct. I lost one plant, I think it was a "Black From Tula" to the same thing 2 years ago, also after a lot of rain. With so many tomato plants, I can't afford to let a serious disease get loose in the garden, esp. since I plant my plants way too close together. For early blight I have sprayed with Seranade which is new this year and organic. I can't wait to see if it works well for me.

    Owie, I know what you mean about how time-consuming it is to make notes on so many varieties. At first I thought I could write the post from memory, but quickly found that I couldn't. You wouldn't believe how long it took me just to make the notes out in the garden and then it took another long while to write the original post. What I "need" is a laptop computer with web access, so I can sit out in the garden and write the post from there. However, I don't believe I'll be able to convince my DH that this is an actual "need" as opposed to an unnecessary luxury.

    I'll look forward to hearing your results as the summer goes on. So, you're getting some ripe ones, are you? Let the taste tests begin!

    During June and July, I swear I eat tomatoes at least 3 times a day--with lunch, with dinner, and as 'snacks" while working in the garden (the cherry and grape tomatoes are great for this purpose).

    Sara, thanks for the info on PPink. I'm looking forward to hearing you descibe just how yummy it is.

    I wish y'all were all here right now so we could sit down to a lovely late lunch of tomato dishes! Wouldn't that be fun! :)

    Dawn

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Anyone else get the pot-spotting planes flying repeatedly over their place? LOL It's subsided now that the plants are bigger and easily identifiable but in spring... I thought for sure we were on some government watch list for pot growers! Those dang planes would fly by almost every dang day then come back over for a lower, closer look.

    What was it that made me start thinking about this on this particular thread?? Oh, yeah. Dawn's tomato "farm" and the survey people.

  • HotPepperDad
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great post.
    I think I got some plants from Owiebrain at the swap-forgive me if I have the wrong person- and it's about time I ID them.
    I have two Toms marked D and two marked SM.
    I believe the D stands for Delicious, but I can't recall what the SM stands for.
    By memory (a dangerous mode to be sure) my report:

    Brandywine (Pink)-large 6' vigorous vines, setting alot of fruit, but none ripening yet. Some apparent blight or curl, especially lower branches.

    Cherokee Purple - 4-5' vines, many, many fruit, some just beginning to ripen. Moderate curl.

    Wisconsin 55 - 4' healthy vine, only a few small fruit set.

    Ponderosa Pink - 4' healthy plants, quite a bit of medium sized fruit set.

    Hellfucht - Some moderate blight, lots of set fruit. Best "shaped" fruit of anything I am growing - quite attractive. Just starting to ripen.

    Oxheart - huge 6' plants, hardly any set fruit. So far a disappointment.

    Cherokee Red - Only 3-4' plants, with moderate fruit set.
    However, these too seem to have a nice orb "shape" to them.

    Galina Yellow Cherry - 5-6' plant, first ripe Toms picked 6/11.

    Red Reisenstraube - 6' plant, heavy early set, but later flowers seem to be failing to be pollinated. Will go back to some manual polination soon.

    Black cherry - 5' plant, heavy, heavy fruit set.

    Hope this thread stays active so we can hear the results of taste tests.

    Bonus update: The heirloom Polish hot peppers I planted, called Cyklons, are setting a plethora of fruit. I'll post when I've had a chance to sample.

  • sarab
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi HPD, great to hear from you. So did I give correct information on the Ponderosa Pink?

    How's the family?

    sara

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    HPD: There were quite a few of us at the swap who had tomato plants, so I'm not sure who you got yours from, but Owie wasn't there--she was too close to her due date!

    SM? Here's a few guesses. Maybe one of them will jog your memory:

    Sweet Million
    Sun Master
    San Marzano
    Super Marzano VFNT
    Sandul Molduvan

    That's all I can think of at the moment that start with SM, although I bet there's others.

    Dawn

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nope, wasn't me. I was busy being a beached whale at the time. ;-)

  • HotPepperDad
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sorry for the mistaken ID.

    Owiebrain-Congrats on the little one, I now remember you from earlier posts. I'll blame my state of confusion on the fact we have two under the age of 3 ourselves!

    Upon further reflection, I now believe it was Tomato_Worm59 who gave me the SM and D tomato plants.
    I'm going to email her and I'll let ya'll know what they are and of course keep you updated on production/taste.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here's a few salsa recipes, as requested by Rod. We don't can salsa anymore, as we prefer our salsa fresh. We do can and freeze tomatoes to use in "fresh" salsa recipes in the winter.

    AL'S PICANTE SAUCE (Al is my DH's friend. He owns a restaurant.)

    4 medium tomatoes
    1/4 onion
    2 or 3 jalapeno peppers
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 head of cilantro, chopped (I think when Al uses the word head, he means "sprig". My DH love cilatro so he adds a lot more than 1 sprig. Adjust the amount of cilatro to suit your taste.

    Combine tomatoes, onion, peppers, salt and garlic salt in food processor or blender. Blend by pulsing. Remove from blender or food processor and stir in cilatro. Serve chilled.

    GOURMET PICO DE GALLO

    2 cups fully ripe heirloom tomatoes of your choice, chopped
    1/2 cup of your favorite sweet onion like Texs 1015Y, Vidalia, etc.
    2 Tablespoons of your favorite fresh pepper, minced (jalapeno, serrano, chile pequin, etc.)
    3 Tablespoons of key lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon of your favorite sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
    2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped finely

    Combine the onions and lime juice in a bowl and let them marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and then add the onion/lime juice mixture, combining well. Sample. Adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper, or cilntro as needed. Serve fresh.

    ROASTED TOMATO SALSA

    NOTE: On a day or evening when you are grilling a different meal, you can use the already hot grill to roast the tomato, pepper and onion for this recipe.

    3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
    1 small onion, sliced into rings
    2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise
    1 T. lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    salt to taste

    Place your tomatoes, peppers and onion on a hot grill a good distance away from the direct fire. Let them "smoke" or "roast" for about 15 minutes, turning them every now and then. After 15 minutes, remove them from the grill and let them cool.

    To prepare the salsa: remove the skin from the tomato. Place the onion, peppers and tomatoes in your blender or food processor. Add lemon juice. Puree for about 30 seonds, leaving the salsa a bit chunky. Pour mixture into a bowl and chill before serving.

    I hope that any of you who make your own salsa will add your recipes to this thread for Rod & for all of us who want to try new recipes.

    Dawn

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My salsa recipe which, by the way, is the best in the universe (LOL):

    Gobs of fresh tomatoes
    Gobs of fresh chiles, many varieties so the heat is layered
    Gobs of fresh onion
    Gobs of fresh garlic
    Gobs of fresh radishes
    Gobs of fresh cilantro

    Chop it all up in a food processor, then add tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and water to desired taste and thickness.

    It's an art, I tell ya! :-D

    Diane

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Diane,

    I think you need to write a cookbook. You could call it "Gobs of This, Gobs of That"! lol

    By the way, I cook exactly the way you do. I put in a bit of this and a bit of that. Then, if someone asks for a recipe I have to really rack my brain to come up with the proper quantities. Last night I made a peach cobbler for dinner, and my son watched me. He wanted to know how I knew how much of each ingredient I was throwing in. How could I even answer that? I finally said, "I just know."

    And, when it comes to salsa, my DH loves it best when he makes it with habanero peppers. Lots of habaneros. It is so hot that he is the only one who can eat it!

    Dawn

  • HotPepperDad
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Turns out the SM stands for San Marzano-lucky me!
    First batch of Cherokee purple are ripening!

  • OKC1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey, Dawn,
    Need another good idea for using up your vast supply of tomatoes?
    How about tomato perserves with lime and allspice? They are really, really yummy and small jars woul dmake great Christmas presents.
    I came up with my own recipe by accident years ago when I had excess tomatoes and was tired of canning and freezing and giving them away. The recipe that was on the pectin package asked for lemon and cinnamon but I didn't have either and had no way to get to town.
    I think the lime and allspice made them tastier.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OKC1,

    How about sharing that recipe? It sounds yummy and I'd love to try it!

    Although I am already saying I am "sick of" tomatoes, I will calm down and be happy they are ripe as soon as I can rest and take one day off from picking tomatoes (and also washing them, cutting them up, cooking them, preserving them, and bagging them up to give away). I never, ever, get "sick of" eating them though. :) And, when I have lots of canned and frozen tomatoes to get me through the fall/winter months, I know I'll be glad that I always plant too many!

    I think my tomato plants have never looked better, and have never produced this many tomatoes per plant. This is one instance where a drought is helpful. No rain falling = very little foliar diseases, as well as very little cracking and splitting. I have plants growing out of the tops of their cages, and I've had to add another 3' cage to the tops of those cages, making them 8' to 9' tall. At some point, I am going to have to take a ladder into the garden to harvest tomatoes. That's a silly thought, isn't it?

    Dawn

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here's a update, especially now that I've been able to do quite a bit more taste-testing:

    CHERRY, GRAPE & CLUSTER TOMATOES:

    SUNGOLD is the best-tasting cherry as always.

    RIESENTRAUBE is excellent as always, and I plant it every year.

    SUNSUGAR FT, a supposed improvement of SunGold, tastes a little more bland, but not bad. However, it is not as disease-resistant nor as productive.

    SWEET MILLION tastes much better than Supersweet 100, and is a much larger plant (9' tall and still growing) and produces many, many more fruit. From now on. I think I'll only grown Sweet Million, and not Sweet 100 or Supersweet 100.

    SUPER SNOW WHITE (actually the fruit are a pale yellowish-white) is really, really good. This plant has had some early blight on the leaves, but the fruit is so good that I will plant it again next year.

    SWEETIE RED CHERRY is just your average red cherry tomato. Nothing special. (Still better than store-bought, though.)

    BLACK CHERRY tastes really good, but the plant is fairly small and doesn't produce a lot of fruit. That might be because it is in some of my least-improved clay soil though. Next year I'll try planting it in better soil.

    GREEN GRAPE has blossoms, but no ripe fruit yet.

    ROSALITA produces oval-shaped, pink fruit. They look sort of like red grapes that aren't quite ripe yet. Taste is good to very good. I'll grow this one again.

    SUGARY, the 2005 AAS winner, is a huge disappointment here. It looks a lot like Rosalita, only the ends are pointy and Rosalita's ends are rounded. Its flavor is nothing special, and the skin is thick, thick, thick. This one is a waste of space. I won't bother with it again.

    ILDI, which is new for me this year, is excellent, producing oval-shaped yellow tomatoes with outstanding flavor. It is another monster plant, topping 9 feet and spreading out sideways and attempting to crowd out everything else. It will be a part of our garden from now on.

    GALINA'S YELLOW has green tomatoes, but none ripe yet. I can't wait to try them--they are supposed to be wonderful.

    CEYLON is another new one. The tomatoes taste good and are really interesting--with the SHAPE of a large, sort-of-flattened full-size tomato. They aren't really productive, though, at least not yet.

    PORTER and PORTER IMPROVED both have early blight and haven't produced much yet. They usually outgrow the early blight when they get it, so we'll see. I grow them every year, as they are often the best producers in August when everything else is worn-out. Plus, the pink-colored fruit look lovely in salads.

    SWEET CHELSEA, a cluster-type, is a lovely surprise. This is its first year in the garden and the trusses of large, ping-pong ball-sized fruit taste amazingly good. Very productive and healthy plants. This one is a keeper.

    LIME GREEN SALAD--this is its first year, and I've only tasted a couple of fruit, so haven't made up my mind about it. The fruit are more acidic than most tomatoes this size. The fruit are just slightly larger than Porter and are a lime-green to pale lemon yellow when ripe. They seem prone to cracking.

    YELLOW PEAR--I've grown this for at least 8 years and it has always done well, until this year. This year it has struggled with disease, so I've yanked it out. I will plant it again next year though.

    Now, for the larger tomatoes.

    GREEN TOMATOES:

    GREEN ZEBRA produces fruit that are gorgeous, and the plants are healthy and loaded with fruit. The taste is OK. I've only had a couple. Maybe the later fruit will taste better, as is often the case with tomatoes.

    AUNT RUBY'S GERMAN GREEN hasn't produced any ripe fruit yet. Still waiting.

    BLACK TOMATOES:

    BLACK KRIM, as always, is the first ripe black tomato and I'm getting quite a lot of ripe ones. The best flavor of any tomato this year, including Brandywine. I just love these. Gave some to a neighbor on Friday and he loved them too. Said he wouldn't give any of them away if he was growing them!

    BLACK FROM TULA--also yummy and very much like Black Krim. I think they must be very closely related--both are from the Black Sea area of Russia, I think. The Black from Tula are slightly smaller, though.

    PAUL ROBESON--not quite ripe yet, and I can hardly stand the waiting. They are supposed to be quite good. I guess time will tell.

    SOUTHERN NIGHT--has struggled with foliar diseases and the taste is average.

    BLACK PRINCE--loaded in fruit but none ripe. Starting to show a little foliar disease. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

    BLACK SEA MAN--just sitting there and looking unhappy. This plant has been sick forever, and I think I am just going to pull it up and use the space for something else.

    CHEROKEE CHOCOLATE: Got off to a late start and slow to grow. Finally flowers and some small fruit have appeared.

    ORANGE/YELLOW ONES: I put these together, because some of the ones that have 'yellow' in their name are often quite orange in appearance.

    JUBILEE: Fruit are quite large and are pretty tasty. Has some foliar leaf spotting though. This one is a yellow to golden-yellow in color. Fruit are probably about 10 oz. each.

    DR. WYCHE'S YELLOW: Fruit are about the size of Jubilee, but more orangey. Taste is quite good, but I've only had a couple of ripe ones so far. Definitely worth growing though, and I love it because it is an heirloom tomato from Oklahoma.

    AZOYCHKA: Producing fairly large yellow fruit with just a bit of a green shoulder. Have picked a couple, but don't think I've tried one yet.

    NEBRASKA WEDDING: A huge monster plant covered in green fruit, but none ripe yet. Based on past three years of growing this one, though, I know the large orange tomatoes are well worth waiting for. It is usually one of the last ones in the garden to ripen.

    KELLOGG'S BREAKFAST: First time for this one. Healthy plants with green fruit. Just waiting for them to ripen!

    DELICIOUS: This may be the world record holder for size, but I am just about done with it. The fruit are large, in the 1 to 2 pound range, but the flavor just isn't that great.

    RUSSIAN PERSIMMON: Finally getting ripe ones as of yesterday, but I haven't tasted one yet.

    PINK/PURPLE VARIETIES:

    ARKANSAS TRAVELER. Finally getting ripe ones. Yummy! Will grow again.

    PURPLE CHEROKEE: Got off to a late start. Finally has some green fruit. Just waiting for it to ripen.

    GERMAN QUEEN: Lots of green fruit on moderately-healthy plants. Waiting for ripe ones.

    OLD GERMAN: Hasn't grown very well. Only about 3' or 4' tall and with a few flowers. A disappointment so far.

    OXACAN PINK: Lots of green fruit, but none ripe.

    MEXICO: Just beginning to get ripe ones. Haven't tasted one yet.

    ZAPOTEC PLEATED: I have 2 plants, planted beside each other in the garden. One is huge, healthy and covered in fruit. The other is only about 2/3s its size, has no fruit, and has a lot of foliar disease. Think I'll yank out the sick one before it infects the healthy one. No ripe fruit yet on the healthy one.

    AUNT GINNY'S PURPLE: A very healthy plant that went in late so none are ripe yet, but we're getting close.

    RED-FRUITED:

    CELEBRITY, BUSH--Has produced tons of fruit on compact plants. Will grow again.

    EARLY GIRL, BUSH--Has produced tons of fruit on very compact plants. Will grow again.

    EARLY GIRL--Has produced well, but wasn't the earliest tomato!

    BIG BOY--Lots and lots and lots of gigantic tomatoes, and the taste is OK. I guess, to be fair, the taste is fine for a hybrid--but not as tasty as many heirlooms.

    BETTER BOY--Lots of fruit. Fruit is not quite as large as Big Boy, but there's more of it. Taste is better too. Two plants are producing enough fruit by themselves to keep the average family supplied with tomatoes for fresh eating.

    BEEFMASTER--Lots and lots of tasty fruit. We always grow this one and it never disappoints us.

    SUPER BOY--These are strange plants. They have had a tremendous amount of leaf curl from the day they were set out in the garden. The plants look like crap. I have six of them and each of them is heavily loaded down with fruit. The fruit is only average in flavor--nothing special, but still tastes better than store-bought tomatoes. I have been using these in salsa, tomato sauce, tortilla soup, etc.

    SIOUX--Lots of yummy fruit.

    SUPER SIOUX--Also producing lots of yummy fruit. I can't tell a difference between the two.

    BRANDYWINE--Only a few fruit. Those few, though, have been gigantic and of excellent quality. I took out one Brandywine plant that was diseased. The second is doing well and still producing.

    BRANDYWINE OTV--About the same as Brandywine above. It is supposed to have superior disease-resistance, but I'm not positive that it does.

    MARGLOBE--Finally have fruit that's almost ripe.

    MULE TEAM--Lots of green tomatoes. Waiting for red ones.

    BOXCAR WILLIE--First ripe one this weekend. Very tasty.

    MORTGAGE LIFTER--Large, tasty fruit, although not a lot of them on any given plant.

    MORGAGE LIFTER VFN--Large, tasty fruit. About the same as regular Mortgage Lifter.

    UGLY--Is producing a lot of fruit here lately. They are average in flavor.

    Well, that's all I can remember. This time I did it from memory--no notes! Taste is subjective, and some of the tomatoes whose taste has disappointed me so far may produce better-tasting fruit later in the summer.

    So far I am pleased with the tomatoes overall. We're eating a LOT and giving a lot away, which just thrills the recipients, of course! ALthough a lot of the plants are showing some early blight and some bacterial speck, only one (German Queen) has had blossom-end rot and there don't seem to be many spider mites yet. I have seen one small hornworm, and I left it alone, because I love the moths that the worms become.

    This week I will take a few cuttings to start a few new plants for fall tomatoes.

    Let me know how your different tomato varieties are doing!!!

    Dawn

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I forgot to mention Earl's Faux, which I started from seed in April after receiving the seed in a swap. It is about 4' tall and quite healthy, and finally produced blooms this week. It has potato-leaf foliage, so guess I have the real Earl's Faux and not the faux Earl's Faux. Can't wait to try the fruit. Also looking forward to seeing how it does next year when it is planted at the same time as all the others.

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Going by memory again here on ones we've recently tasted.

    Stupice--very yummy.

    Juane Flammee--very yummy.

    Fox Cherry--very yummy.

    Reisentraube--pretty good but not as good as Fox Cherry.

    Tiny Tim--okay but nothing special.

    Taxi--bland as can be but son #2 loves them.

    Yellow Perfection--okay.

    Garden Peach--too blah for my taste but hubby and the kids like them.

    Cherokee Chocolate--just ate the first ripe one a couple of days ago. Hubby pucked it not quite ripe. Blah and sweet but will hopefully improve as more ripen.

    Polish Linguisa and San Marzano Lampadina--both have had BER on every single fruit so far and there have been quite a few.

    Arkansas Traveler--good as usual.

    Peacevine Cherry--average tasting but the kids like them.

    Banana Legs--have not been able to taste one yet as they seem to be quite a favorite of the bugs.

    Aztec, Taos, and Super Sioux--just started tasting the first ones to ripen and they all seem average. Will hopefully improve as more ripen.

    Ponderosa--picked the first ripe one last night but the dang bugs were throwing a party inside and left none for me.

    Many more varieties getting close to ripe. This is just not turning out to be a good tomato year for me. Between diseases, bugs, and general bad luck, many plants are just not thriving as they have other years for me. We'll still have plenty to get us through and there's always next year to look forward to! :-)

    Diane

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Updating for July (from memory, as usual):

    We're finally starting to get into heavier production. It's just been a not-so-good year for everything. Taste is finally starting to pick up on the maters, though. Yum!

    Pink Brandywine--Perfection! As good in the production department as most others out there which surprised me.

    Black Krim--is now very yummy! Very productive.

    Black Prince--just one notch down from Black Krim. Very productive.

    Cherokee Chocolate--quite yummy but yet another notch down from Black Prince.

    Costoluto Genovese--a bit above average in taste but producing quite nicely.

    Juane Flammee--still cranking them out and still very yummy.

    Garden Peach--very productive and average tasting. On the sweet side.

    Taxi--Still cranking them out at a high rate and still average tasting (although, my 8 year old will tell you they're the best-tasting tomato in the world).

    Yellow Perfection--another still very productive one. A bit above average in the taste department.

    Wisconsin 55--Gorgeous, perfect-looking tomatoes. Fairly productive and pretty good tasting.

    Tiny Tim--productive and blah. Rather like eating small golf balls.

    Reisentraube--very productive and good tasting but not exceptionally so.

    Peacevine Cherry--heaven in a cherry tomato! Productive as all get out and excellent taste!

    Fox Cherry--yummy and productive.

    Roma--average-tasting but productive.

    Banana Legs--Very productive! Quite yummy, too--much more than Roma.

    Eva Purple Ball--just started getting ripe ones. Nothing special in the taste department yet but it's not bad. Nice looking.

    Homestead--picking the first ripe ones tonight. Stunted little plant but grew like a monster last year. Could be the new location.

    Palla di Fuoco--picking the first ripe ones tonight. Another stunted little plant--could be location since it's right next to Homestead.

    Tiger-like--still very productive and decent in taste.

    Stupice--yet another one that's still cranking them out like crazy and quite good tasting.

    Aztec--average in all respects so far.

    Taos--average in all respects so far.

    Super Sioux/Lakote--average in all respects so far.

    Bradley--just starting to get ripe ones. Not very productive yet.

    Rutgers--just starting to get ripe ones. Not very productive yet.

    Hawaiian Pineapple--great-looking plants! Decent on production but so-so on taste.

    Polish Linguisa--BER has taken every one so far.

    San Marzano Lampadina--BER has taken every one so far.

    Still waiting on first ripe fruit from several varieties. It's been a very strange year for me garden-wise with things happening that I don't usually have to deal with. A chance to learn, right?

  • owiebrain
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just wanted to note here that Aunt Ruby's German Green is INCREDIBLE! Holy moly! *slurp*

  • HotPepperDad
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, here is an update, though I have had a lot of early blight this year that has essentially spread to every plant.
    Not even worth pulling plants at this point.

    Full sized:
    Cherokee Purple-Excellent flavor, and outproducing everything else at this point.

    Brandywine (pink)-Still my favorite, huge fruit, plants doing o.k. in the face of the early blight.

    Cherokee Red-awful, tiny, fruit with bland taste. Seem to be very susceptible to sunscald, though location could be playing a factor.

    Pink Ponderosa-Quite productive, large fruits that my wife favors over all others; similar to pink Brandywine.

    Hellfrucht-lots of green fruit early, few ripening still (have not tasted yet). Very susceptible to unidentified insect attack.

    Oxheart-Plants doing poorly (location?), none tasted yet.

    Wisconsin 55-Beautiful fruit, ripening to a deep red color. Plants holding up the best against the blight. Will taste tomorrow.

    San Marzano-stunted plants, really affected by early blight.
    None ripe yet.

    Delicious-Starting to produce quite a bit of green fruit, none ripe.

    Cherry-type:
    Galina Yellow-Extremely early and productive. O.k. flavor, but I prefer the 2 below.

    Red Riesentraub-Not very productive yet, good flavor, somewhat "spicy".

    Black Cherry-Very productive with excellent flavor. Recently judged the best by all my relatives compared to the other 2.

    Not as extensive a list as Owie and Okie, but another subjective report on taste and production from the OKC area.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, we got some rain a week or so back and now the foliage on my tomato plants looks pathetic. I guess it is that time of year any way, but it had been so dry that we hadn't had much disease problem yet. Well, we've got it now. Spider mites are showing up, but....it is July and we're having a drought, so I'm not surprised. Here's the latest variety report:

    These tomatoes have done well this year and I'll plant them again next year. They all have had good to excellent flavor.

    LARGE-FRUITED:

    Black Krim--excellent flavor, high producer
    Black From Tula--very good flavor, medium producer
    Black Prince--very good favor, average producer
    Brandywine--excellent flavor, low producer
    Brandywine OTV--excellent flavor, low producer
    Mortgage Lifter--excellent flavor but low producer
    Mortgage Lifter VFN--excellent flavor but low producer
    Better Boy--very good flavor, high producer
    Big Boy--good flavor, high producer
    Beefmaster--good flavor, excellent producer
    Early Girl--good flavor, excellent producer
    Celebrity--good flavor, excellent producer
    Dr. Wyche's Yellow--very good flavor, fairly large number of fruit
    Jubilee--very good flavor, lots of fruit, also very early for its size
    Nebraska Wedding--excellent flavor, although milder than most, takes a long-time to ripen
    Cherokee Purple--excellent flavor, productivity varies
    Arkansas Traveler--very good flavor, good producer
    Boxcar Willie--very good flavor
    Aunt Ruby's German Green--very good flavor
    Azoychka (flavor was very good, but plant has sparse foliage and seems to struggle. Still I'd give it another year.)

    SMALL FRUITED:
    Super Snow White (cherry) excellent flavor
    Riesentraube (cherry) very good flavor and very reliable
    Sweet Chelsea (cluster) excellent flaor
    Sun Gold (cherry) absolutely the best cherry
    Rosalita (grape)) (similar to the 2005 AAS winner, Sugary, in appearance but has much better flavor)
    Sweet Million (cherry) monster plant with heavy production and flavor that is superior to Sweet 100
    Ildi (grape) simply wonderful
    Black Cherry (plum-shaped grape) very yummy
    Porter (because it produces in the August heat when not much else does)
    Yellow Pear (next year might be its last year here, as Ildi tastes so much better and has better disease resistance)

    WHAT'S NOT COMING BACK:

    Green Grape--bland
    Green Zebra--OK, but nothing special
    Lime Green--OK, but nothing special
    Sugary--not nearly as good as the similar Rosalita
    Sweetie Red Cherry--flavor is good, but not very disease resistant
    Southern Night--no disease resistance
    Black From Tula--poor performance in comparison to other black tomatoes with lower production and less disease resistance
    Delicious (if size were the only goal, this would be a keeper, but I like tomatoes with flavor, and this one doesn't have much)
    SunSugar FT--not as tasty or as disease-resistant as SunGold
    Sioux--nothing special
    Super Sioux--also nothing special
    Zapotec Pleated--the only tomato I've ever grown that I know for sure had Tomato Mosaic Virus
    Oxacan Pink--bland flavor
    Super Boy--plants produce round, fairly bland fruit in huge abundance but it had foliar problems from the start. If the fruit had better flavor, I might be more inclined to put up with the sorry appearance of the plant.
    Mexico--only average flavor
    German Queen--slow to produce, no disease resistance
    Old German--slow to produce, no disease resistance

    UNDECIDED: These plants have been slow to produce ripe fruit, so the jury is still out on them. In some cases, it is not their fault the fruit is late--they were planted really late or in the worst soil in the garden. In some cases, they were planted later than the others AND the others got big quicker and sort of crowded them. All of these will PROBABLY get a second chance next year.

    Cherokee Chocolate
    Earl's Faux
    Aunt Ginny's Purple
    Marianna's Peace
    Galina's Yellow
    Paul Robeson
    Kellogg's Breakfast
    Ceylon
    Marglobe
    Mule Team
    Russian Persimmon
    Opalka

    You know, it doesn't matter how good the tomato plants look in mid- to late-June, they always start going downhill rapidly in July. Between the heat, the common foliar diseases, and the spider mites, it is a wonder any of them make it through July alive. That said, there are some that seem stronger and better able to handle the typical July challenges.

    I'm at the stage now in the garden where plants that are really struggling will get yanked out and replaced with something else for fall.

    Overall the tomato plants have produced well. We eat tomatoes literally every day and have given away tons and tons. I'm not preserving as many for the winter as I usually do--but that's partly because I already have so much other stuff put up in the freezer and pantry.

    Dawn

  • jbm4kids
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi
    I love that you shared all of your knowledge on the varieties of tomatoes. I will print your report to help me order my tomatoes. But can you help me pick which varieties are good for cooking and canning sauces, salsa and bloody mary mix?
    Do you start your tomatoes by seeds or seedling?
    I want to do it right this year, Thanks

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I start all my own from seed because it allows me to grow a huge variety of plants (especially heirlooms) that are not normally available at local garden centers. I start my own plants indoor from seed under grow lights right around Super Bowl Sunday, which gives me 8 or 9-week old plants at planting time....and they take off and start flowering really quickly once they are in the ground.

    If you are looking for a good variety of paste tomato, I am partial to San Marzano Redorta and Viva Italia. I'm also growing Burpee's Big Mama for the first time this year to see how it does here. There are several other heirloom paste tomatoes that are great, including Grandma Mary's Paste and Jersey Devil.

    The best sauces and salsas I've ever made, though, have been made with regular heirloom tomatoes, and not paste tomatoes. I pick a variety of heirlooms (whatever is ripe, and sometimes a few hybrids get thrown into the pot also). It takes then longer to cook down since they have a higher water content to begin with, but the flavor is superior to most paste tomatoes. Some of my favorites, therefore, for sauce and salsa, are the same as favorites for fresh eating--Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Arkansas Traveler, Bradley Pink, Rutgers, Indian Stripe, Earl's Faux, Marianna's Peace, Pruden's Purple...I could go on forever. Brandy Boy is a hybrid that makes a great sauce too, either alone or thrown into the pot with some of the others I just mentioned. I also love to make salsa with yellow or orange-fruited heirlooms as they have a slightly different flavor. Some of our faves in this category include Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Nebraska Wedding, Aunt Gertie's Gold, Kellogg's Breakfast and Lemon Boy.

  • susanlynne48
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm bringing this thread back to the light of day. Thought you all might like to see what you planted 2 years ago, and your best/worst, taste comparison in 2009, 2010, and ones you will definitely continue to grow and those you won't.

    I found it quite interesting and wanted to see if you still have the same opinions on some of them.

    Susan

  • josephus1932_copper_net
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn,
    No dessert recipe? Try your apple pie recipe but use green tomatoes instead of apples. It's a little tart but you might add a little sugar. My wife makes this every year and it is very good, at least, very interesting.
    Joe