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Tomato Evaluations!

Alright, I know many of you have already posted likes and dislikes about the different varieties you grew this year, but your recommendations wound up being spread out on two or three different threads, and I was having trouble going back and finding all the different tomato posts to help decide what I want to grow next year. Soif you all wouldnÂt mind, how about listing and evaluating which tomatoes you had this year on this thread so we can have the info together on one easy-to-find thread. And itÂll give us all another chance for more tomato talk!

Last year I was complaining that my Sungold didnÂt have much flavor, but this year they were GREAT again. TheyÂre a definite keeperÂeven if they happen to have an off year every now and then.

And I finally found a red cherry thatÂs also a real keeper! ItÂs Sweet Baby GirlÂseed from Totally Tomatoes. When I was out in the garden doing my taste testingÂgoing back and forth from one to the otherÂday after day after dayÂthe best one was always the one I had just bitten into! Sungold and Sweet Baby Girl are different, but theyÂre both excellent! IÂm not sure exactly what the difference isÂmaybe itÂs that Sweet Baby Girl is sweeter, and Sungold is more tomatoey (how do you spell tomatoey???) tastingÂwhatever that means. But it doesnÂt matter exactly what the difference isÂbecause theyÂre both so good!

The other cherry I grew was black cherry, and I have to say I agree with what some other people said on other threads. They ripened VERY slowly, and they only ripened a few at a time. Compared to the Sungold and the Sweet Baby Girl, they really didnÂt have much flavor at all, so, as of now and with my limited space, I wonÂt be growing them again next year.

I didnÂt have much luck with the larger tomatoes this year! The best red one I had was Ultimate Opener from Totally Tomatoes. It was described at medium-large, but mine only got up to about 3 oz. I got enough for me, but not enough to give away. But I do have 13 of them hanging in the garage ripe right now. I think IÂll be growing that one again next year.

I tried Thessaloniki for the first time this year and didnÂt have much luck with it. I didnÂt get many tomatoes, and they were only about 2 oz. each. I have several hanging in the garage, but most of them are pretty small, so it remains to be seen just how many of them will actually ripen. I will be trying it again next year because of all the raves around here!

My other red was Bloody ButcherÂwhich suffered a COMPLETE Failure to Thrive! Whatever the microscopic critter was that was eating my eggplants in early summer, also seemed to take a hankerin to my Bloody Butcher! By the time I managed to eliminate the whatever-it-was, it was just too late for my poor Bloody Butcher to do anything! Again, because of the raves, I WILL be trying it again next year.

And I tried Sunray, described as a medium yellow. Mine were orange, and about 3-4 oz. The flavor was pretty good, but IÂd still like to find a couple yellow or gold or orange ones with flavor to die for! I have a whole bunch of Sunray hanging in the garage, in varying stages of ripeness.

And the last one was Golden Jubilee, described as a medium gold-orange. ThatÂs the one that never germinated the first time I planted seed, and, while the seed did germinate the second time I tried, it was VERY tiny when I planted it out, and just never caught up. DidnÂt get enough tomatoes to give it a realistic evaluation. I have four small ones hanging in the garage, but they may be too small to ripen.

So thatÂs my tomato year! Next year I will definitely be growing Sungold, Sweet Baby Girl, Bloody Butcher, Ultimate Opener, and Thessaloniki.

Would love recommendations for medium to large, really good yellow/gold/orange ones, or other medium size, to-die-for red ones. No paste tomatoes! I like JUICY!

I have a LOT of pics of my tomatoes, but, well, they all just look like tomatoes! But since somebody on an earlier thread was talking about how tall tomatoes get, hereÂs one picture of mine where I was trying to show the height. ItÂs kind of hard to show, because the neighbors have bushes right on the other side of the fence, and, also, once they get to the top of my 5' cages, they just flop over the side! If the cherries were measured full length, they would have been at least 8' long.

So thatÂs my tomato year! Come recap yours here too!



Comments (26)

  • margaretmontana
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think you might like Big Rainbow. It is a large bi color that get redder as it gets more ripe. A medium season tomato so a chance of ripening it. Pinneaple is a big yellow but a late season so hard to ripen. Jerry German is an egg size firm yellow tomato and a medium season tomato. Azchoyka is a medium yellow tomato that is fairly early. Just not as tasty or as juicy. It was not a good tomato year for me as it was a cold spring and cold mights most of the summer. It was into September before I had much in the way of tomatoes where I usually have plenty in August with the hoophouses. I will send you seeds if you wish. Black cherry takes a lot longer to mature than sungold and needs to be almost purple when you pick it to get full flavor. I am a firm believer that everyone should have one Kotlas as is good tasting even though small tomatoes and you get ripe tomatoes long before a lot of the other ones start to turn.

  • austinnhanasmom
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I started many, planted fewer and had success with fewer yet!! I suspect that 1) caring for my two kids interrupted the seedling care, and 2) I crammed too many plants into my gardening space.

    From seed:
    Jersey Devil
    Sweet Baby Girl
    Giant Valentine
    Mama Leone
    San Marzano Redorte
    Viva Italian
    Yellow Brandywine
    Yellow Oxheart
    Yellow Pear

    Seedlings planted:
    Sweet Baby Girl
    Giant Valentine
    Mama Leone
    San Marzano Redorte
    Viva Italian
    Yellow Brandywine
    Yellow Oxheart
    Yellow Pear

    Yellow Pear - (of course) - huge yield, average flavor
    Sweet Baby Girl - decent yield, sweet flavor
    Giant Valentine - my new favorite
    Mama Leone - my new favorite - salty flavor
    San Marzano Redorte - poor yield, great flavor
    Viva Italian - decent yield, decent flavor
    Yellow Brandywine - poor yield
    Yellow Oxheart - poor yield

    Unfortunately, my two favorites are hybrids; but am growing some in front of a window over the winter to see if F2s resemble the parents. (crossing fingers)

    After trading for some incredible seeds this fall, I can't decide what to grow next year. Now that I have these wonderful seeds, my quest for the perfect heat/sun loving paste/sauce/salsa/fresh slicer is no where near over.

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  • aliceg8
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, I'll rave one more time...

    Chocolate Cherry from Territorial. Huge producers and very sweet. So sweet in fact that when I plucked some off of the vines in the garage for a party a week ago (and made a mozzarella, basil, balsamic salad) that one of my guests told me he thought they were grapes!


  • highalttransplant
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is my first year to grow tomatoes from seed, and like Deb, I have already acquired seeds for way more plants than I have room for. So now the difficult task of narrowing it down begins.

    Anyway, here is my evaluation of this years crop:

    Azoychka - Mine took a while to ripen, but it was very prolific. They were very juicy, with a slight citrus taste

    Black Cherry - Mine was one of the first tomatoes to ripen, so I guess I got lucky. I preferred the taste of this one, over the other cherries I grew. When I sent bags of cherry tomatoes to DH's office, it was always the favorite.

    Cherokee Purple - I think this was the best tasting tomato I grew! Decent production, one of the first to ripen. My only complaint was that they tended to split. I received seeds for a similar variety, called Indian Stripe, which I will try next year.

    Minibush Yellow Cherry - almost lost the seedling, and the plant remained stunted the rest of the season. The couple of tomatoes I tasted before it got hit by frost, were very sour and citrusy.

    Moskvich - This plant blew down at the beginning of September, but none of the tomatoes were ripe at that point. I harvested everything and put them in the kitchen window, so I did get to try them eventually, but the taste was not anything special. This was supposed to be my early crop, so I was surprised that it was actually one of the last to ripen.

    Opalka - Best tasting of the two paste types that I grew, but it took forever to ripen, and most of them were harvested green right before the first frost. They were quite large, not very many seeds, decent production, and not as mealy as the San Marzano.

    San Marzano - Very productive, fairly early, but fairly small, mealy and bland. Will not grow this one again.

    Sungold - Extremely prolific, first to ripen out of all of my tomatoes, sweet if fully ripe, but a bit too acidic for my taste. May grow again, but not this coming year - too many new ones to try.

    Supersweet 100's - This one was a bit of a disappointment. Low production, one of the last to ripen, very large for a cherry, and tasted like a bland, full sized tomato. Don't think I'll grow this one again either.

    Skybird, one that I think you might want to try is Kellogg's Breakfast. I started to grow that one, but the seedling was another victim of the winds here. It's on my list for next year too.

    Considering my garden is only 60 sq.ft, I was pleased with the tomato harvest this year. It was enough for two batches of salsa, more cherries than we could eat in two or three years time, and some fresh tomatoes for cooking pasta dishes, etc.

    Looking forward to next season,

  • digit
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, Skybird, I didn't know you had space for so many tomato plants!

    I may have been the one "raving" so much about Thessaloniki. A couple things I like about it - it does well in my garden (you really should have some 8 oz+ fruits, Sky) and I can save the seed. It IS a touch late, tho'.

    Big Beef hybrid is a favorite for flavor, plant health, and dependability.

    SunSugar might be my favorite for taste. I have noticed how flavor may vary from year-to-year. It is very similar to Sungold and both are hybrids.

    Bloody Butchers were great for an early tomato with some flavor!! I'll grow them again!

    Legends were the big "find" this year. I gotta say that they were mostly destined for the farmers' market. I hope their mild flavor didn't disappoint customers. Legends ability to kick out lots of good-looking fruit was the big plus and I appreciate the small size of the plants. And, they aren't hybrids so I've saved seed.

    This year, I decided that I just can't live without Sweet Chelsea. I've grown it off-and-on for a few years. I don't see others raving about this one on the tomato forum and now, watch - - as soon as I'm fully committed to this hybrid, larger-than-most cherry, it'll be taken off the market . . .

    Ildi is a non-hybrid and may finally be an alternative to Yellow Pear, which doesn't do well for me. Ildi was all-around good but with some blight problems.

    I grow Large Red Cherry each and every year and appreciate its productivity but gosh, I'm getting tired of the things. Leaving it behind and goin' with plants with less vigor seems kind of silly, however.

    Finally, there's my grandmother's tomato. It may very well be "Porters" except it's removed by 70 years. Porters is a real good choice for an heirloom plum "saladette" for dry, short-season country and Grandma's fills the bill, too. It makes me smile to see the plants, as well.


  • pondgardener
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago


    Brandywine(Sudduth strain) is my favorite, but 1884 and Marianna's Peace had a great taste and good production. As far as cherry tomatoes ... have you tried one of the grape types... I planted Sugary this year for the first time in a container and I enjoyed the taste so much that I'm setting aside some room in the garden for more of these. And for a tomato with great taste but with a semi-determinate growth try Big Dwarf. ( ...talking about tomatoes already has me longing to get started with the fluorescent tubes down in the basement...)

  • jaliranchr
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Skybird, I'm sorry Thess and Bloody Butcher didn't do well for you but I understand -- if they don't do well for me, they don't come back. Except.... :)

    I cannot say enough good things about Neves Azorean Red. That is one of the finest tomatoes I have ever grown or eaten. Maybe not a production monster, but the fruit is as big and wonderful as you can imagine. My old HS home ec teacher (oops dating myself) just adores this tomato and she just beams when I take some to her. Perfect BLT mater.

  • ianb_co
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Only grew two this year here in Boulder - Bloody Butcher and Black Cherry. (Cuor di Bue also went in, but I ripped them out when I thought they had curly top virus - probably only had some 2,4-d damage. Ooooops.) Bloody Butcher was great, though smaller than I expected - most were less than 2 oz. Very good flavor. They also canned extremely well, though it was a lot of work peeling the little guys. Very productive throughout the season, even setting fruit despite the 90+ weather we had every day in July. Definitely going in again next year.

    Black Cherry also tasted great for me - very good sweet/sour balance. They were productive early in the summer then quickly tailed off. Needed a lot of P and K fertilizing, more so than Bloody Butcher. Lack of fertilizing definitely diminished the flavor. I will likely plant them again.

    Will probably try Cuor di Bue again next year, along with Carbon or something similar.


  • elkwc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I will add my 2 cents. I grow both op's and hybrids. Way more op's the last few years. Have around 56 varieties this year. And it was a tough year. The size here was smaller till late. The last 2 weeks before frost I was picking some nice ones. Some of my favorites have already been mentioned. My standy is a hybrid from Totally Tomatoes called Goliath. It seems to never fail. Old Fashioned Goliath does well most years also. Porterhouse, Hearland and Ramapo are more good hybrids.
    Now I'll get into my favorite op's and also the ones that do well here in SW KS. Chapman is a very good beefsteak type red. Good producer an flavor. One I grow every year. More people should try this one.
    Matt D Imperio is a very nice plum shaped red that is very meaty and juicy not a paste type. Can be used for slicing, eating in the garden, canning or salsa. A true all around with good flavor.
    Indian Stripe and Cherokee Purple(if you get the true one) are both very good. And taste very much alike. Indian Stripe is a little smaller but can be more productive. Both in my top ten. Cherokee Chocolate to me had a very unique taste that was different from the other two. Still very good and will be back. Cherokee Green is the best green when ripe I've grown so far. Grub's Mystery Green is good but not in the same league. Spear's Tennessee Green didn't do well this year.
    Black from Tula and JD's Special C Tex are both good blacks. BFT was recommended to me by a grower in Fowler, CO. Said it did well here in the heat, wind and drought. I found that to be so and has a good flavor.
    Texas Star is a very good bi color that has produced very well for me.
    Kellog's Breakfast as mentioned is very good and can produce well. A little more finicky.
    Carbon was a black that did well for me in this tough year. And another with good flavor.
    Hege's German Pink is a very good pink.
    Kanora is a red heart shape I got seeds from the USDA seed bank. It was developed by Kansas State in the 20's with Blight resistance. It did very well. And had good flavor. A canner type. 3-5 oz.
    Flammee' is my favorite smaller tomato . An orange tomato about the size of a small egg. Very good and a good producer.
    Belize Pink Heart tasted very good. Produced late but will get another chance due to the year.
    Glick's 18 Mennonite a very good producer, good flavor. Another all around that can be used as a slicer or a canner.
    Caspian Pink one of my favorite Pinks that tastes and produces well.
    Mr. Bruno 4-6 oz red that seems to produce well regardless of the year.
    Lucky Cross the best tasting tomato that I've ever tasted. A bi color. The only one I would grow for just one fruit a year.
    Neve's Azorean Red, Florida Pink, Coustralee, Eva's Amish Stripe, Lancaster Big Pink, Manulucie, Pineapple, Sioux and Vintage Wine Striped have all done well for me before and come back but not every year.
    I didn't mention the disappointments and those that won't be back because of production or disease problems. . As the list is quite long.

  • digit
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've been thinking about trying Flammé the last few years. It is popular in the Seattle area and in the SF Bay area, as I understand. Now we have Elkwc telling us that it grows well in SW KS!!

    It is supposed to have a very pretty fruit (there's something to be said for eye appeal). It's an open pollinated heirloom so we can save the seed. Both the seed companies and Elkwc say Flammé is prolific. And, it is a 70 days, indeterminate.

    I'm wondering what reason is out there for all of us not to grow this tomato?

    BTW - I grew Goliath for a good number of years. Once picked, I had a little trouble with separating the fruit from Big Beef. BB's were usually not as large. I suppose I stopped ordering the seed because I already had a hybrid beefsteak - not for any other reason that I can think of. . . . a good beefsteak choice.

    Oh and Elkwc, Totally Tomatoes has a Heinz 1439 tomato so that your 56 varieties could be . . . 57. (Okay, paint me green with envy. ;o)


  • meteor04
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One thing I was just now thinking about RE:My toms this year.

    I believe I mentioned here that I put my special mix into each tom planting whole. It just occured to me, I lost maybe 2-3 toms to BER total from 9 plants with it.

    What it was...

    Milkbone crumbs *yes dog cookies*
    Powdered eggshells
    crushed calcium supplement tablets (quite a few)

    Put a good helping of that around the lower third of each hole. Could have been a co-inky dink I suppose.

    1 Sickly Celeb plant that produced early and often. Bit thick skinned.

    Yellow pear produced a ton, and I liked them. Lost very few to splitting.

    Pricipe Borgese, good production. Liked them best chopped up in scrambled eggs.

    Pink Brandywine. I got about a dozen from it, but by far the best tom!

    Early girls stunk this year. I've always have good luck and good toms from them, but not this year. Low production, average toms.

  • elkwc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    nd Elkwc, Totally Tomatoes has a Heinz 1439 tomato so that your 56 varieties could be . . . 57
    Digit I have seeds for something over 350 varieties. I've grown around 125 of them. I've got seeds for two Heinz varieties including 1439 and one Campbells. May try at least one of them next year. As my list of must grows gets longer fewer new ones get tried every year. I've been growing around 80 plants a year. Telling myself 60 this year. We will see if I can hold myself to it. I grow lots of peppers and then most of the rest of the veggies. Garlic is peeking through the mulch now. Preparing for next year.

  • david52 Zone 6
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Its funny here, with the wildly fluctuating weather from summer to summer. What works wonderfully one summer is bleeeh the next, and visa versa. This past summer, I was hit with the leaf-turning-start-to-curl-crud which did a number on so many of the varieties.

    Best by far was Vorlon, with folks putting in orders from week to week at the market, and many a happy salad, sandwich, and so on were consumed.

    The Cour di Beuf did very well, but later on in the season.

    Sungold were too many to pick at the end. That one is pretty consistent.

    Black Cherry had a wonderful taste, but was very slow to ripen. However, once picked, it keep extremely well for several days, if not weeks.

    Aunt Gerties Gold did well - again, late season there were plenty.

    And then the usual good results from Josies' Grandmas', the one I got from DD10's friends' moms' mom who was given the seeds when she left the convent in Iowa 50 years ago.

  • pondgardener
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago


    I had a similar problem with tomato leaf-turning-start-to-curl crud on my plants especially in the latter part of summer. Did you have any ideas what attributed to it or any remedies?


  • david52 Zone 6
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    George, I checked it out some years ago, and as far as I can tell, it is 'curly top' virus, spread by leaf hoppers. Thats my own research, I've been able to get that verified, but I have heard the same thing from other folks. It's bizarre, mine usually hits when the weather first gets hot, in mid-July. And it will be one plant here, one plant there, some of this variety, some of that. No single variety seems to be immune. This year, all of one variety were hit all at once, and that was usually one of the more resistant strains. Next row over, 8 foot away, all my cherry tomatoes were just fine, although last year some of them were hit.

    I did hear this past summer that the addition of phosphate to the soil helps a bunch - this is from some guy who only raises tomatoes, and gobs of them, and swears by it. Maybe something to it, the symptoms, ie over turned leaves with a purple coloration, are pretty much the same as what I get. So it can't hurt to try.

  • digit
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Interesting disease - apparently it infects most everything.

    I thought that I had some idea about what curly top is because it, once in awhile, sweeps thru and all but eliminates my green beans. I wasn't aware that it shows up in many other plants - tomatoes, beans, pepper, spinach, beets, and cucurbits. Spread by those blood-sucking leafhoppers!!

    Notice that the leaves roll inward and cup upward on tomatoes. I figured that meant it wasn't the curly top I knew in beans. But, you can look on the CSU site linked below and see that in the snap bean, the leaves curl downward . . . sheesh. I've seen something like the picture of the beets, too.

    Then every other darn plant, practically, in the garden can get this virus and almost randomly amongst the healthy plants, as David notes. I almost can't recall seeing this in tomatoes but those squash sure look like what happens most every year. They get sick here and there . . . darn it.

    "Affected plants do not recover and die or remain stunted . . ." OKState says. Control is "difficult" since it's spread by leafhoppers. Insecticides kill the leafhoppers too late for the tomatoes or whatever because they become infected on first bite. "Removing symptomatic plants is probably a good idea, but since the vector does not remain in tomato fields, there probably is little secondary, or plant to plant spread within a field." (OKState) At least that's good news.

    Note that the cursed leafhoppers like to single out plants in isolation - - so companion planting or crowding helps reduce the incidence. Hmmmmm Maybe we really should plant hills of corn and teepees of beans amongst the squash.

    Tomatoes? I guess they could fit in there, also.

    Count Dracula: We've come to make a withdrawal. We have a very sick man in the car. He needs blood, desperately.
    Bloodbank Guard: That's a hearse!
    Count Dracula: So maybe we're a bit late.

  • david52 Zone 6
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yikes! I see I left out an important "not" in my post above digits, that should read "I have not been able to get that verified". This is further evidence that Ol' '52 needs to clean his computer glasses a tad more frequently. Gimme that towel......

    But, I get this curly leaf stuff as well on green beans. peppers, and squash, so its the diagnoses that fits.

    I once had it in the greenhouse, with trays of tomatoes that were off to a local nursery for resale, the nursery person also said that it was curly top.

    Anyway, back to tomatoes - if you see a plant that has it, just pull it up, because even if the fruit matures, it tastes like a cross between an old, mildewy wet sponge and cardboard.

  • Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I havent had a chance yet, but Ill be making a listand checking it twicewhen I get to making my decision about what to grow next year. If anybody else has anymore suggestions, or wants to raveor rantabout what somebody else has mentioned, please come do it. The more input, the easier itll be to make a decision!

    And heres pics of this years winter storage!

    They ripened really fast this year, so Im going to need to eat them earlier than I have in past years. Guess I wont be having fresh tomatoes in January this year! But some of the cherries are already getting the extra sweet, sun-dried flavor! Yum!


  • polygonum_tinctorium
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't know if it fits your criteria, but I've always had good luck with Stupice. It's early, it's prolific, and it tastes good. It's been a reliable tomato for marginal climates. It will even grow in a large container. The tomato is red and not very big, maybe 2-3".

    We keep notes on tomato productivity, and Stupice is always at or near the top. It's not as amazingly wonderful in flavor as Brandywine or Cherokee Purple, but it's still a very good tomato. Plus you get to eat the tomatoes a lot sooner.

    I haven't grown tomatoes in several years, so I haven't experimented with a lot of varieties lately. I got tired of getting my plants eaten by the local mammals. I also suspect I need to do some experiments to check the effect of altitude on tomato production. I believe there's a definite influence.


  • laura_42
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My first attempt was a mixed bag. Celebrity did quite well, Champion had good tasting tomatoes but sadly didn't produce until the first frost. Super Sweet 100 seemed to be doing OK, then withered (heat?), then ended up flowering/fruiting after all but too late in the season.

    Next year I think I will try Celebrity again, along with Sungold and perhaps one other variety. I'm eyeing Early Girl, but am wondering if I'm playing it too safe with known varieties?

  • billie_ladybug
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tomatoes, Yummy -

    For pasters = Margaretta moves on to the next round. Good production, early enough to get most of them harvested before the frost, and nice size that is not going to be too difficult to peel (they are in freezer bags right now).

    Sausage - did not live up to the descriptiion. By the time it started ripening, the plants were dead from the frost. Only got a few small fruits. Nothing to write home about.

    Large tomatoes I grew -

    Cherokee Purple - late to start, hiding the ripe fruit and split even though it got even water. The flavor was pretty good though.

    Red Brandywine - was one of the better producers, will be back next year for a repeat performance.

    Early girl - was one of the last to produce (go figure) but when she finally got going, was really on a roll. Will be back in 2009 for an encore.

    Spanish Sun - Nice uniform tomatoes with a good flavor. Worth the space and has a reserved spot for next year.

    Cherokee - interestling out performed its cousin (purple?) and will be repeating next year.

    Super Sioux - Wow, it was one of the first and kept going through the summer with really nice sized fruit. Was there ever any doubt?

    Celebrity - must have been 15 minutes of fame, cuz I know I planted it, but it never even made it out of the gate. It struggled and croaked in the first weeks of summer. I might give it another chance, but then again...

    Last, but not least, the misc yellow/cherries -

    Yellow Plum - I actually mistook it for Yellow Pear for the first few weeks, then I remembered that I never got the yellow pear planted. Performed famously and the chickens loved cleaning up the leftovers. If they were not totally ripe though, they were very sour.

    Lemon Boy - never produced any fruit, bummer I really wanted to try it.

    And last but not least - the one every one else is talking about, Sugary. It was totally buried under Spanish sun, but everytime I found it, it had some of the best little pink fruit I have ever tasted. Awesome stuff. I will plant more than one next year.


  • lilacs_of_may
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I grew almost all container paste tomatoes. Most of the tomatoes were on the small side. I'm thinking putting in more compost might help that next year. I also plan to put in some blood meal or dolomite to help with BER.

    I was most happy with:

    Viva Italia

    The Sausage I grew in my Square Foot Success Kit I got from Gardener's. I am sold on them. The Sausage plant grew very tall and was incredibly prolific. I had three Roma plants in containers as big as I could get, but they should probably have been in bigger containers yet. Most of my containers were 5-8 gallon. The Viva Italia started producing late, but I got a lot of reasonably sized tomatoes from it.

    When frost became imminent, I dragged the heartiest plants into my spare room for the tomatoes to ripen. I managed to get a lot more tomatoes that way. I grabbed the last ones that ripened a couple days ago and took the containers out to my back porch.

    Don't want to try again:

    Orange Banana

    I got exactly ONE tomato out of the Opalka, and the Orange Banana finally, just before frost, produced two grape size tomatoes that then rotted. Not worth the container space.

    Will try again:

    San Marzano
    Saucy Paste
    Garden Candy
    Amish Paste

    The San Marzano didn't germinate properly. The Saucy Paste fell over and died one sunny afternoon when it was still not much past seedling stage (heat or lack of water, maybe?). The Amish Paste only produced five tomatoes, but I'll give it another try.

    The Garden Candy packet contained seeds for yellow, orange, and red cherry tomatoes. Definitely want to try that one again.

    We had record high temperatures, then about a week of rain in early August. That might have had an effect on the outcome.

  • Azura
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm a bit late to the party but here is my evaluation:

    Juliet Tomato: Awesome production, decent flavor. This tomato was my 10 year old's choice, he grew it from seed and fell in love. This tomato is a weird combination of a paste and a grape tomato. Grape flavor with paste texture.
    Prudens Purple: Awesome flavor, decent production.
    Cherokee Purple Tomato: Awesome flavor, sub par production. Prone to cracking.
    Aunt Gertie's Gold Tomato: Didnt make it to the garden.
    Black Krim Tomato: Decent flavor, awesome production. Huge cracks in every single tomato.
    Cherokee Green Tomato: Awesome production. You know... it helps if you remember that you planted a green tomato and dont keep waiting for them to change color. I never actually tasted it.
    Eva Purple Ball Tomato: Lost this one in the shuffle.
    Black Cherry Tomato: The BEST flavor, decent production. I will definitely grow this one again.
    Yellow Pear: Blech! Awesome production, mushy flavor and texture. This is my second time with that result, I will not grow it again.
    Banana Legs: Has anyone grown this one? This was my 8 year old's choice and I believe the seed was bad. Very low germination and the plants that did germinate were sickly little things that were not worth planting out.

    My record keeping was less than stellar this season. I have struggled with some neurological problems that have left my memory lacking, but this is to the best of my knowledge.

  • mtbigfigh
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Digit - I notice you like big beef hybrid
    "BB's were usually not as large. I suppose I stopped ordering the seed because I already had a hybrid beefsteak - not for any other reason that I can think of. . . . a good beefsteak choice."
    Wondered if you ever thought of the TomatoFest OP version

    here is info from site
    This is a de-hybridized version of an American favorite. These large, juicy, fruits combine old-fashioned beefsteak flavor with heavy yields. 1-pound, round to globe-shaped. Flavor is full and hearty with lots of sweet juice balanced with that wonderful tomato acidity. These giants slice up perfectly for big sandwiches. Fruit stays large even at the end of a long harvest season.
    TomatoFest is probably your only source for Big beef as an open-pollinated versus hybrid tomato. Rare Tomato Seeds


  • digit
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, isn't that something?!? Maybe the patent expired . . .

    I've looked at Tomatofest online, Dennis. It is such an attractive online catalog.

    I should really order a Carmel Tomatofest hat from those guys. I know, I know that wasn't what you were thinking. But, I was born in Carmel-by-the-Sea - can you imagine? (They probably wouldn't allow me to cross the city line these days. ;o)

    This dehybridizing thing may be an answer for me with the Sweet Chelsea variety. I mentioned somewhere how Dad had a cherry tomato volunteer in his garden. The plant was in a good spot and just managed to ripen a few fruits as a late frost hit that year. It was obvious to me that it was a Sweet Chelsea even tho' that one is a hybrid. I thought, "Great!!"

    Dad was disappointed that the darn thing wasn't something outrageously different. Sometimes, my dear 90 year-old father reminds me of Calvin, you know, from Calvin & Hobbes.

    digitS :o)

  • elkwc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I may have some extra seeds of the Big Beef if either of you want to try it. They came from TF. JD