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Tomatoes - help me find a taste explosion

 
pollinator
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Hi folks,

I grew tomatoes from seed for the first time, and planted outdoor to boot. I had a bumper crop but was hit by late blight.

BUT

The flavour was a bit disappointing. I’d say 15% better than shop bought, but not anything super exciting.

The exception was one plant, which my three year old picked out at the garden centre as a small plant. It had orange fruit rather than red, and the flavour was like a punch in the mouth. Sweet, juice, a bit of citrus sour. They were amazing.

I saved some seeds, but the plant was low yielding and the fruit small. However, it has has given me an idea of what is possible.

So, help me find seeds for next year. I’m keen to try a few varieties and care about flavour above all.  What is your taste explosion?
 
pollinator
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I have a beef tomato that will fruit outside here, it prefers the greenhouse but it should do fine outside  for you way down south :p It's a bush type and is called Victorian Dwarf, I find is has a very nice flavour the only down side it it gets soft when ripe so it won't transport. If you want seeds I can send some.

Sungold are the typical nice sweet cherry (orange) and Rosella is a nice dark cherry, slightly more sour than sungold.
 
master gardener
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You can't do that to us Michael!!!  What was the name of that orange tomato?  :)

I'm not sure I would rate any tomato that I grew this year as a taste explosion, but of the 29 varieties I trialed I did like 9 (I think) of them enough to save seeds for one reason or another.  One that I really liked that happens to be orange was the variety 'Nebraska Wedding'.  I also really enjoyed the cherry tomatoes 'Rosella' and 'Brad's Atomic Grape'.  I enjoyed the flavor and yield of the plum tomatoes 'San Marzano' (seeds given to me by a friend) and 'Orange Icicle' (which I liked a lot sliced as strips and tossed on pizza).  'Chiapas' was the only tomato I grew that was bulletproof against all diseases (and we have lots of tomato disease pressure here in the Northeast), but I did not harvest most of them as the flavor to me was disappointing, especially compared the 'Matt's Wild Cherry' I was growing....but that disease free vigor was hard to ignore.  It makes me want to get my hands on every selection of  Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium that I can to find some that I really enjoy the flavor of.

Last year my favorite by far was 'Marianna's Peace'.  This year here we are in October and I still haven't gotten one to ripen (though the first one is close)!  Yields on it weren't heavy last year, but were ok and I got enough to be very happy with it.  Not sure what happened this year.  It was a VERY dry year here and perhaps that variety would have appreciated a bit of watering?
 
Michael Cox
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It was called “random orange tomato plant that Oliver picked from the shop” :p

Sorry :p

I might have a photo of the label somewhere.
 
pollinator
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There's going to be a trade off between quality and quantity, And by quantity I mean, will we actually get any ripe tomatoes this year?  For us in our climate, I think quantity is more important--many years I've grown tomatoes and not harvested any red ones.  I have a couple of great green tomato recipes, so this is ok for me--but obviously everyone's goal.  

This year I've grown Garden Pearl, a pinkish cherry tomato which has a good flavour.  It's small and sweet, much better than store bought.  Not a huge yield for me this year, and most of my plants haven't actually produced, but I've grown it several years now and usually get a decent amount.  

I've also tried Latah for the first time this year, sold as an early variety (from the Real Seed Catalogue).  And for me, for here, yes it was early:  grown outdoors at the allotment I started harvesting them at the beginning of August (the cherry toms began at the end of August and still aren't doing much).  Again, not a lot of fruit, and not much bigger than a cherry tom.  Good tomato flavour;  better than store bought again, though perhaps not outstanding.  I'll grow it again though, to get the harvest earlier--it's still producing lightly even now in October.
 
Greg Martin
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Michael Cox wrote:It was called “random orange tomato plant that Oliver picked from the shop” :p



teehehe....no worries.  Had to try, you understand.
 
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What are you looking for? Cherry tomatoes? Slicing? Paste tomatoes? Just a good all around tomato?


My favorite all around is "Nepal". It's an indeterminate, early yielding heirloom globe tomato that produces massive amounts of decent sized, extremely delicious fruits that have a very classic tomato look (just big red globes, no crags, funky colors, etc.) Amazing for raw eating, okay for cooking.  


Favorite cherry tomato is probably "super sweet 100". It's a hybrid, but produces big clusters of amazing little cherry tomatoes.


Still on the lookout for the best paste tomato myself...
 
pollinator
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For us, it's Early Girl all the way. Love the flavour. My wife also likes Sungold, a sweet orange mini-cherry.
 
pollinator
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Interesting subject! I'll certainly follow some of the recommendations being made here.

Michael, I can send you some seeds of 'Friesje', a very tasty tomato that I got from a German who got pleasantly surprised by it. I grew it for the first time this year, and I've already sent quite a few people seeds, because in my opinion this tomato is a hidden gem. Not only is the taste good, I'm also still harvesting daily from my two plants, while other tomato plants have withered away due to the weather and late blight. The tomato is a large type of cherry tomato, originally from East Friesland, which is a part of Germany, and it's also for sale there - the link includes a picture: https://www.dreschflegel-shop.de/fruchtgemuese-und-obst/tomaten/stabtomaten/salattomaten/1953/salattomate-friesje?c=103.
 
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I love all the recommendations!  I am gong to have to check them out. This year for us it was Sungold Cherry.  I love cherry tomatoes because you always get a crop no matter how bad the conditions are.  Our plants are taking over the yard, producing lots of tomatoes every day.  My husband says he has never tasted tomatoes so tasty.  The funny thing is that we both agree that every cherry tomato we pick tastes different than the rest.  Some are sweet, some are fruity, some are earthy, some are herbaceous.  Could be fun!
 
pollinator
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I have sun sugar cherry tomato and that's the only one I need. I used to mix several small tomatoes for snacks, but the sun sugar made the rest taste so bland.
I like picking them when the color starts to change, the taste will be a flavorful mixture of sweetness and sourness, better than ripe ones. Yield is abundant too, I harvested hundreds from each plant.  
I heard sun gold  is similar to sun sugar but I don't have sun gold for comparison.
 
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Outside tomatoes that do well are cherry tomatoes. I've planted a beef tomato outside, because i had no more space in the hoop house, it produced one tomato while being really big. The cherries produce great!
I guess what everybody likes differs, some like it bland sweet, others like it fruity, others want this tomatoey tomato-ness. But the complaint about shop tomatoes is they taste watery.
I've seen a french documentary about how modern tomatoes are made, they are giant plants living in plastic gutters in which water flows feeding them the "perfect" mix to prolific grow big clusters of beautiful even colored tomatoes in insect free perfectly even lit spaces. But their genetics are geared towards transport and lasting long. They're hard, tasteless and last weeks looking perfect. If they could make them cubicle they would.
A tomato grower that used to grow these kind of tomatoes told the interviewer he moved away from this system because he wanted to grow nice tasting tomatoes. He told that stress was an important factor giving tomatoes taste. Water stress for instance improved taste. He deliberately let them get thirsty at times and had a plant that was not geared towards transport and durability obviously. He had returned to growing in soils and was mulching, building living soils. And very happy.
I've read a topic on Permies this week that even insect bites can improve the taste of fruits and the nutritional value. I don't know what has been biting my tomatoes, but it makes the skin spotted and hard since a few weeks. As well the overclouded weather and ridiculous drop in temperature has made that the tomatoes i am harvesting now are blander in taste. Last year was my first year of growing many tomatoes and i've gotten so much compliments of random people, speaking of taste bombs and explosions and the real taste of tomatoes and such that i've wondered quite a bit about this subject. I've watered less this year, which resulted in stunted growth which reduced the production. I was late already seeding, afraid of a late freeze that never came. And one person who is in the know commented my tomatoes were the best she had tasted that year so far, but not crazy many people like last year. I found them less tasty as well.
I have decided to take an early race, couldn't get my hands on Early Girls on this side of the pond, so settled for a Chech early race called Stupize and i have a Mallorcan race that produces tomatoes that you can hang in the kitchen that stay goodish for month called Tomato de Colgar. Both are smallish with that perfect red color and they both are not that exciting tasting. But they have their place in all year round providing fresh tomatoes. Last year favorites didn't perform this year. The Ananas Coeur de Boeuf beef tomatoes were great again, yellow juicy goodness. The Indigo Rose, black were nice looking and full of flavor, always firsty and slow to ripen. The grape tomatoes were so sweet, they were like candy for kids.
Back to your situation. It might just be that your climate is not great for producing tasty tomatoes. UK, cloudy and always raining, not very hot. So if this documentary is right you can't stress them. They always have their feet in water and probably you have good compost, so no nitrogen stress. Maybe you can do a test, grow some in a container and cover the shitty-ish soil, see if they taste better. Water them irregularly and surprise the container tomato with sudden spiked nitrogen in the watering... I don't know.
 And if you buy seeds at the local shops they're just your average seeds that are geared towards transport and longevity and looking nice. If i lived in UK and had no access to a hoop house or greenhouse i'd get cherry tomatoes from the bio shops and save those seeds or buy them of people who have their heart in growing heirloom tomatoes.
These seem totally legit  
 
pollinator
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Another vote for cherry tomatoes. They produce early and abundantly and normally are sweeter in bad weather than the bigger varieties.

In the first attachment you can see a variety that I planted this year (Black Cherry, Apricosa, Indigo Pear Drops, Red pear, Yellow pear and Mexican honey). The sweetest was Mexican honey, like candy.
The most productive in an unsheltered space was Blondköpfchen; in the second attachment you can see the plant in July when it started spreading all over the pallet raised bed with hundreds of blossoms (it came up as a volunteer and only when it fruited did I recognize the variety, it has yellow cherries).

I also have very tasty varieties that are outside but sheltered from rain. I love the orange and green variegated varieties, Shimmeigh Creg, Copia orange and Copia green, for example.
This year the White Purple was producing abundantly and still is, with huge sweet fruits.

And for making tomato sauce or salads, I have a "climbing" variety called Carnica (from Kärnten, Austria) which produces roma-type tomatoes that are always fruity and never bland.

I am a real tomato enthusiast and despite the short growing season and sometimes rainy summers I always plant at least 20 varieties in my garden and window pots.

cherry_2020_klein.jpg
a bounty of beautiful cherry tomatoes
various cherry
blondk-pfchen_Pflanze_klein.jpg
Blondköpfchen yellow cherry
Blondköpfchen yellow cherry
Purple_White_Rispen_klein.jpg
Purple White
Purple White
carnica_2020_klein.jpg
Carnica
Carnica
 
author & gardener
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I grew Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes for the first time this year and have to say that these little guys are a 5-star wow. I grow Homestead variety for slicing and sauce making, and they're flavorful too, but the Matt's Wild Cherries are what packs the punch.
 
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We grew 6 or 7 varieties this year, here's what I liked:

Hybrid Cherry - small, prolific, monstrous spreader that tried to grow over all other plants in the bed. Will plant along a fence next year. Nicely acidic, great for snacking.

Green Zebra - not a huge producer, but I love the color and flavor. Was very prone to humidity/fungus issues

San Marsano - easily my favorite this season. Low moisture content, great for bruschetta, produced consistently (4 plants, never had a day without them), and really excellent roasted or turned into soup. Brightest and most concentrated out of all my tomatoes.

Roma - great for cooking

Beefsteak - sandwich tomato. I like them by themselves with a bit of salt or vinaigrette on top

I know we had more, but these are what came to mind. Roasting tomatoes concentrates the flavor, so maybe try that!
 
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The quickest, most reliable way to achieve a flavor explosion is orange-ish cherry tomatoes.  My personal favorite over the last 20 years has been sungolds.  I learned of them when working on a CSA farm in Indiana.  Grew them myself there, then in North Carolina in the ground, in containers, and in upside down planters.  I have some ripening in my raised bed right now, in September. They were also the first to ripen in May. They taste great too.
 
Brian Holmes
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Rob Lineberger wrote: My personal favorite over the last 20 years has been sungolds.



+1, love sungolds.
 
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It is not only the tomato variety, it is the soil it as grown in. That said, lately I have liked Mortgage  Maker.
 
Anita Martin
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John F Dean wrote:It is not only the tomato variety, it is the soil it as grown in. That said, lately I have liked Mortgage  Maker.


Very true. There are three factors (at least):

* Variety - you can make a good choice here, easy
* Soil - in cheap potting soil you will not get the same results as in healthy humus
* Weather - temperatures, intensity of sun and length of days

...and some other external conditions like size of the pot (if you grow in pots), watering schedule/amount of water and similar.

So you should influence the factors you are able to change and hope for the best regarding weather!
I have also noticed that the tomatoes that grow outside (under a shelter) are tastier than those from the greenhouse: fresh air and intense sun, plus easier pollination.
 
Greg Martin
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John F Dean wrote:It is not only the tomato variety, it is the soil it as grown in. That said, lately I have liked Mortgage  Maker.


John, you don't mean Mortgage Lifter by any chance?  I've never run across Mortgage Maker and tried looking it up but didn't have any luck.
 
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omg, there are so many tomato varieties! I keep trying out new ones and growing a bunch of different ones but have trouble reducing the list!

Everyone here on our island seems to love Sungold, which many others have mentioned and also Juliet, which I think are what you call a "Saladette" type, smallish oblong, bright red.  Juliets are great for drying as well as fresh eating or canning (they make your sauce nice and bright).  both are prolific, both are hybrids so you can't save your own seeds.  

My honey's favourite is Amish Salad for fresh eating.

My friend who's been gardening for decades with a specific focus on flavour prefers Rose de Berne.

I quite like the unique flavours of Persimmon and Green Zebra, and like to grow a colourful mix of cherry tomatoes, this year Gardener's Delight (red) were my favourite, Black Cherry is also good.  I tried out some new slicers this year but I think "Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red" which I got from Heritage Harvest Seeds in Manitoba, Canada is still top of my list flavour wise

Someone else mentioned Stupice, which is a good early, tasty, reliable and prolific variety that's worth trying out.  In general, "heirloom" varieties are a good place to start for good flavour.  Start requesting seed catalogs now so you have lots of time to narrow down your selections!

We did a tomato taste test at the Fall Fair one year which was really fun.  It's neat to see how different the same variety grown in a different garden can taste!



 
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Greg Martin wrote: I enjoyed the flavor and yield of the plum tomatoes 'San Marzano' (seeds given to me by a friend)

How large were these Greg? I've got some small ones, but I'd love something a little larger, but not too large or they aren't likely to ripen for me.

I'm mostly growing Juliette. They're sweeter than I'd like, but they're prolific and they ripen. They're really a mini-tomato that is bigger than average.

My friend does well with Sacha's Altai. It's a Russian tomato so it seems to cope with the cold better, but she gets higher temps as well as lower temps than I do. (My area is known for micro-climates.)

We had the worst late blight (which was awfully early for late blight) I've ever seen. It took out all my plants but one and most of the crop with it. Green houses may have their downsides, but at the moment, I'd be looking at the up-side!  

 
Greg Martin
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Jay Angler wrote:

Greg Martin wrote: I enjoyed the flavor and yield of the plum tomatoes 'San Marzano' (seeds given to me by a friend)

How large were these Greg? I've got some small ones, but I'd love something a little larger, but not too large or they aren't likely to ripen for me.


Hi Jay, these were about 3" long and 1.5" wide and they are pretty solid.  We were slicing them up and putting them in toasted cheese sandwiches as they were nice and dry.  I haven't grown other strains so I'm not sure how these compare.  I picked up seeds of another strain so that next year I can check that out.  This strain came in early for me and kept putting out fruit until late September.  I should go and check it today to see if it's got anything left to it.  We still haven't had our first frost yet, but it's gotten close a few times (34F this morning).
 
John F Dean
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Hi Greg,

It probably is Mortgage  Lifter. I got the seeds from Baker Creek.  The tomatoes come off the vine far from store perfect, but I like the flavor.
 
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Michael Cox wrote:The exception was one plant, which my three year old picked out at the garden centre as a small plant. It had orange fruit rather than red, and the flavour was like a punch in the mouth. Sweet, juice, a bit of citrus sour. They were amazing.



Sounds like SunGold or SunSugar to me.

 
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Esterinas are by far the best yellow cherry tomatoes!
 
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... I grew the San Marzano once years ago; they were dry/bland raw... but when I used them for pasta sauce - Oh my! - So rich and flavorful; almost like beef stock in the sauce... maybe a fluke occurance though....      :b
... only the cherry tomatos did anything here this year; drought, and some awful form of blight that struck Everything - even trees and poison ivy....
 
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I've grown Matt's Wild Cherry, Black Cherry, and Sun Gold, and enjoyed them all. Matt's was prolific, vigorous and lots of fruit! I often got volunteers of it in the compost pile. This year we got a red grape tomato from a friend (unknown variety) and it was bland and tough, I might go so far as not to allow any of it into the compost to avoid future disappointment.

Brandywine is a nice beefsteak. A nice big one and you can have one slice fill a BLT sandwich! So good! We got a yellow beefsteak in our CSA box that was tasty too, I don't know the variety but should find out.

Heirlooms that I liked were Abraham Lincoln (medium sized red) and Paul Robeson (dark red, large possibly beefsteak?).
 
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Weather in northwest Montana was difficult, a late spring that carried through June, wet and cold. Very hot in July. And then a hard freeze September 8 and 9. I was admittedly late getting things started indoors. All in all the tomatoes, and I, not happy.

Stupice does come early and keeps bravely on all summer but I find the flavor uninspiring. I usually get good Mortgage Lifter, big, tasty, sometimes funny looking, but not this year, just a few. I tried Latah and it did pretty well when it finally got started. One survived a vicious ground squirrel attack. I just picked the green ones as we are having cold rain, probably another hard freeze in the morning. San Marzano did well. My grandson, who is a sushi chef, really liked it.

And of course, Sun Gold is great. One tomato that surprised me was Lemon Boy. It survived outside of the hoop house. And a couple large cherry plants that I got a deal on because they had already started to crawl, produced pretty well. The gardener who sold them to me couldn't remember what they were called.

Actually none of them did as well as I would like. I don't have the heart to stress them but I think that the weather did that for me.
IMG_20200909_191415849.jpg
Inside the hoop house, mid-summer(!)
Inside the hoop house, mid-summer(!)
 
pollinator
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Our climate is not too different from Michael's in the summer. Never gets hot, but we do tend to dry out some years. The varieties that I like in terms of flavour are the oft-mentioned San Marzano (I try to grow more of these than anything else in order to dry them), Kibits Ukraine, Riesentraube (goat teat), Black Krim, and a cherry that volunteered next to the duck bathtub a few years ago. Russian varieties do well here because they don't seem to need as much heat.I sometimes keep a few plants in the glasshouse but that usually ends with them getting even more psyllids than the ones in the open.

Psyllids really suck. They pretty much wrecked last season's crop. I'm hoping that I can get some lightweight frames put together in time for planting out my seedlings so that the plants can be fully protected by insect mesh this year.
 
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Good morning, Michael,

I wonder if your small tomato was not one of the cocktail varieties.  Thanks to the local bird life, I had a number of self-sown such plants, all bright yellow with copious yields and sweet tasting - ideal for chutney and tomato onion sauces.  The plants appeared in our spring - August 2019 - and continued to bear fruit right through our winter, perhaps because my very small garden is enclosed by a high wall.

Now that we are back in this year's spring, i have uprooted these plants to make way for new veggies, but I can guarantee you that within a very short time I will find new tomato plants in every conceivable part of the garden!

Best Wishes,  John
 
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Michael Cox wrote:. . . random orange tomato . . .

When one of the grandkids was two going on three, he found the tomatoes still in the greenhouse in the last week of October (Tumbling Tom) and eat them until they were nearly coming out of his ears. He was very disappointed not to find any tomatoes when he reached the age of three (the following March), but when summer arrived I fed him a Sungold at which he pulled a face and complained to his Dad, almost in tears, that “Grangrad has been feeding me yucky orange tomatoes.” They have been called YOTs ever since, the most toxic plant known to modern science, far worse than Aconitum or Animata phalloides.

Oddly enough, two weeks later he ate similar tomatoes avidly. Next year, I had some more plants: “These arre yucky orange tomatoes, like what you didn't like last year.” “I did like them, Granddad,” and he has ever since if given half a chance to eat them.

Another old variety I like is Gardener's Delight.

[edit]March was when he didn't find the tomatoes, not his birthday.
 
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I think I have fusarium wilt fungus in the soil in my seasonal greenhouse, but Estiva and Sungold are both hybrids that have some resistance to it, so they keep producing fruit as the leaves from the bottom upwards turn yellow and then dried up brown. The hybrid red cherry tomatoes I grew last year didn't start producing until late, and then were kinda sour, but their self-seeded offspring are actually better this year, started producing earlier, and better flavor.

About flavor, I seem to find that the very first tomatoes from any given plant don't taste as good as they do a couple of weeks later. Likewise, sometimes the first tomatoes get blossom end rot, but the later tomatoes from the same plants are fine, so it's maybe just temperature, not soil conditions.

Cherry tomatoes tend to be very intense with the flavor. I've canned a batch or two of puree this year, of about one third intense cherry tomatoes, one third my normal size tomatoes, and one third locally bought tasteless plum tomatoes. It was great. Also, I've dried a lot of cherry and other tomatoes, and I find that even somewhat tasteless tomatoes, if I let them ripen as much as possible and then dry them in the sun, they do improve their flavor. Also roasting in the oven does a very good thing to their flavor.

I've earmarked a supposedly fusarium resistant variety of San Marzano to order when I next (if I ever!) visit the US.
 
Posts: 51
Location: rural West Virginia
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Many of the varieties named which I have tried, I consider bland. Okay I'm in West Virginia; I think location affects both climate and seed availability. Tomatoes are important to me but mostly for sauce, and yes, here in the Northeast where we have plenty of sun and usually plenty of rain, the disease pressure is intense--but bugs are no big deal. Anyway, because of this my top criterion is disease resistance. But I like to grow a selection of varieties. I no longer grow cherry tomatoes because I ate them like candy and it was too much roughage--much more skin to pulp ratio. Before that became a problem I tried and liked several kinds but Sungold was my favorite. In bigger tomatoes sweet isn't enough--I want some sour tang and that seems to have become harder to find. Pink Berkeley Tie Dye is highly rated and I have grown it several times, finding its flavor exceptional--it makes beefsteak types, striped dark red, fairly early but then gets the disease and maybe manages to eke out more tomatoes slowly...which was my experience with Persimmon. I tried that for the first time this year. It's a big yellow tomato and I didn't think its flavor exceptional but it produced heavily midseason, was slow to get the diseases (early and late blight)...but then succumbed entirely. In the past I've liked Kellogg's Breakfast but it produced almost nothing this year. That's another big yellow (or orangey) one with sweet flavor. For flavor and long yield of small tomatoes, I recommend two very similar black and red tomatoes, Cosmic Eclipse and Chestnut Cherry (?) It seems to me if you like strong tomato flavor, with acid as well as sugar, the blackish reds tend to be among the best--but I wasn't real impressed with Black Plum or Black Krim. I always grow paste tomatoes since sauce is my prime object--this year I tried Striped Sausage--okay but Opalka (a sausage shaped one without stripes) probably yields more and tastes pretty good for a paste tomato. I have also grown Giant Garden Paste a couple of years, it makes sortof beefsteak or purse-shaped tomatoes, of which the first ones are very large. And I've been growing Glacier just for one plant a year--it produces small round red tomatoes that are entirely unexceptional, but does so a few days earlier than any other tomato (and then continues producing lightly for a long time).
 
Posts: 28
Location: Schofields, NSW. Australia. Zone 9-11 Temperate to Sub Tropical
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A few comments from an organic seed grower and saver. I notice that a lot of you are commenting about bland tasting tomatoes, lack of flavor or drops in production.
I have been recording quite a few changes in all my heirloom vegetables especially tomatoes due to rapid changes in the climate that has been a lot for plants to cope with in the short term.
I used to know that I lived in a temperate zone - now I am experiencing sub-tropical climate as well and my veggies are letting me know whether they can cope with the changes - some better than others.
For those of you who have found tomatoes they love the taste of, but the plants haven't produced as well as hoped, try again and don't give up.
See if you can grow them for 4 seasons by which time they will have adapted better to your local conditions and you will notice positive improvement. Don't give up after the first underperforming season when you have found a great taste.
Soil also plays a huge part in how a tomato will taste, so keep up the compost, weed teas, crop alternating to prevent wilts and soil spread fungal diseases. Drip water to prevent mold and leaf fungus.
Mixing other veggies between your tomatoes instead of planting them in rows together also helps control pests and disease.
I love tomatoes that have a bit of tanginess like Green Zebra, Black and Red, Wapsipinicon Peach, Copia and Tropic which does well when we hit humid weather. In the cherries I like Pink Bumblebee, Matt's Wild Cherry, Beames Yellow Pear and Green Grape.
I try and have at least one of these varieties every season and they have all become extremely prolific and adapted to my area. I currently grow over 434 heirloom varieties of tomato so am spoilt for choice.
There are a lot of great suggestions here, it has been an interesting feed to follow. I hope you all find tomatoes worth saving the seed from and keep adapting them to your areas every season.
 
Posts: 98
Location: 10 miles NW of Helena Montana
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Back in the early 90's we lived in Battle Creek Michigan for a couple of years.

I planted a few tomato plants on the south side of the home we rented and they took off!!!

Two of the plants turned out to be cherry's and actually ended up being almost 14 feet tall and we could pick tomatoes out of the second story window.

Way more tomatoes than we could eat.  Made sure all the neighbors had their fill and the local kids were encouraged to grab a handful whenever they wanted.

Sweet tasting.  Bought the plants at the local market and were supposed to be NOT cherry.  Other plants were a couple different varieties, but man, I have never seen tomatoes grow that tall.

I do believe all the neighbors were tired of them after awhile.  ;-)
 
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I've had best results (Florida) with Tommy Toe cherry tomatoes. They seem to be quite bulletproof and tomatoes catch hell here from bugs, disease and humidity.
They're not "Oh my god" tasty but plenty good.

Another fun and tough one is Everglades. These are a FL heirloom that goes back to the indigenous folks here supposedly.
The tomatoes are tiny but prolific, and pack serious flavor. Seeds usually aren't available via traditional outlets but there are a few folks on Ebay who specialize in FL native veggies and they'll have them.
Don't be discouraged when they seem to not have germinated. They take way longer than most to sprout.

Early Girl has been my best one for bigger tomatoes. Stands up well to the aforementioned attacks from all corners.
 
Greg Martin
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Posts: 1911
Location: Maine, zone 5
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Dave Bross wrote:Another fun and tough one is Everglades. These are a FL heirloom that goes back to the indigenous folks here supposedly.
The tomatoes are tiny but prolific, and pack serious flavor. Seeds usually aren't available via traditional outlets but there are a few folks on Ebay who specialize in FL native veggies and they'll have them.
Don't be discouraged when they seem to not have germinated. They take way longer than most to sprout.


Thank you for this tip Dave!  They are said to be a S. pimpinellifolium selection and I'm looking for some of those that are super tasty after seeing the one I was growing this year be bullet proof to diseases.  I ordered some seeds from Victory Seeds along with another S. pimpinellifolium selection, 'Coyote', that I haven't tried yet as well as a stabilized hybrid with that species that they carry, 'Farthest North'.  More tomato excitement for 2021.  I'll let you guys know if any are a taste explosion for me.  Very much appreciated.
 
Posts: 56
Location: NW Arkansas
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Michael Cox wrote:Hi folks,
The exception was one plant, which my three year old picked out at the garden centre as a small plant. It had orange fruit rather than red, and the flavour was like a punch in the mouth. Sweet, juice, a bit of citrus sour. They were amazing.



Sounds like it might be one of the Pennsylvania Dutch varieties like German striped or yellow brandywine, which all have wonderful blends of acid and sugar. Some varieties like Roma I don't consider worth even bothering with because, even when home-grown, they're mealy and bland. You might try cherry and grape tomatoes of just about any kind, because I've found they're all very flavorful.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Rebecca Norman wrote:. . . soil in my seasonal greenhouse . . .

That is why the Victorian commercial growers used mobile boilers and blew steam into the soil to “sterilise” it. I am sure it didn't sterilise anything, but maybe it got rid of the worst of the fungus. I grow my tomatoes in pots in fresh soil each year. After the tomatoes, I use the soil for some other sort of plant. There are all sorts of creepy‑crawlies in the soil by this time, including small centipedes.

blossom end rot . . .

I thought blossom end rot is always caused by soil conditions, viz. allowing the soil to dry so the plant can't absorb calcium. I get it every now and again and it goes away if I give the tomatoes enough water.

roasting in the oven does a very good thing to their flavor. . . .

I tried that once with some Gardener's Delight. I thought they taste so good, it would be a shame to cook them. Until I cooked a few and found they tasted even better
 
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