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Do you like how "Early Girl" tomatoes taste?

TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

Hey ya'll!

My friend and I stumbled upon free "Early Girl" tomato seedlings on the sidewalk (so cool!) and I grabbed a bunch of them.

Can anyone vouch for their tastiness? I'm hesitant to plant all the seedlings we grabbed and raise them...in case 4 months from now I find that they taste bland or something. I have only a limited space to grow.

Please let me know!

Thank you.

Comments (22)

  • TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you! I think I'll do the same.

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  • digdirt2
    5 years ago

    Agree. Ok but nothing special flavor-wise. Moderately good production of average size tomatoes. Give them a 5.5 on a scale of 10. If you have space for them try 1 or 2 plants. If not you won't be missing anything special. If early is a goal, there are better earlies.

    Dave

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked digdirt2
  • TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks Dave!

    5.5/10? That's horrible. Why do most people grow them, I wonder? Perhaps only for the sake of having tomatoes ASAP?

    I feel like I see "Early Girl" tomatoes everywhere online as a veggie gardeners grow! Perhaps a lot of people like the bland flavor?

    I'm going to grow one "Early Girl" in a large planter and one in a medium planter for now. The rest I'll hold on to in small plastic containers in case of emergency.

  • Seysonn_ 8a-NC/HZ-7
    5 years ago

    I grew EG two years ago. It was not as early (in my location), Ok production and taste. But it is very known. It was one of 5 Bonnie varieties that arrived first in BBS. The others were Sun Gold , Roma, Bonnies Best, Delicious..

    Sey

  • romogen
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Early Girl has excellent 9/10 flavor if grown via dry farming method, but probably not possible in a pot. If you ever get a chance, buy some from Dirty Girl Farms to taste. This year I have seven plants in the ground plus other heirlooms. Here's a comprehensive article written by Julie Welch:

    "A Dry farming is a method by which tomatoes, as well as grains, grapes, fruit trees, winter squash and other deep-rooted food crops, are planted and trained to access retained subsurface water, instead of relying upon irrigation.

    The plants and fruit are smaller, but the sugar in the fruit is more concentrated and therefore sweeter than irrigated plants. On tomatoes, the skin may also be a bit tougher.

    The native clay soil that makes up much of Contra Costa County and the Bay Area is ideal for dry farming because it retains water, while sandy soil, such as that in raised beds, dries out too quickly.

    Soil preparation is the first step. Double dig your entire bed of native clay soil. Double digging is a technique that fluffs up and aerates the soil to a depth of 16 to 24 inches. Because we have had such a dry winter, your garden bed may first need to be watered well and deep, and then allowed to dry out a bit before digging. Do this as soon as possible in the spring.

    Remember that the soil should be moist enough that you can easily crumble a handful. If it is too wet or too dry, digging will result in poor soil structure that cannot support the plants well.

    An entire bed needs to be prepared, because one or two holes alone will have too much compacted clay soil around them to allow the tomato roots to grow. This can create a "clay pot" effect where the roots are constricted.

    When dry farming, plants need to be spaced about 4 to 5 feet apart in order to have enough water resources. Add up to 2 inches of finished compost and mix it into the top 3 to 4 inches of the double-dug bed. Water well, then add a layer of straw or leaf mulch and wait for planting day.

    Keep your seedlings in a warm location and allow them to get tall and a little leggy -- do not pinch them back.

    Continue to care for them and perhaps repot into gallon pots in order to give the roots more room for strong growth. The taller the plant, the deeper you can put it in the ground. All those little hairs along the stem will become roots when the stems are buried.

    Early to mid-May is typically warm enough for planting. Dig holes deep enough to leave only the top 4 to 5 inches of the seedlings above ground level. Add a specially formulated tomato fertilizer to the soil, water the hole and let it drain.

    Pinch or cut off all the leaves and branches up to the top 4 or 5 inches of the plant and pinch off any flowers and suckers between the branches. Plant the tomato, mixing a little compost with the clay, and leaving the top leaves and branches exposed. Water deeply; cover the surrounding soil with 3 to 4 inches of leaf mulch, straw or other mulch.

    Water deeply a few days later and then once a week for about three weeks. When you see fruit begin to develop, stop watering altogether.

    Do not be tempted to water your tomatoes after that because irregular watering can result in a disease called blossom end rot.

    If you have prepared the bed and mulched well, the tomatoes should be able to find their own water by searching deeply into the soil.

    Ideally, a cover crop of legumes would have been planted in the tomato bed the previous fall, and turned under in the spring as the legumes started to flower and the soil moisture content was at that crumbly stage. This adds nitrogen and organic material to the soil, which helps with the dry farming process.

    Not all varieties of tomatoes do well with a dry farming method. In Moraga I have had good luck with Early Girl, Chianti Rose, Red and Yellow Brandywine; Sun Gold and Sweet 100's cherry tomatoes; and Black Krim.

    Be advised, however, that Black Krim is so delicate you have to eat it right then and there, so take a loaf of rustic bread, some olive oil and some fresh mozzarella outside and enjoy.

    If you plan on growing tomatoes this season, either by dry farming or conventional methods, you should check out the "Heirlooms of the World" tomato plant sale being hosted by the Contra Costa Master Gardeners.

    More than 30 varieties of heirloom tomato plants will be for sale, including some of the mentioned varieties suitable for dry farming.

    The sale is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 4 through 6, at Our Garden, Contra Costa Times building, 2640 Shadelands Drive, Walnut Creek.

    For more information on the plant sale check out the Contra Costa Master Gardener website at http://camastergardeners.ucdavis.edu.

    Julie Welch is a Contra Costa Master Gardener."

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked romogen
  • Campanula UK Z8
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you, Julie.

    Precisely the method I use on the allotment. I topdress the soil though, with a slow-release organic fertilser then mulch with chopped comfrey.I only water for the first 3 weeks or so (and plant out late enough so temperatures are reliably high enough for the plants to grow at a good rate)...then apart from nipping and tying in, they are left to their own devices. This does not work (for me) with most plum tomatoes such as Roma and Marzano and as I either dry or sauce the majority of tomatoes, tough skins are actually almost an asset. I also grow lots of Greek basil (tiny leaves) next to the plants in the same way.

  • RedSun (Zone 6, NJ)
    5 years ago

    All of the hybrid taste similar to me. It is ok, and production is fine. But the tomatoes have so much water content. I like more meaty tomatoes.

    I do not grow those hybrids now.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked RedSun (Zone 6, NJ)
  • daniel_nyc
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked daniel_nyc
  • thebutcher
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I grew Early Girl 2 years ago I got from a big box shop along with Rutgers Ramapo. The Ramapo was better but nothing wrong with Early Girl, they produce alot and everyone that I gave both to loved them. But I guess it is how you use them, I make a tomato salad or salsa or even sauce. But still far better then a tomato bought in a store anywhere else.

    Last summer I grew Summer Girl, still great and probably a notch above Early Girl and still the taste was great. I grew it along with Jersey Boy, Jersey Boy was better in taste, but the production from Summer Girl was more. I guess what I am trying to say is that you can not go wrong with Early Girl or Summer Girl "which is basicly an Early Girl".

    This year I purchased 3 Jersey Boys, 2 Summer Girls, 2 brandy Boys and 1 Cherokee purple from Burpee that should be delivered in the first week or two of May. How every in the meantime, I could not wait to get started so I went to my local nursery and bought 2 Early Girl Seedlings and plan on putting them in my 25 Gal Fabric bags next week once they are hardened off just to get a jump start. I figure if a frost hits early, I can just move them in the shed overnight. I guess the point is that if you want a main "staple tomato" producer and early that lasts throughout the season then I would go for Early Girl or Summer Girl. I grew 4th of July 3 years ago but must admit to my taste that the girls were better and the production was better.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked thebutcher
  • TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    romogen,

    I can't believe I missed your post! Thanks so much for all the info.

    Thanks to everyone else for the responses as well. The "Early Girls" I planted don't seem to be growing much compared to the Sungolds. Perhaps The EG's were left out in the cold too long before I adopted them or something.

  • bonitapplebum
    5 years ago

    I'm in Orinda, right by romogen, and use the dry farming method to grow my early girls. I think they're quite a treat for garden tomatoes when none of the other varieties are ripened. I just put 4 into the ground and planted them quite deep (cut off the branches up til the top 2-3, the branches should become roots). I don't pick them until they're very very ripe and they are quite sweet and make a wonderful salsa or sauce for pasta.


    When planting, I water well until I see new branches come up from the EGs and then taper it down. If you water these guys too much, they have lackluster flavor and mushy structure. Think of them as drought friendly tomatoes!

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked bonitapplebum
  • thebutcher
    5 years ago

    Here are my two early girls that I just repotted into 5 gallon vinyl bags with about 3 gallon potting mix of Gardners gold. I did this because I checked the local Philly area weather and it should hover around the 40's at night pretty much for the next 10 days at least, plus they were getting big, not leggy but kind of root bound and the small containers kept knocking over. But now I can easily carry them in at night and put them out in the morning until they get there new home..

    Both of these will be planted each in one 20-25 gallon air rated fabric bags with same mix, but thought it was a good idea to see how they fare with transplanting when the night temps are better. Now the reason I am posting this is that, I bought 2 summer girls that should arrive from Burpee around May 10th plus need a week or so to harden off. Plus the other plants I mentioned in previous post, Jersey Boy/Brandy Boy and Cherokee Purple.

    I am just currious to see the time they produce and the taste difference in the same kind of enviornment, mainly between Summer Girl and Early Girl also with size. I will try to pick up a 4th of July as well ASAP for tastecomparison and keep posted.

  • Seysonn_ 8a-NC/HZ-7
    5 years ago

    On the Taste: It can depend on few variables, IMO :

    --- Climate : Tomatoes grown in warm dry conditions may taste better, in genera.

    -- Season : Ditto

    --- Soil Chemistry: I am not a soil scientist but I think certain elements/nutrients can make a contribution to taste.

    --- Personal Preference : The taste is in the palate of the chewer ;)


  • mnwsgal
    5 years ago

    Lots of Early Girl plants are sold here. I found the taste ok but no longer grow them as prefer to use my space for other varieties.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked mnwsgal
  • Mokinu
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dry farm them and don't give them much nitrogen (except maybe earlier on) and they should taste great. If you want them to be less acidic (although I like their acid flavor), you can try giving them more potassium (this should help the plants to break less, too). I prefer my Early Girl tomatoes when they're still orange (before they turn fully red): then, they're one of my favorite tomatoes. They're sweeter (not acidic at all) and taste more like chlorine when fully ripe (in my experience), even if you don't give them extra potassium.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked Mokinu
  • Mokinu
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Early Girl sets fruit well in the heat, and does okay in cooler weather, too. It can do well in containers. The tomatoes go from green to orange to red. They're not large tomatoes. There are different varieties of Early Girl:

    * Early Girl F1

    * Early Girl Improved F1

    * Early Girl VFF F1

    I have no idea which one you got, but from what I read, it sounds like Early Girl VFF may taste the best. It might not be the earliest of the three, though. Early Girl VFF is the newest one.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked Mokinu
  • TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Hi there. Thanks for sharing! But what? They taste like chlorine to you? The chemical they use in pools?

  • Mokinu
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes, but only if they're super ripe. I like them orange to reddish orange, when they taste absolutely necessary. A lot of people actually seem to like what I describe as a chlorine taste, though. Some people prefer them super ripe and don't like them at all orange.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked Mokinu
  • Mokinu
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Early Girl has a reputation of not being very good-tasting, but some people strongly disagree. It has a high reputation for flavor when dry farmed in California, though. People out east usually don't like it much. It must taste better in the west or something. It tastes a lot better in my yard than my neighbor's yard, though (probably because he watered and fertilized his more; it tasted like a different tomato, practically).

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked Mokinu
  • Mokinu
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The F2 Early Girl tomatoes I grew last year tasted great whether orange or red, with no chlorine taste and practically no acidity. This might be because I gave them plenty of potassium, but it also might be because they were F2 and not the same as the parent. I did that with almost all of our tomatoes last year, and few were acidic. The extra potassium only seems to benefit the flavor while it's hot, though, and might hurt it when it cools down if you use too much. I have a hypothesis that phosphorus helps flavor when it's cool, since phosphorus is less available then. Potassium is less available when it's hot.

    TomatoZesty 9B Central CA:Coastline thanked Mokinu
  • Patricia Chalupsky
    2 months ago

    Will not waste our time growing Early Girl next season! Mushy , no flavor , skin tough

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